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Parens patriae

Parens patriae is Latin for parent of his or her own country. As the state has sovereignty over everything within its jurisdiction, parens patriae refers to the power of the state to act as the parent of any child or the authority over any individual who is in need of protection such as an incapacitated individual (sometimes called a person in need of protection) or a child whose parents are unable or unwilling to take care of the child.

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