Parental Rights in Texas

Texas Parental Rights News

Texas, We Have a Problem

February 28, 2017

The editorial board of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram ran a blistering commentary on Tuesday (Feb. 21) about the state’s damaged Child Protective Services (CPS) agency and the rise of child sex trafficking. “The child welfare system is in desperate need of reform,” the board wrote, paired with this tragic statement: “No child should ever be…

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Texas State Law and Parental Rights


Texas Family Code Sect. 151.003 declares the following:

"A state agency may not adopt rules or policies or take any other action that violates the fundamental rights and duty of parents to direct the upbringing of the parent's child."

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Texas Courts and Parental Rights

"Strict Scrutiny" Applied to Parental Rights

Texas 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.

In In re Pensom, 126 S.W.3d 251, 254 (Tex. Ct. App. 2003), a Texas Court of Appeals ruled, "Because a fundamental right is implicated here [that is, parental rights], we apply strict scrutiny and will uphold the statute if it is narrowly tailored to serve a compelling government interest," citing Troxel, 530 U.S. at 79 (Souter, J., concurring) and 80 (Thomas, J., concurring).