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Parental Rights

You are a Proud Parent!

      You made your decision and survived your pregnancy and the birth. You now have a beautiful baby boy or girl. What's next??! There are many things to consider when you become a parent. The following is list of some helpful tips and some information that every parent should have, as well as tips on specifically being a parent while you are still in your teen years.

Your Rights as a Parent:

     You do have rights as a parent and it is important to know these. Some of the more important rights that you possess as a parent include the following:

* the right to custody and control over your child;
* the right to cooperation and obedience from your child;
* the right to your child's earnings; and
* the right to sue if someone wrongfully injures or kills your child.

For you as a parent these rights mean specific things:

1. The right to custody and control over your child essentially means that as a parent you can make the important decisions about your child's life. That is you, as a parent, can decide: where your child will live, with whom he or she will live, what he or she will do from day to day, what school he or she will attend, when he or she needs medical care, and what, if any, religion he or she will practice.

2. The right to cooperation and obedience from your child entitles you to just that: cooperation and obedience. This right translates into the right to discipline your child in a non-abusive and non-neglectful manner. NOTE: Your child does not have to obey you if you have ordered him or her to do something that is dangerous or illegal. In fact, if you have encouraged your child to commit dangerous or illegal acts you may be charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, child abuse, or neglect.

3. The right to your child's earnings means that you as a parent can legally collect and keep the money that your child earns. However, there are limitations on this right. Your child's earnings will not be entirely available to you in the following circumstances:

* if you have exploited, neglected, or abandoned your child;
* if your child's income is the result of his or her special talent or athletic ability; or
* if your child's income is the result of a gift or inheritance.
Furthermore, most parents allow their children to keep the money that they have earned.

4. The right to sue if someone wrongfully injures or kills your child enables you to recover costs such as medical and funeral expenses, as well as lost earnings, lost companionship, and pain and suffering in the event of your child's death or injury.

     Your rights and authority as a parent cease when your child reaches the age of majority (that is, 18). In addition, your rights and authority as a parent can be suspended or terminated in any of the following situations:

* the court appoints a guardian of the person over your child;
* your child gets married;
* the court suspends or terminates your parental rights due to abuse or abandonment of your child;
* your child is made a ward of the juvenile delinquency court;
* your child has been emancipated by the court; or
* your child enlists in the military.

Related Links
Teen Pregnancy
Birth Control
Signs of Pregnancy
Pregnancy Tests
Pregnancy Myths
If You're Pregnant
Child Support
What to Expect From Pregnancy
Fetal Development
Breast Feeding
Coping With Fatigue
Toilet Training
Terrible 2's
Play: A Child's Work
Article - Dr. Stephen Duncan
Parent Resolutions