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The aim of this article is, first of all, to analyse Polish law in relation to the institution of deprivation of parental authority, and secondly, to decide, on the basis of the analysis, whether this institution serves as a punishment for parents or it is a kind of tool for helping children. Deprivation of parental authority is the measure of the deepest interference with the relationship between the parents and the child. As a consequence of using it, parents lose all attributes of that authority. Legal prerequisites of deprivation of parental authority are divided into obligatory and facultative. The analysis of legal regulations shows that the spoken legal measure was conceived as a tool for helping children.