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     40-4-227. Rights of parents and children -- policy -- findings. (1) It is the policy of the state of Montana:
     (a) to recognize the constitutionally protected rights of parents and the integrity of the family unit;
     (b) to recognize a child's constitutionally protected rights, including all fundamental rights unless those rights are specifically precluded by laws that enhance their protection; and
     (c) to ensure that the best interests of the child are met in parenting proceedings.
     (2) The legislature finds:
     (a) that while it is in the best interests of a child to maintain a relationship with a natural parent, a natural parent's inchoate interest in the child requires constitutional protection only when the parent has demonstrated a timely commitment to the responsibilities of parenthood; and
     (b) that a parent's constitutionally protected interest in the parental control of a child should yield to the best interests of the child when the parent's conduct is contrary to the child-parent relationship.

     History: En. Sec. 3, Ch. 414, L. 1999.

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