Children born in the United States are United States citizens, and are guaranteed due process, equal protection of laws, and the privileges and immunities of the respective states.1
The rights compiled below are intentionally limited to only those rights most likely to be implicated in legal matters involving allegations of child abuse or neglect. Identified rights include those that have been enumerated in the federal Constitution or have developed from Supreme Court decisional law.2
The information in this guide is divided into (1) enumerated rights3 and (2) implicit rights. It also includes limited instances where rights have been clearly developed but have not been made expressly applicable to children4. We welcome knowledge and information about cases we may have missed, and/or cases in the appellate pipeline that raise important issues related to children’s constitutional rights and related constitutional doctrines.
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