"Honor thy father and thy mother."
We the People...
ON PARENTAL RIGHTS
The Solution: The Parental Rights Amendment
"Through activist courts and the threat of ratifying the UN’s Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), big government intrudes on families more and more. Already, the liberty of parents to direct the upbringing of their children has greatly eroded in federal courts and in such settings as public schools, local libraries, and your doctor’s office." -- Michael Farris, president, ParentalRights.org
The only solution to the attack on the child-parent relationship is the Parental Rights Amendment -- securing the rights of parents to raise their children.
Only a constitutional amendment will ensure that the courts of our nation protect the fundamental right of parents to raise their children. And only a constitutional amendment will override international law that seeks to undermine the parental role. As the only complete solution to the danger confronting the child-parent relationship, the Parental Rights Amendment will place current Supreme Court doctrine protecting parental rights into the explicit text of the Constitution. Only the Parental Rights Amendment completely eliminates all threats to the child-parent relationship. It is the only comprehensive response to the attack on parental rights across our nation.
Below is the draft text for the Parental Rights Amendment.
View the annotated version here.
DRAFT PARENTAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT
FOR THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION
The liberty of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children is a fundamental right.
Neither the United States nor any state shall infringe upon this right without demonstrating that its governmental interest as applied to the person is of the highest order and not otherwise served. This article shall not be construed to protect actions or decisions to end the life of any child, born or unborn.
No treaty may be adopted nor shall any source of international law be employed to supersede, modify, interpret, or apply to the rights guaranteed by this article.
QUICK FACTS ON AMENDING THE CONSTITUTION
- Only a constitutional amendment will ensure that parental rights will be honored in the United States, and protected from the threat of international law.
- Only 33 amendments have ever been passed by Congress, and of these, only 27 have been ratified by the states.
- Passing an amendment takes supporters at every level of government – in Congress, in committees, and in the states. Every American can play a vital role in this process by signing the petition and involving others in this campaign.
A constitutional amendment will ensure that judges who are currently denying parental rights will be obligated to recognize them. It will ensure that judges who are presently refusing to recognize parental rights because of their lack of explicit protection within the Constitution will instead safeguard parental rights.
The founders of this country created a nation ruled by laws, not men. Placing parental rights into the text of the Constitution ensures that law will defend the American family. A constitutional amendment will shield the child-parent relationship from government intrusion, regardless of who sits on the Supreme Court.
Not only does an amendment adequately address the threat posed by judges who refuse to recognize parental rights, but it also meets head-on the threat against the child-parent relationship posed by international law.
HOW AN AMENDMENT PROTECTS THE FAMILY FROM INTERNATIONAL LAW
As a legally binding international treaty, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is capable of permanently altering the role of the parent within the American family. If ratified, the UNCRC becomes the law of the land, unable to be held in check by state or national legislation. The only way to protect the rights of parents from the destructive policies contained in the UNCRC is through an amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Presently, except in cases where a parent has been proven to be "unfit," American law presumes that the parent is acting in the best interests of the child, and defers to that parent's decision. The UNCRC, in contrast, supplants this traditional presumption in favor of parents with a new presumption in favor of the state.
The Senators who originally opposed the ratification of the UNCRC when it was originally signed by President Clinton in 1995 believed that the Convention marked a significant departure from the American concept of the relationship between state and child, and was incompatible with the right of parents to raise their children.
The only way to protect the vital role of parents from this cataclysmic shift is through amending the U.S. Constitution to reflect current Supreme Court doctrine which preserves the right of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children.
That's why the Parental Rights Amendment is so important. If passed, the Parental Rights Amendment will protect and preserve the vital child-parent relationship for generations to come.
The judges on the Supreme Court will change over time, but the law will not. If the U.S. Constitution is amended to secure parental rights, the vital child-parent relationship will be effectively shielded from intrusion by the government.
Amending the constitution is an enormous task—requiring time, resources, vision, dedication, and hardworking people who will make it happen. But it is not impossible.
Timing is everything. Parental rights are in an uncertain state within the federal courts, and danger is on the way. In only a matter of time, international law could erase the rights that most American parents take for granted. That’s why time is of the essence. We can’t afford to wait until parental rights are gone before seeking to defend them—now is the time to take action.
You can play a vital role in the process of amending the Constitution by joining with ParentalRights.org in the fight to protect children and parents. If you believe that the vital role of parents in the lives of their children should be protected and preserved, then we need your participation in the campaign to pass the Parental Rights Amendment!
Rebekah Pizana | National Coalition Director | ParentalRights.org | 540.645.9475 (c)
March 6, 2014
How Can We Help Justina
The tragic case of
Justina Pelletier has suddenly thrust the issue of parental rights into the
national consciousness. But with all the attention, many of you are asking the
same thing we were:
What can we do to help this
(If you aren’t already aware of this horrible case of
government intrusion, read more about it here.)
We have been working to coordinate with
lawmakers and other organizations to have the biggest possible impact for this
family. We are already promoting both a general and a specific parental rights
statute in the Massachusetts legislature. We also support the bipartisan
resolution in the Massachusetts House that urges the Department of Children and
Families (DCF) to return Justina to her parents’ care.
Below are ways
you can help this family in these and other areas, plus ways to
prevent similar cases in the future. Please look over the list carefully. I am
confident there is something here that you can do!
Contact your state lawmakers and urge support for a parental rights statute.
Don’t let the nightmare in Massachusetts come to your state! (To find contact
info, do a web search for “legislature” plus the name of your state.)
Write a letter of encouragement to Justina through our friends
at Liberty Counsel. If DCF won’t let her have them now, Liberty Counsel will
hold them for her until she returns home. Mail to Justina Pelletier c/o
Liberty Counsel, P.O. Box 540774 Orlando, FL 32754
another to her parents, Lou and Linda Pelletier. Liberty Counsel will have no
trouble delivering these right away. Mail c/o Liberty Counsel at the address
4. Call your U.S. congressman and urge him or her to
support HJRes 50, the Parental Rights Amendment. Find their contact
info by clicking your state at parentalrights.org/states.
5. Make the most generous donation you can right now to continue our efforts to
preserve parental rights for the Pelletiers and to prevent more cases
like this in the future.
If you live in Connecticut or
Massachusetts, in addition to the above you can:
1. Call your Massachusetts lawmakers and urge them to support the
resolution of Reps. Lyons and Lombard that demands DCF return Justina
to her parents’ care. OR
Call your Connecticut lawmakers and ask them to pass a
resolution calling for Justina’s return to her home state. Why should
they allow her to be held by Massachusetts without any showing of abuse or
neglect on the part of her Connecticut parents?
2. Contact your
governor and urge him to demand that Justina Pelletier be returned home
immediately. (Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick)
Good news has already
emerged as Justina’s medical care has been transferred back to Tufts
Medical Center, removing Boston Children’s from the medical picture. Working
together, we can see this girl returned to her parents’ care and, hopefully,
returned to health as well. What’s more, we can stop her nightmare from
playing out ever again.
Director of Communications &
|P.O. Box 1090 Purcellville, VA
20134 * (540)-751-1200 * email@example.com|
February 26, 2014
Pelletier Headed to Foster
Care, Romeikes' Fate Uncertain
watching two court cases on Monday, and neither has been resolved.
first case was Romeike v. Holder, the asylum case for the family who
fled Germany over their right to choose the form of education their children
receive. Given that every case on Monday’s list was denied cert (turned
down for a hearing before the Supreme Court), we were thankful the case did not
make the list. But the case’s absence from the entire report came as a complete
surprise. To be on the discussion schedule for Friday (as it was) and not
reported on the following Monday is exceptional.
Romeike case has been scheduled for discussion again this Friday,
February 28. So we will watch for the March 3 report to learn whether
the Court will take up this case to defend parental rights.
case was that of Justina Pelletier, the 15-year-old Connecticut girl who
was taken into custody by the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families
on Feb. 15, 2013 – more than a year ago – because her parents and
doctor disagreed with a new diagnosis issued by a doctor at Boston Children’s
Justina was diagnosed in 2012 with mitochondrial disease,
a condition in which the cells are unable efficiently to produce the necessary
energy for sustaining the body. It is a hereditary condition which she shares
with her older sister. Through a special diet and supplements, Justina’s mito
was under control, allowing her to do the things a normal teen would do,
including her favorite: ice skating.
Then she got the flu, and was sent
to BCH where her gastroenterologist has privileges. But when she got there, the
hospital refused to let her see her specialist. Instead, a new doctor denied her
treatment for her pain and other symptoms and sent in the psychiatric team
instead. Justina was diagnosed with somatoform disorder – a psychiatric
condition in which she is only imagining her health symptoms – and moved to the
When her parents protested and sought to take her to
Tufts Medical Center – the respected teaching hospital where her own fully
licensed physician practices – BCH called in Massachusetts Department of
Children and Families, who took custody of Justina. The hospital accused
the parents of medical abuse – for following the diagnosis and treatment
instructions issued by her own physician!
Parents Lou and
Linda Pelletier have been through several hearings in the last year, each time
hoping that reason will reign and their daughter will be returned to their care.
In December, the judge ruled that Justina could leave the hospital – but that
she would remain in the care of the state. She was later transferred to a
non-medical care facility.
The latest hearing was Monday, Feb. 24 – the
same day we expected to hear back on the Romeike case - and the family
once again hoped and prayed that Justina would be returned home. Since the
change in her diagnosis and treatment, her physical condition has worsened
considerably, to the point that she can no longer walk, but is constrained to a
Instead, the judge ordered her into foster care, still under
the direction of Massachusetts DCF, and still without the medical care she
needs. Overwhelmed by sadness and stress, mother Linda collapsed outside
the court room and had to be taken by ambulance to another Boston
hospital, where she is still being kept for observation. Even more tragically,
Justina continues to suffer the wrong medical care while the state
pursues its case of “medical abuse” against her parents.
Pelletiers return to court March 17 for the next hearing in their custody
battle. Lou Pelletier is also due in court on March 24 on charges of contempt
for appearing on Glenn Beck’s The Blaze program to talk about his
daughter’s case, in spite of a gag order issued by the judge to protect the
secrecy of the court. It is apparently Lou’s belief that the First Amendment
protects his freedom of speech, and that his fundamental rights as a father make
him the safeguard of his daughter’s privacy rights in such a situation. (It is
also presumed that Justina appreciates and agrees with her father’s attempts to
secure help for them both.)
According to the United States Supreme Court,
“The law… historically…has recognized that natural bonds of affection
lead parents to act in the best interests of their children.” And
again, “Simply because the decision of a parent…involves risks does not
automatically transfer power to make that decision from the parents to some
agency or officer of the state.” Parham v. J.R., 442 U.S. 584
While ParentalRights.org is not currently involved in the
Pelletier case, we are working to promote statutes in every state to protect
this right of parents to make medical decisions for their children.
Ultimately, the answer lies in adopting the Parental Rights Amendment to the United States
Constitution to forever protect this right of parents to be the
first, best line of defense for their children’s interests.
our efforts, please pass this email along. If you are not
already on our mailing list, you can join by signing the petition at parentalrights.org/petition. Or you can volunteer here. Lastly, you can support our ongoing mission financially here.
Thank you for standing with us as we
work to halt government abuses of parental rights, especially
related to our most vulnerable – persecuted families in need of asylum and
children in need of medical care.
Director of Communications &
|P.O. Box 1090 Purcellville, VA
20134 * (540)-751-1200 *
February 21, 2014
"Social Worker for Every
Child" Bill Passes
In Edinburgh yesterday,
the Scottish Parliament passed the “Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill”
by a vote of 103-0 with 15 abstentions. This legislation, which is specifically
intended to fulfill Scotland’s perceived obligations under the United Nations’
Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), includes a provision to assign a
specific government worker to every child at birth. These “named persons” will
be charged with safeguarding each child’s welfare and with representing the
state to the family. Giving a state actor, in place of or alongside parents,
responsibility for children is a drastic measure usually reserved for
cases of child abuse or neglect – but Scotland has deemed it necessary
to guarantee the “best interests” of every child as called for in the
There is no doubt Scotland’s provision will be praised by the CRC
Committee and held up to the rest of the world as an exemplary implementation of
the treaty. Nor will it take long for other nations, hungry for the approval of
these UN “experts,” to follow in Scotland’s shoes.
Surely such a thing
could never happen in America, though. Boston and Edinburgh are separated by
3,000 miles of Atlantic Ocean (and a bit of Scottish soil) – a daunting stretch
of ocean which many of our forebears courageously traversed to secure for
themselves and their posterity the freedom to raise their families in
What’s more, our Supreme Court once held that “The statist
notion that governmental power should supersede parental authority in all cases
because some parents abuse or neglect children is repugnant to American
tradition.” Parham v. J.R., 442 U.S. 584 (1979)
we are not in that America anymore. One need look no further
than the latest headlines to find parents right here in America having their
decisions overruled without cause by government workers.
Justina Pelletier has been held by the State of Massachusetts for over a year
against her wishes, her parents’ judgment, or the advice of her doctors, because
of a diagnosis disagreement with Boston Children’s Hospital. Justina, who was
diagnosed with Mitochondrial disease (or “mito,” a chromosome disorder that
creates a broad range of symptoms), went to BCH in February, 2013, for flu
complications. While there, attending physicians rejected her mito diagnosis and
removed her from her prescribed regimen, claiming instead that she had a
somatoform disorder -- that her problems were all in her head. When her parents
disagreed, the hospital called in state actors to remove the girl from her
parents’ custody. Although the prior mito diagnosis had been issued by a duly
licensed physician at a respected teaching hospital, and although its treatment
was effective for keeping her symptoms in check, the hospital accused
the parents of medical child abuse for accepting their own doctor’s
diagnosis over that of BCH.
Sadly, after a year under BCH
treatment for her new diagnosis, it would appear Justina’s “imagination” is
growing stronger; she is now wheelchair bound and deteriorating
Desperate to save his daughter, Lou Pelletier last week defied a
gag order issued by the court and took his story to political talk show host
Glenn Beck. Now he has been charged with contempt for speaking up.
Pelletiers return to Massachusetts family court on Monday (Feb. 24) in hopes
that the judge might miraculously return their daughter to their care and let
her get the help she needs. A trial date for the contempt charge has not yet
Sadly, stories like this are not rare anymore, and there are
more such cases every year. Maryann Godboldo in Detroit. “Baby Sammy” Nikolayev
in California. Sarah Hershberger in Ohio. (These stories and more were included
in our recent State of Parental Rights in
Parents in America are losing their rights to, well,
parent. How long will it be before our children, too, are assigned a
social worker for life the moment they are born?
Parental Rights Amendment can halt this madness. It will erect a barrier around
your parental rights that the state cannot violate. (In cases of abuse or
neglect, however, the government would retain its rightful authority to
And here’s how you can help.
if you are not yet receiving our emails, you can sign the petition to support
the Parental Rights Amendment at ParentalRights.org/petition. Or
donate to continue our efforts at ParentalRights.org/donate. You can
also join the growing list of volunteers in your state by signing up at ParentalRights.org/volunteer.
can call your congressman and urge him or her to support HJRes. 50, the
Parental Rights Amendment, by becoming an official cosponsor. They can
contact Martha Van Lieshout in Rep. Mark Meadows’ office to be added to the list
(which you can see at 4pra.us/House). You can reach your
congressman through the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 or
find their direct contact info by clicking on your state at ParentalRights.org/States.
soon have a state worker assigned for every child, and other nations will no
doubt follow. But here’s a better idea: How about a parent for every
child? And let’s halt the government at the
Director of Communications &
|P.O. Box 1090 Purcellville, VA
20134 * (540)-751-1200 * firstname.lastname@example.org|
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