Minnesota parents seek changes to child welfare system as federal trial begins

October 9, 2018

Hundreds of parents whose children were removed by the state are demanding changes to Minnesota’s child welfare laws, arguing they are overly broad and tear apart families.

On the opening day of a federal lawsuit against the state, about 200 parents and their children gathered Tuesday morning in front of the federal courthouse in St. Paul to protest what they claim are systemic racism and unnecessary investigations by child protection agencies. They point to state data showing that African-American children are more than three times more likely than white children to be reported to child protection and removed from their homes.

The trial could determine whether Minnesota’s laws designed to protect children from abuse and neglect are in keeping with the U.S. Constitution.

In opening statements, attorneys for the parents said they are seeking stronger parental protections and the right to use corporal punishment to discipline their children.

Chris Serres • 612-673-4308 Twitter: @chrisserres

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