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38-141. Parents' rights to exercise primary control over the upbringing of their children; cause of action. (a) As used in this section:

(1) "Child" means a person under 18 years of age; and

(2) "parent" means and includes a natural parent, an adoptive parent, a stepparent or a guardian or conservator of a child who is liable by law to maintain, care for or support the child.

(b) It shall be the public policy of this state that parents shall retain the fundamental right to exercise primary control over the care and upbringing of their children in their charge. It is further the public policy of this state that children shall have the right to protection from abuse and neglect.

(c) Nothing in subsection (b) shall be interpreted to expand, diminish or in any way alter the scope of the rights of parents or children to the extent such rights exist as of the effective date of this act.

(d) Any parent may maintain a cause of action in state court or in any court of competent jurisdiction for claims arising under the principles established in subsection (b). Any person authorized by law to act on behalf of a child may maintain a cause of action in the name of such child in any court of competent jurisdiction for claims arising under the principles established in subsection (b).

History: L. 1996, ch. 229, ยง 159; July 1.


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