Parental Rights in Montana

Resolution Supporting the PRA

We did it! Thanks in part to your support, in 2011, the Montana legislature passed a joint resolution (SJR 9) calling on Congress to adopt a Parental Rights Amendment. Led by Sen. R. Hutton, it passed both houses by a large majority. (Learn more about state resolutions.)

Montana Parental Rights News

Parental Rights State Legislation Update

February 24, 2021

Update on DC Minor Consent Act If you aren’t yet familiar with the bill in DC that would allow 11-year-olds to give legal consent for vaccinations their parents have already opted them out of, you can read up on it here. If you haven’t yet reached out to your US representative and senators and urged…

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Montana State Law and Parental Rights


Montana Code Annotated provides the following:

Mont. Code Ann. § 40-6-701:

(1) A governmental entity may not interfere with the fundamental right of parents to direct the upbringing, education, health care, and mental health of their children unless the governmental entity demonstrates that the interference:

(a) furthers a compelling governmental interest; and

(b) is narrowly tailored and is the least restrictive means available for the furthering of the compelling governmental interest.

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Montana Courts and Parental Rights

"Strict Scrutiny" Applied to Parental Rights

However, this precedent is subject to change.

Kulstad v. Maniaci, 220 P.3d 595, 542 (Mont. 2009): The MT Supreme Court upheld strict scrutiny protection to parental rights. "'The liberty interest at issue in this case—the interest of parents in the care, custody, and control of their children—is perhaps the oldest of the fundamental liberty interests recognized by this Court.' Troxel. Thus, this statute (§ 40-4-228, MCA) is subject to strict scrutiny review.”