In a lot of the EU novels, it sounds as though it is mandatory for a family to give up their force-sensitive children to become Jedi. Is this the case? Were parents given an option? Or were the children essentially taken from them, regardless of their desires? I understand that for some parents this would be preferable, but would imagine that it would create tension between citizens and the Jedi. Are there instances of parents declining to allow the Jedi to train their children?
Even Sith indoctrination admitted that Jedi would not always force a Force-sensitive child to become a Jedi (they claimed that there was an option to not use the Force).
This is what Darth Sidious told young Maul in The Wrath of Darth Maul:
“Many Force users joined the Jedi Order, but the Jedi were not satisfied with their numbers. They sought out the so-called wizards and demons, and gave them three options. Join the Jedi, cease using Force powers, or die.”
“Join the Jedi.” Sidious said. “Relinquish your individuality and freedom, and fight only when the Jedi tell you to fight. Cease using Force powers. One might as well tell an ordinary life-form to stop living. Die... Well, I don't believe that requires an explanation. And so, the Jedi not only increased their ranks but destroyed those who disagreed with them.”
In addition, there were tons of Force Sensitives that weren't Jedi (e.g. witches of Dathomir). Jungle Felucian were all Force sensitive but none were Jedi. There were other whole societies of independent Force-users.
Also, Jedi were shown in canon to be ONLY allowed to take orphans without parental consent. You can see that in the case of Baby Ludi.
As was shown, this was a rare enough edge case that it generated big publicity.
After a groundquake on Ord Thoden, a team of Jedi rescue workers found a Force-sensitive child named Ludi Billane in the ruins of the Ord Thoden capital, Domitree. Presuming the child's parents to be dead, the Jedi took her and decided to train her in the ways of the Force. However, the girl's mother, Jonava Billane, remained alive. Learning upon recovery that the the child had survived, she traveled to Coruscant to seek reunion with her daughter. The caseEdit
Jonava Billane petitioned to be reunited with her daughter Ludi. However, the Jedi Council rejected her petition arguing that they would not give her back her child—now named "Aris-Del Wari"—because it was too dangerous to release one whose mind had been opened to the Force.
Note that Jedi's ONLY defense was that it was too dangerous to return the child due to the fact that she was already being trained - NOT that the mother didn't have rights to raise her.
This is a good question.
Some EU sources are mildly contradictory on this, but most agree that the Jedi did not take Force-sensitive children by force. This is most obvious in the novelisation of Revenge of the Sith, which establishes in G-canon that the Jedi have not taken Force-sensitive children rom their parents against their will. Count Dooku plans to create a "New Sith Army" by taking the children of Force-sensitive parents across the galaxy and training them alongside Anakin Skywalker, who is to be his apprentice and the Sith Army's general. Dooku expresses disdain for the Jedi who did not force "the barbaric Nightsisters" and other Force-sensitives to give up their children. Unfortunately, Wookieepedia doesn't seem to mention this in their article on the novelisation, though it is mentioned in the article on the Nazi-style High Human Culture practiced by the Empire. It must be said, however, that even Dooku's plan only involved human children. Much like Palpatine, Dooku was a Human supremacist.
Sources from lesser-canon works include Timothy Zahn's Outbound Flight novel, where Jorus C'baoth's kidnapping of Force-sensitive children to train them as Jedi is depicted as breaking with Jedi tradition, and almost causes he and Obi-Wan to launch into a very public verbal argument.