In loco parentis

The term in loco parentis, Latin for "in the place of a parent",[1] 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, the doctrine is applied in two separate areas of the law. First, it grants educational institutions such as colleges and schools discretion to act in the best interests of their students, although not allowing what would be considered violations of the students' civil liberties.[2] Second, this doctrine may allow a non-biological parent to exercise the legal rights and responsibilities of a biological parent if they have held themselves out as the parent.[3]

The in loco parentis doctrine is distinct from the doctrine of parens patriae, the psychological parent doctrine, and adoption.[4]

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