Definition of in loco parentis
- (UK) IPA: /ɪn ˌləʊkəʊ pəˈrɛntɪs/
From Latin in locō parentis (“in place of a parent”)
in loco parentis (not comparable)
- (law) Assuming the place or position of a parent
All persons in loco parentis have a responsibility to care for the child
The term in loco parentis, Latin for "in the place of a parent" refers to the legal responsibility of a person or organization to take on some of the functions and responsibilities of a parent. Originally derived from English common law, it is applied in two separate areas of the law.
First, it allows institutions such as colleges and schools to act in the best interests of the students as they see fit, although not allowing what would be considered violations of the students' civil liberties.
Second, this doctrine can provide a non-biological parent to be given the legal rights and responsibilities of a biological parent if they have held themselves out as the parent.
The in loco parentis doctrine is distinct from the doctrine of parens patriae, the psychological parent doctrine, and adoption. In the United States, the parental liberty doctrine imposes constraints upon the operation of the in loco parentis doctrine.
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