THE HAGUE, Netherlands -- Thirteen-year-old Laura Dekker wants to become the youngest person to sail solo around the world, and her parents think that's a great idea.
But the Dutch Council for Child Protection is so concerned about the dangers of the marathon voyage it has asked a court to grant it temporary custody of Laura so it can do what her parents refuse to: Halt the trip.
Judges at Utrecht District Court were to announce Friday whether they will scupper Laura's record-breaking plans. In the meantime, the legal battle has ignited a wide-ranging debate even in this traditionally seafaring nation about the role that parents should play in their children's risky adventures.
The rat race to become a so-called "super child" - the youngest to accomplish some grueling feat - can be fueled by ambitious parents, laser-focused children with talent, or youngsters with a deep need to please or be praised, psychologists say.
Dutch social workers fear that could be an issue in Laura's case, for she lives with her Dutch father who is divorced from her German mother.