DAILY TOOL: Does Parental Presumption Take Away CPS Power?

TOOL OF THE DAY: Parental Presumption

CATEGORY: Family Law

How many times has CPS stormed into someone’s life and then told them that they had to do exactly as they were told? How many were told that they had to attend some sort of counseling or rehabilitative parenting type of program or had a looming threat of loss of your child? And all because a social worker might not agree with the decisions that you were making!

How many courts have been using child affidavits, letters, and testimony from within their chambers to deprive that child of that parent’s authority and time?

“[s]imply because the decision of a parent is not agreeable to a child or because it involves risks does not automatically transfer the power to make that decision from the parents to some agency or officer of the state.” Id. at 603, 99 S.Ct. 2493 (emphasis added). Thus, except in special circumstances, the state normally must defer to the exercise of a broad degree of parental discretion.

Schleifer By Schleifer v. City of Charlottesville, 159 F. 3d 843 – Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit 1998

[much above is from dissent.]