While parental rights are fundamental, Virginia courts put a child’s best interests first. That should not change, intentionally or inadvertently.
The Virginia Senate passed a bill last week to amend the Virginia Code to state, “A parent has a fundamental right to direct the upbringing, education and care of the parent’s child.”
Sounds benign, and superfluous. U.S. Supreme Court rulings acknowledge a parent’s right to raise a child as a fundamental right protected under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Parental autonomy is already the law in Virginia.