Parental Rights in South Carolina

South Carolina State Law and Parental Rights

At Risk

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

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South Carolina Courts and Parental Rights

"Strict Scrutiny" Applied to Parental Rights

South Carolina courts have repeatedly recognized the rights 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.

Key recent cases upholding fundamental parental rights include: State v. Whitner, 732 S.E.2d 861 (S.C. 2012), Marquez v. Caudill, 656 S.E.2d 737 (S.C. 2008), Loe v. Mother, 586 S.E.2d 807 (S.C. Ct. App. 2009), and Camburn v. Smith, 586 S.E.2d 565 (S.C. 2003).