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Do children have the same civil rights as adults?

Des Moines, IA |

For instance, if a child is put in foster care and deprived of visits with their parents, have their 14th amendment rights been violated?

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Attorney answers 3


No. Children, by their nature, must be protected and, when parents can't or won't do so, the state does it. When that happens, the state sets the rules. Sometimes contact with parents is not allowed (or subject to certain terms and conditions) as a matter of protecting the child.

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This answer is offered as a public service for general information only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.


The child will be represented by a guardian ad litem appointed by the court. The GAL is responsible for advancing and protecting the legal rights of the child. Visitation is permitted by court order. Changes to a visitation schedule must be approved with notice to all parties and an opportunity to be heard. The recommendation of the DHS worker regarding visitation will carry significant weight with the juvenile court. If you seek a change in the
visitation schedule, then I suggest you get the DHS worker and GAL on board
to improve your chances of having the juvenile court order it.


Children placed in foster care do have rights, just like children who live in their own homes have rights. The difference comes in who is protecting and asserting the rights of the children.

Once any minor is removed from the parents custody, care and control, someone other than the parents will be responsible for making decisions on behalf of the child.

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