HALL MONITOR: “YES” to confirming that the state of Indiana, its government, and government officials may not infringe on a parent’s right to direct the care and upbringing of their child (HB 1407)

PDE Action supports HB 1407, protecting parental rights.

Name: Indiana House Bill 1407, Parental Rights

Summary: Confirms that the state of Indiana, its government, and government officials may not infringe on a parent’s right to direct the care and upbringing of their child. 

Author: Representative Dale DeVon

Co-Authors: Representatives Chris Jeter, Robert Heaton, and Lindsay Patterson

Sponsors: Senators Aaron FreemanStacey Donato, and Jeff Raatz

In Indiana, an author writes the bill and presents it to his or her chamber for consideration. A sponsor carries the bill in the other chamber. Here, Representative DeVon wrote the bill and presented it to the Indiana House, and Senators Freeman, Donato, and Raatz carried the bill to the Indiana Senate. 

Bill Breakdown: House Bill 1407 would bar state entities or employees in Indiana from infringing on the right of parents to direct the upbringing, education, health care, and mental health of the parent’s child without proving that interfering (1) is required by a compelling governmental interest and (2) cannot be done by any other reasonable means. 

This bill creates a “right of action” for violating a parent’s rights pertaining to caring for their child. In other words, this bill gives parents the grounds to take legal action against to someone who interferes with their parental rights.

The bill ensures that a parent may….

  • Refer to and raise the child consistent with the child’s biological sex
  • Decline to consent to the child receiving the following: medical interventions that alter the gender or sex of the child or affirm the child’s perception of their gender, medical procedures that alter what the child looks like so as to make them appear a different sex or gender, counseling or other mental health services that affirm the child’s gender identity is inconsistent with their biological sex  

The bill also says that if a juvenile court finds that a child needs services because the child is a risk to themselves or others, the court shall release the child to the child’s parent, guardian, or custodian and The child may only be removed from the home if (1) the court finds that the child is a child in need of services for another reason; or (2) the parent, guardian, or custodian consents to the child being removed from the child’s home. 

The bill does not authorize parents to abuse or neglect their child or stop a court from issuing orders that are allowed by law. 

This bill died in committee during the 2023 legislative session. However, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb signed into law a different parental rights bill, House Bill 1608. That bill requires schools to inform parents if and when their child requests to live as another gender identity at school.  

Why did PDE Action support this bill? 

Parents, not the government, have the right to direct the care and upbringing of their children. 

PDE Action supports Indiana House Bill 1407 because it protects parental rights and ensures that no government or state official may interfere with parental rights unless it’s necessary to protect the health, safety, or wellbeing of a minor child. 

Families are the building block of society, and parents have the right to decide their children’s upbringing, care, and education. The government should not make decisions about a child without the parent’s knowledge or consent.

Read our Parental Rights and Transparency Palm Card here. 

If you are concerned that a child in Indiana suffers abuse or neglect, please contact Indiana Department of Child Services.