Family Research Council

In this case FRC contends that respecting fit legal parents' child-rearing choices in the absence of actual harm to children is the only sure safeguard against the increasingly intrusive demands of the modern state to "micromanage" the American family. The Maryland Court of Appeals should subject all third-party claims for custody and visitation to the same constitutionally required threshold showing of either parental unfitness or harm to the child. Absent clear and convincing evidence of compelling circumstances involving actual or potential harm to children or parental unfitness, neither the federal Constitution nor the Maryland Declaration of Rights should tolerate government intrusion into the parent-child relationship for the purpose of the state evaluating parents' child-rearing decisions, on the basis that the state or third parties believe there to be "better" alternatives.