In Loco Parentis Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of In Loco Parentis, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is In Loco Parentis?

Latin word meaning ” in place of parents or instead of a parent”. It is a term or doctrine whereby someone has been given all the rights to behave, act and be a parent without going through adoption formality. Normally those who have been a custodian of children or who have been foster parents are given such priviledges.

History and Meaning of In Loco Parentis

In Loco Parentis is a Latin term that refers to a legal doctrine whereby someone assumes the responsibilities and rights of a parent without actually adopting the child. This term is commonly used in education, where teachers and school administrators are expected to act in loco parentis while students are in their care.

The concept of in loco parentis has its roots in English common law, where it was used to assign responsibility for the actions of minors to adults who were acting in the role of parent. In the United States, this doctrine has been adopted by courts and legislatures to extend legal parental rights to non-parent actors in certain contexts.

Examples of In Loco Parentis

  1. A teacher who has temporary custody of a student during a field trip is expected to act in loco parentis in providing for that student's safety and well-being.
  2. A coach who takes on the responsibilities of caring for student athletes during an away game is acting in loco parentis and is responsible for their safety and wellbeing.
  3. A school nurse who provides medical care to a student is acting in loco parentis and can make emergency decisions, such as calling an ambulance if necessary.

Legal Terms Similar to In Loco Parentis

  1. Guardian ad litem: a court-appointed individual who is responsible for representing the rights and interests of a minor or legally incompetent person in legal proceedings.
  2. Ward of the court: a minor who is under the legal guardianship of the court, which assumes responsibility for their physical care and financial support.
  3. A trustee: someone who is appointed to manage assets or funds on behalf of another person, such as a child, who cannot do so themselves.