in loco parentis

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In loco parentis is a Latin term meaning "in [the] place of a parent" or "instead of a parent." The term refers to a common law doctrine which denotes the legal responsibility of some person or organization to perform some of the functions or responsibilities of a parent.

The typical organization found to be in loco parentis is a school, which is deemed to have some of the responsibilities of a parent over its students. Additionally, siblings or grandparents who take on the role of raising their sibling or grandchild may also be found in loco parentis. 

[Last updated in January of 2023 by the Wex Definitions Team]