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Parents have a fundamental right to direct the upbringing of their children

Parental Rights

Defending Parents' Rights

Parents take care of us before we can take care of ourselves.

They bring us into the world. They teach us to walk, to talk, to love. They prepare us to enter society and live as upstanding citizens.

Of all the people who share in shaping a child’s moral character and the adults they become—from teachers and coaches to spiritual mentors, extended family, and others—parents have far and away the deepest and most enduring influence. The men and women we become often reflect the men and women our parents are.

Everyone should care about how children are raised. They become our nation’s leaders, after all.

Everyone should also be able to agree that, in nearly every case, parents are best positioned to protect their children’s health and welfare.

Parents have a fundamental human right to direct the upbringing of their children

Although the law recognizes the rights of parents, parental rights are under increasing attack from public school indoctrination and state governments.

Sometimes, tragically, parents fail at providing their children’s most basic needs. When that happens, the government plays an important role. But the government should never replace parents.

Alliance Defending Freedom is working to achieve a Generational Win for parental rights. We litigate precedent-setting cases to protect parents and help to shape and defend public policy that enshrines parents’ rights as fundamental.

Did you know?

39
states
Have no statutes that expressly define and protect parental rights.
Source: ParentalRights.org
47
states
Do not grant parents review of learning materials and activities in advance of teaching.
Source: Goldwater Institute, Jan. 2020
1
state
Protects child health by banning puberty blockers and cross-sex hormone treatments.
Source: Focus on the Family
12
states
Do not allow parents to be involved in their schools' sex ed curriculum.
Source: Heritage Foundation, May 2019

Defending Your Parental Rights

Together with like-minded partners, ADF advocates for parents’ rights in three key areas by engaging in strategic litigation, influencing law, and promoting policies that protect parents and children

Public School Curricula

Many public schools are indoctrinating students in harmful views of human sexuality and race, injecting ideas from critical race and critical gender theories into classrooms. We help parents and teachers challenge this indoctrination of students.

Medical Decision-making

Some public schools encourage students to identify as the opposite sex at school and hide it from parents. And some government officials pressure parents to “transition” their children under threat of abuse charges. We defend parents’ rights to make medical decisions for their children.

Adoption and Foster Parents

Some states refuse to allow prospective parents into the foster and adoption system based on their views about sexuality and gender. ADF works to ensure that people of faith can give kids loving homes without being forced to compromise their beliefs.

Parental Rights Cases

Alliance Defending Freedom and our allies are defending parents' rights in cases nationwide.
Thompson v. Clark
Thompson v. Clark

US Supreme Court rules to protect vulnerable families from unjust govt searches, seizures

Ricard v. USD 475 Geary County Schools School Board Members
Ricard v. USD 475 Geary County Schools School Board Members

Middle school teacher vindicated after being forced to cover up student’s social transition from parents.

C.I. v. Albemarle County School Board
C.I. v. Albemarle County School Board

Parents and students sue their school board for enacting racially and religiously discriminatory policies and indoctrinating students in related radical ideology.

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Parents walking with child while holding child's hands.

Concerned parents are not "domestic terrorists"

ADF General Counsel Kristen Waggoner responds to the U.S. attorney general’s targeting of parents.

Read the Letter

Parental Rights Articles

A mother and son work together at a desk.
Parents’ Toolkit on Critical Theory

Parents' Rights resource that will equip you to love, guide, and protect your children and grandchildren.

Parents’ rights to direct the upbringing and education of their children are fundamental rights protected by the U.S. Constitution.
Everything You Need to Know About Parents’ Rights in Public Schools

Parents’ rights to direct the upbringing and education of their children are fundamental rights protected by the U.S. Constitution.

Public Schools Parental Rights
A Q&A with Kate Anderson, Director of ADF’s Center for Parental Rights

Director of the Center for Parental Rights Kate Anderson answers questions about the new team and the increasing threat to parental rights in the United States.

ADF's Other Practice Areas

Religious Freedom

ADF defends your right to live out your faith freely.

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Free Speech

We aim to ensure all people can speak freely through direct advocacy and alliances.

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Life

ADF promotes life from conception to natural death.

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Marriage & Family

ADF advocates for God's design for marriage and the family.

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