Parental Rights in Connecticut

Connecticut Parental Rights News

We Need YOUR Help in Connecticut!

January 12, 2023

We need your help in Connecticut to pass a bill to protect innocent families from unnecessary and traumatic CPS investigations. We’ve worked with our allies across the political spectrum to pass “reasonable independence” laws in states around the nation, including Colorado, Texas, Utah, and Oklahoma. You can see our model bill here:  We are…

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Connecticut State Law and Parental Rights

At Risk!

Connecticut does not have a state statute that explicitly defines and protects parental rights as fundamental rights.

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Connecticut Courts and Parental Rights

Yes!Affirmed (Strict Scrutiny Applied)

In Roth v. Weston, 789 A.2d 431 (2002), the Connecticut Supreme Court said: "[W]e conclude that, consistent with the [U.S. Supreme] Court's  determination [in Troxel v. Granville] that a parent's interest in the care, custody and control over his or her children is "perhaps one of the oldest of the fundamental liberty interests recognized by [the] Court", the application of the strict scrutiny test is required to any infringement it may suffer.... [W]hen a statutory classification . . . affects a fundamental personal right, the statute is subject to strict scrutiny and is justified only by a compelling state interest." (cleaned up).

However, in some contexts, the Connecticut Supreme Court has declined to extend this same level of protection. For example, in Leebaert ex rel. Leebaert v. Harrington, 193 F. Supp. 2d 491, 498 (D. Conn. 2002), a case dealing with parental rights and public school instruction, the Connecticut Supreme Court said:

"Supreme Court precedent is less clear with regard to the appropriate standard of review of parental rights claims. However, the Second Circuit has concluded that a parental rights challenge to a school's mandatory community service requirement warranted only rational basis review...Troxel does not establish a different rule requiring strict scrutiny of parental challenges to educational policies of public schools."