Parental rights; fundamental right to make decisions concerning upbringing, etc., of their child. (SB908)

Introduced By

Sen. Bryce Reeves (R-Spotsylvania) with support from co-patron Sen. Mark Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Rights of parents. Provides that parents have a fundamental right to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their children and such right shall not be infringed by the government unless the governmental interest as applied to the parents is of the highest order and not otherwise served. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Passed


01/04/2013Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/09/13
01/04/2013Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/09/13 13103252D
01/04/2013Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/28/2013Reported from Courts of Justice with substitute (8-Y 6-N) (see vote tally)
01/28/2013Committee substitute printed 13104555D-S1
01/29/2013Constitutional reading dispensed (39-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/30/2013Read second time
01/30/2013Reading of substitute waived
01/30/2013Committee substitute agreed to 13104555D-S1
01/30/2013Engrossed by Senate - committee substitute SB908S1
01/31/2013Read third time and passed Senate (25-Y 15-N) (see vote tally)
01/31/2013Reconsideration of passage agreed to by Senate (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/31/2013Passed Senate (26-Y 14-N) (see vote tally)
02/02/2013Placed on Calendar
02/02/2013Read first time
02/02/2013Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
02/18/2013Reported from Courts of Justice with substitute (12-Y 3-N) (see vote tally)
02/18/2013Committee substitute printed 13105336D-H1
02/19/2013Read second time
02/20/2013Read third time
02/20/2013Committee substitute agreed to 13105336D-H1
02/20/2013Engrossed by House - committee substitute SB908H1
02/20/2013Passed House with substitute (69-Y 26-N)
02/20/2013VOTE: PASSAGE (69-Y 26-N) (see vote tally)
02/21/2013House substitute agreed to by Senate (29-Y 11-N) (see vote tally)
02/21/2013Title replaced 13105336D-H1
02/23/2013Bill text as passed Senate and House (SB908ER)
02/23/2013Signed by President
02/23/2013Signed by Speaker
03/21/2013G Approved by Governor-Chapter 678 (effective 7/1/13)
03/21/2013G Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0678)


This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 2 clips in all, totaling 13 minutes.


Bubberella writes:

How about the right of a Mom to punish her 2-year-old by making her ingest chili powder?

Laurie LaGoe writes:

Parents have the right to raise their children free from interference from child protective services unless there is torture of the child involved such as what Bubberella wrote about above my comment.

Child protective Services take children away from poor and parents with disabilities more often then rich abusive parents without disabilities. Children have no business being taken away from parents just for what the parent might ingest into their own bodies. Those children taken by the state and placed in foster care suffer more abuse then they do with their own parents many times over. Forced anti psychotic medications cause wide spread suffering including Tar dive Disconesia and obesity.

That goes on to forcing parents of adolescents to put their children on forced medications due to arbitrary diagnosis of depression or face child abuse/neglect charges.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

Children have no business being taken away from parents just for what the parent might ingest into their own bodies.

Your assertion is that drug addiction and alcoholism are a parent's right, and the state has no say in whether that environment constitutes a suitable upbringing for a child? Do I have that right?

Ellen Carlson writes:

I believe that a parent unable to conform his or her behavior to societal norms abdicates his or her right to raise a child . . .and, quite frankly, if a parent smoking crack doesn't lose his parental rights, we have failed as a society!