According to IPPF and UNICEF, children should have the right to consent to sex and sexual health services without the knowledge or consent of parents if they desire such. In their twisted thinking, the very fact that a child desires to have sex or to receive explicit information about sex indicates their capacities have evolved enough to not involve the parents. Consider the following examples:


  • UNICEF’s publication Legal Minimum Ages and the Realization of Adolescents’ Rights states:
    •  “…for adolescents, the possibility to have access to sexual and reproductive health services without parental consent is a critical dimension of access.” (p. 30)
    •  In accordance with their evolving capacities, children should have access to confidential counseling and advice without parental or legal guardian consent, where this is assessed by the professionals working with the child to be in the child’s best interests.” (p. 32)


  • The World Health Organization cites the “evolving capacities” standard to justify giving adolescents as young as age 10 “sexual and reproductive health services without parental consent” as follows: “Human rights standards at the international, regional and national levels are well developed regarding the protection of adolescents under 18 [WHO defines adolescents as people aged 10–18] from discrimination in accessing both information and services for sexual health. They also require states to guarantee adolescents’ rights to privacy and confidentiality by providing sexual and reproductive health services without parental consent on the basis of their evolving capacities.


“privacy and confidentiality” Privacy from whom? Confidentiality from whom? Many governments are not aware that the provisions granting children privacy and confidentiality rights would be interpreted to mean privacy and confidentiality from parents.


The goal of SIECUS and Planned Parenthood and other activists is to abolish parental consent laws for controversial services such as abortion, contraception, and sexual counselling or possibly for controversial medical procedures such as transgender hormone treatments or cross-sex surgery as well. Consider the following example:


  • Sexual rights activists such as “Advocates for Youth”, the youth arm of Planned Parenthood, claim that:
    •  a child’s “right” to sexual and reproductive health includes a right to “full access to confidential youth-friendly and evidence-based sexual and reproductive health services.”  Confidential services means without the knowledge and consent of parents.


Clearly, any references to confidentiality or privacy in relation to children, youth, or adolescents should be opposed in all legislative negotiations. (See Parental Rights)


What consent laws are in my state?