Parental Rights in Arizona

Arizona Parental Rights News

Open Arizona’s Courts!

September 17, 2019

It is the purpose of open courts to let in the light of outside scrutiny, to keep judges and child welfare agencies honest in their dealings with children and families. That’s what made one ruling in Arizona earlier this year both troubling and confusing. And it’s why we’re excited to see that ruling overturned. A…

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Arizona State Law


We did it! Thanks in part to your support, Arizona law now explicitly protects parental rights.

Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 1-601:

A. The liberty of parents to direct the upbringing, education, health care and mental health of their children is a fundamental right.

B. This state, any political subdivision of this state or any other governmental entity shall not infringe on these rights without demonstrating that the compelling governmental interest as applied to the child involved is of the highest order, is narrowly tailored and is not otherwise served by a less restrictive means.

July 2018: A law now limits the situations in which children can be removed from their parents without a court order. It remains to be seen, though, if the law will indeed help limit needless removals.

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Arizona Courts

Protected Under Statute

While in Jackson v. Tangreen (2000), the Court of Appeals of Arizona found that "Troxel cannot stand for the proposition that [a state visitation statute] is necessarily subject to strict scrutiny,” the newer Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 1-601 explicitly requires strict scrutiny review.

Jackson v. Tangreen, 18 P.3d 100, 106 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2000):
"Troxel cannot stand for the proposition that [a state visitation statute] is necessarily subject to strict scrutiny" because "only Justice Thomas would have applied strict scrutiny to the statute in Troxel" and "[n]one of the other five opinions explicitly stated the level of scrutiny that it applied."