Parental Rights? What rights?

Few people other than parents will ever know the depths of love and pride a parent feels for their children. As a parent, you keenly feel your sacred duty to love, care-for, teach, and protect your children. That is why “Parental Rights” is such of a funny-sounding concept, because it is something we tend to take for granted. Most people assume, that as a parent you have the right to instruct your children, help them make decisions and have the right to know about, and consent to, whatever medical procedures their children may undergo. But sadly this is not always the case. In recent years, we have seen an erosion of parental rights. With increasing, and alarming regularity the State has been allowed to come between us and our children and decide what we do and do not have the right to know in regards to our child. The state’s intrusion between parent and child is an affront to parents and it hurts the children by preventing us from being parents. Enough is enough. It is time for a change.

A child who got his license suspended for DUI, got a lawyer and fought the case, all without his parents ever finding out. The mom only found out because he was late paying the lawyer and the mom found the bill in the mail. All that time the kid was driving the family car with a suspended license. Now when I hear this, I instantly think of all the traffic injuries and fatalities involving new drivers. I think of all the things we have done to feel like we are making a difference, but at the same time, we were keeping the people who could actually make a difference (the parents) in the dark. Now if your child gets a DUI, don’t you think you should know about it? Don’t you think that the best course of action would be to notify the parents so they can take away the keys or discipline their child for breaking the law? I agree with you, and years ago I amended the teen driver to send a notice to parents if their child gets a traffic infraction.  Since then, over 60,000 notices have gone out to parents, letting them know about their child’s dangerous driving so they can take away the keys before tragedy strikes.

If you think that parents should be notified of their child’s driving infractions, what about medical decisions? Do you think that a parent should have a role in planning their child’s medical care? I do. I think that parents should be involved in the medical treatment of their children. To that end, I ran a bill that would prevent healthcare providers from withholding medical information about children from their parents. This makes sense to me. Parents are responsible for the life, health and welfare of their child. How can they help their child make decisions or plan their child’s healthcare if they aren’t allowed to access the information? It would be like a school withholding a child’s grades from the parents but still expecting that the parents will somehow be able to take the steps necessary to ensure their child’s success in school. Besides, a child can’t even get a tattoo without parental consent; parents should at least be allowed to access to all of their child’s medical information.

Parents need to be allowed to be parents. The state should not hamstring parents by preventing them from getting information about their children.