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ADF launches roadmap for parents to understand, defend their rights

‘Promise to America’s Parents’ empowers parents, policymakers to protect their rights in education, health care

Thursday, Jul 7, 2022

WASHINGTON – Responding to the growing number of government officials who are imposing harmful ideologies that usurp the fundamental rights of parents, Alliance Defending Freedom, The Heritage Foundation, and the Family Policy Alliance formed a coalition to launch the website on Thursday. The Promise provides a roadmap for parents, community leaders, and lawmakers to understand and defend the rights of parents through law and policy.

“Parents—not the government—have the right to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their children,” said ADF Senior Counsel and Vice President of Advocacy Strategy Emilie Kao. “Yet we are seeing a wave of government policies that usurp parents’ fundamental rights by imposing destructive ideologies that politicize education and health care for children. The ‘Promise to America’s Parents’ equips parents, community leaders, and lawmakers with the tools needed to ensure that local, state, and federal government officials respect and protect parental rights.”

ADF’s “Promise to America’s Parents” provides guidance on parental rights and responsibilities to school boards, policymakers, and state and federal lawmakers. The initiative empowers parents, policymakers, and lawmakers to “ACT” to…

  • increase Accountability for the government in conflicts between parents and the state.
  • increase Choice for parents in their child’s education and health care.
  • increase Transparency for parents in their child’s education and health care.

The Promise coalition consists of local, state, and national community groups and policy organizations that defend parental rights in the court of law and in the court of public opinion. Together, they represent the concerns of racially, religiously, and politically diverse parents.

  • Pronunciation guide: Kao (GOW’)

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.

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ABOUT Emilie Kao

Emilie Kao serves as senior counsel and vice president of advocacy strategy for Alliance Defending Freedom. Before joining ADF, Kao served as director of the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at the Heritage Foundation. She also served as senior legal counsel at an international human rights law firm, East Asia team leader in the U.S. Department of State’s Office of International Human Rights, and director of international advocacy at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. She was an adjunct professor at Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University and is co-editor of the “First Principles on International Human Rights” essay series. She has testified before the U.S. Congress and spoken at the United Nations in Geneva and New York. Kao earned her A.B. cum laude from Harvard University and her J.D. from Harvard Law School. She is a member of the state bars of California and the District of Columbia and is admitted to practice in the U.S. Supreme Court.