Parental Rights in Tennessee

Tennessee State Law and Parental Rights

Not Explicitly Defined and Protected

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

Tennessee does have numerous laws on the books that provide support to parental rights.

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Tennessee Courts and Parental Rights


Tennessee courts have repeatedly recognized the liberty of parents to oversee the care of their children as a fundamental right. However, this precedent is subject to change.

In re Angela E., 303 S.W.3d 240 (Tenn. 2010), the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled that the Tennessee Constitution [Art. 1, § 8] gives parents a right of privacy to care for their children without unwarranted state intervention unless there is a substantial danger of harm to the child.