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Parens patriae can be translated as “the father of the country.” This concept generally means that a government has the authority, as a sovereign over its citizens, to act in a protective manner. The term is often applied in disputes over the well-being of children and people with disabilities. The doctrine of parens patriae consists of a set of interests that the government, such as the state, has in the well-being of its populace.

The State's Interest

The concept of parens patriae was adopted from English precedent and is the origin ofthe state's power to preserve and protect the health, patriotism, morality, efficiency, industry, and integrity of its citizens. As a result, the state, as parent to all its citizens, has the inherent prerogative to provide for ...

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