All in the Family


When is it proper for the state to intervene in a family on behalf of a child’s well-being? Most Americans agree that the state can, and should, remove a child from physically abusive parents. What about parents who relentlessly mock the sexual orientation of their son? Or teach their daughter that women should never work outside the home? Or forbid their child’s exposure to any “secular” books, music, or art?

A refuge of intimacy...

The remainder of this article is only available to paid subscribers.

Print subscribers to Commonweal are entitled to free access to all premium online content. Click here to purchase a print subscription, or if you’re already a print subscriber, register now for premium access.

Online-only subscriptions provide access to all premium online articles for just $34/year or $2.95/month. Click here to subscribe.

Registered users, please log in below:

Or log in with...


About the Author

Robert K. Vischer, a frequent contributor, is professor of law at the University of St. Thomas and the author of Conscience and the Common Good: Reclaiming the Space Between Person and State (Cambridge University Press).