“The right of parents to direct the upbringing of their children is among the ‘unalienable rights’ with which the Declaration of Independence proclaims all men … are endowed by their creator.” Justice Anton Scalia
A powerful statement given legal authority in a series of Supreme Court decisions holding that the United States Constitution protects “the fundamental liberty interest of natural parents in the care, custody, and management of their child.”
Nonetheless, states treat these basic of rights as expendable, allowing mothers to sign irrevocable consents to adoption within minutes of birth, or, even worse, to sign consents before birth with only a short revocation time. Fathers have even less protection. Unless they can navigate complicated legal procedures before the birth of their child, they may not even have the opportunity to contest the adoption. Once children are adopted, most states deny them the right to know who their natural parents are.
On this Fourth of July, as we enjoy our hot dogs and beer and fireworks, let’s dedicate ourselves to repealing these unjust laws.