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, Wyoming law provides:

14-2-206. Protection of parental rights.

(a) The liberty of a parent to the care, custody and control of their child is a fundamental right that resides first in the parent.

(b) The state, or any agency or political subdivision of the state, shall not infringe the parental right as provided under this section without demonstrating that the interest of the government as applied to the parent or child is a compelling state interest addressed by the least restrictive means.

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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."