Parental Rights in Ohio

Ohio State Law and Parental Rights

At Risk

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

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Ohio Courts and Parental Rights

"Strict Scrutiny" Applied to Parental Rights

Ohio courts have recognized the right of parents to oversee the care of their children as a fundamental right deserving of the strict scrutiny standard. However, this precedent is subject to change.

In Oliver v. Feldner, 776 N.E. 2d 499, 507 (Ohio Ct. App. 2002), the Ohio Court of Appeals held, "[i]t is difficult to escape the conclusion, with eight of nine Supreme Court justices agreeing that a fundamental due process right was at stake in Troxel, that a strict-scrutiny analysis must be taken in reviewing nonparental-visitation statutes."

See also In re Thompkins, 875 N.E. 2d 582, 584-5 (Ohio 2007) and Harrold v. Collier, 836 N.E. 2d 1165, 1172 (Ohio 2005), cert denied 547 U.S. 1004 (2006).