Parental Rights in Wyoming

Resolution Supporting the PRA

We did it! Thanks in part to your support, in 2012, the Wyoming legislature adopted a resolution (HJR 3) calling on the U.S. Congress to propose the Parental Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and to pass it to the States for ratification. (The resolution was adopted with special dispensation during the budget session; since it wasn't related to the budget, a 2/3 vote was required to even allow it to be heard and assigned to a committee.) (Learn more about state resolutions.)

Wyoming Parental Rights News

One False Allegation Changed Everything

March 7, 2018

Dear Champion of Parental Rights, One hundred and forty-eight days. Imagine if that’s how long the government kept your child from you, without any evidence or justification. It sounds like a nightmare, but it was a reality for Georgia mom Amy Spencer. And she is not alone. Too many American families are facing similarly devastating…

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Wyoming State Law and Parental Rights

Protected

We did it! Thanks in part to your support, as of July 1, 2017, parental rights will be protected as a fundamental right (see details below about HB0153).

  • 2017: HB0153, a Parental Rights bill like HB0094 from 2015, was introduced in the House on January 16, 2017. It was sent to the House Minerals, Business, and Economic Development Committee, and passed out of that committee with a 9-0 vote on January 23, 2017. (See "Wyoming Parental Rights Bill Clears Committee" for details.) On Friday, January 27, the Wyoming bill passed the House by a vote of 50 yes, 7 no, and 3 excused. It passed the Senate Judiciary Committee (3-1, with 1 excused), and then passed the Wyoming Senate (25-5) on February 28. It was later signed into law by the governor and will take effect on July 1, 2017. Thank you for your support in helping pass this bill!
  • 2015: HB0094 was introduced January 13 to preserve by law the fundamental right of parents to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their children. It passed the House Judiciary Committee by a vote of 9-0 on Jan. 24, and the full House by a vote of 59-1 on Jan. 29. It was sent to the Senate the next business day (Feb. 2), but Senate President Phil Nicholas refused to assign it a committee, single-handedly killing the bill.

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Wyoming Courts and Parental Rights

Protected Under Statute

Wyoming courts have also affirmed parental rights as fundamental, although have not mentioned strict scrutiny.

DJM v. DM (In re SRB-M), 201 P.3d 1115, 1119 (Wyo. 2009):

"[¶18]  Our holding in MEO was based in part on the important constitutional principle that a parent has a fundamental right to care for, educate and associate with his or her child.  In re MLM, 682 P.2d 982, 990 (Wyo. 1984).  The fundamental right of a parent to make decisions concerning the care, custody, and control of his or her children is also recognized by the United States Supreme Court.  Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57, 120 S.Ct. 2054, 147 L.Ed.2d 49 (2000).  Given this fundamental right, this Court has not condoned removal of a child from a fit parent.  MEO, ¶ 53, 138 P.3d at 1160.  'Although we have sometimes described the child's best interests as having ‘constitutional preeminence,' we have done so in light of an adjudication of neglect or abuse, elevating the child's interests above the individual claims of the parent.'  Id."