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Archive for March, 2009|Monthly archive page

Parental Rights Resolution Reaches 66 Sponsors in Congress

In Childrens Rights, National Parents Day, Parental Rights Amendment, Parents rights on March 29, 2009 at 2:44 pm

The Parental Rights Movement can now count on 66 Congressman in support of Parental Rights Amendment introduced in Congress by Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R) of Michigan’s 2nd District.

Slated to be reintroduced this week by Congressman Hoekstra, H. J. Resolution 97 had slow beginnings last year but quickly picked up many more supporters with the inclusion of and advocacy of many divorced and non-custodial parents (NCPs) in the past few weeks.

Originally the idea of the home school advocates in direct response to the growing threat of the passage of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) by the Obama administration, the inclusion of the 10s of millions of divorced parents who have lost custody of their children has given new life to the passage of a parents rights amendment by the states.

The resolution is worded very simply in legal terms but would grant parents the U.S. Constitutional protected rights to direct the upbringing and education of their children free of governmental interference barring an overriding governmental concern such as criminal abuse or neglect of a child.

PARENTAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT
FOR THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION

SECTION 1
The liberty of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children is a fundamental right.

SECTION 2
Neither the United States nor any state shall infringe upon this right without demonstrating that its governmental interest as applied to the person is of the highest order and not otherwise served.

SECTION 3
No treaty may be adopted nor shall any source of international law be employed to supersede, modify, interpret, or apply to the rights guaranteed by this article.

Originally drafted by Michael P. Farris of the Home School Legal Defense Association, the draft resolution would create an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would guarantee rights to parents that have been supported by many US Supreme Court decisions over the past 70 years, but never codified at the federal level.

To quote directly form the ParentalRights.org website:

“A constitutional amendment will ensure that judges who are currently denying parental rights will be obligated to recognize them. It will ensure that judges who are presently refusing to recognize parental rights because of their lack of explicit protection within the Constitution will instead safeguard parental rights.

The founders of this country created a nation ruled by laws, not men. Placing parental rights into the text of the Constitution ensures that law will defend the American family. A constitutional amendment will shield the child-parent relationship from government intrusion, regardless of who sits on the Supreme Court.

Not only does an amendment adequately address the threat posed by judges who refuse to recognize parental rights, but it also meets head-on the threat against the child-parent relationship posed by international law.

HOW AN AMENDMENT PROTECTS THE FAMILY FROM INTERNATIONAL LAW

As a legally binding international treaty, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is capable of permanently altering the role of the parent within the American family. If ratified, the UNCRC becomes the law of the land, unable to be held in check by state or national legislation. The only way to protect the rights of parents from the destructive policies contained in the UNCRC is through an amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Presently, except in cases where a parent has been proven to be “unfit,” American law presumes that the parent is acting in the best interests of the child, and defers to that parent’s decision. The UNCRC, in contrast, supplants this traditional presumption in favor of parents with a new presumption in favor of the state.

The Senators who originally opposed the ratification of the UNCRC when it was originally signed by President Clinton in 1995 believed that the Convention marked a significant departure from the American concept of the relationship between state and child, and was incompatible with the right of parents to raise their children.

The only way to protect the vital role of parents from this cataclysmic shift is through amending the U.S. Constitution to reflect current Supreme Court doctrine which preserves the right of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children.

That’s why the Parental Rights Amendment is so important. If passed, the Parental Rights Amendment will protect and preserve the vital child-parent relationship for generations to come.
WHY NOW?

The judges on the Supreme Court will change over time, but the law will not. If the U.S. Constitution is amended to secure parental rights, the vital child-parent relationship will be effectively shielded from intrusion by the government.

Amending the constitution is an enormous task—requiring time, resources, vision, dedication, and hardworking people who will make it happen. But it is not impossible.

Timing is everything. Parental rights are in an uncertain state within the federal courts, and danger is on the way. In only a matter of time, international law could erase the rights that most American parents take for granted. That’s why time is of the essence. We can’t afford to wait until parental rights are gone before seeking to defend them—now is the time to take action.

You can play a vital role in the process of amending the Constitution by joining with ParentalRights.org in the fight to protect children and parents. If you believe that the vital role of parents in the lives of their children should be protected and preserved, then we need your participation in the campaign to pass the Parental Rights Amendment! ”

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Who’s Your Daddy?

In Childrens Rights, Family Rights, fatherlessness, National Parents Day on March 27, 2009 at 10:58 pm

There’s more to fatherhood than donating DNA.
by W. Bradford Wilcox
12/12/2005, Volume 011, Issue 13

BIRTHS TO UNMARRIED MOTHERS ARE at a record high in the United States–almost 1.5 million in 2004 alone, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. While the rising trend is of long standing, one novel factor driving up childbearing outside marriage is the growing popularity of single motherhood by donor insemination. The incidence of this “assisted reproduction,” as it is called, has more than doubled in the last decade.

Most public discussion of donor insemination for single women has been carried on in a neutral, positive, or breathlessly celebratory tone. Isn’t it great, the thinking seems to be, that these women are fulfilling their aspiration to be mothers with the latest technology that medical science can offer? Support groups like Single Mothers by Choice and mainstream publications like the Atlantic Monthly, the New York Times, and the Washington Post describe donor insemination for unmarried mothers occasionally as a “sad” necessity for women who cannot find “satisfactory” partners, but more often as “awe”-inspiring, “liberating,” or “empowering.” Television shows like NBC’s drama Inconceivable, broadcast this fall, glamorize assisted reproduction.

This enthusiasm is notable at a time when European countries are skeptical enough to actually ban the process. Sweden and Italy bar single mothers from engaging in either in vitro fertilization or use of anonymous sperm (or, in Italy, eggs), and Britain and the Netherlands have banned the anonymous donation of sperm. Also striking is how adult-centered our public conversation has been. Until recently, virtually no attention was paid to how the children of donor fathers make sense of their experience. Nor has the public debate acknowledged the moral and social ramifications of deliberately creating a whole class of children without identifiable fathers.

But there are good reasons to worry about this latest manifestation of fatherlessness. Listening directly to the voices of donor-conceived children should give us pause. Kyle Pruett, a psychiatrist working at the Yale Child Study Center, reports in a recent book that such children have an unmet “hunger for an abiding paternal presence.” He quotes one girl as saying, “Mommy, what did you do with my daddy? You know I need a daddy or I can’t be a child.” A story in the New York Times last month reported that donor-conceived children check out strange men to see if they match the physical traits of their donor dads. “It’ll always run through my mind whether he meets the criteria to be my dad or not,” said JoEllen, a girl from Russell, Pennsylvania.

Young adults voice similar sentiments. Olivia Pratten, a 23-year-old Canadian conceived through donor insemination, told the Toronto Globe and Mail about her fatherless life: “I had to grieve. It wasn’t till I was 17 or 18 that I got it. I felt very angry. How dare someone take my choice away from me? How dare the medical profession tell me it doesn’t matter?” And a 15-year-old boy profiled recently in the New Scientist was so determined to find his father that he submitted a sample of his own DNA to an online DNA-testing service. He was able to match it to a family surname and from there to track down his dad. Young people with less ingenuity are probably out of luck. U.S. law does not regulate donor insemination, and most donors choose anonymity, making it very difficult to find them.

But there is an even more basic reason to worry about the deliberate creation of fatherless children. The best evidence from the social sciences shows that fatherless children as a group fare less well than children reared in intact, married families.

I recently chaired a team of 16 family scholars with expertise in disciplines like economics, anthropology, and psychology who surveyed the latest peer-reviewed research on family structure and child well-being. Our report, Why Marriage Matters (available at the website of the Institute for American Values), found that children reared in single-parent homes are two to three times more likely to face serious negative emotional, social, or health outcomes than children reared in intact, married families. These findings apply up and down the social ladder. They also apply in societies with generous welfare systems like Sweden, where poverty for single mothers is largely a non-issue.

Take crime. One study of 6,403 boys carried out by scholars at Princeton and the University of California at San Francisco found that boys raised in single-parent homes are twice as likely as others to end up in prison. Or teenage pregnancy. University of Arizona psychologist Bruce Ellis, who studied 762 girls in the United States and New Zealand, found that girls who saw their father leave the family before age six were more than six times as likely to have a teenage pregnancy as girls whose fathers stuck around through their entire childhood. Or suicide. A study of all Swedish children between 1991 and 1998 found that those in single-parent families were twice as likely to attempt suicide and 50 percent more likely to succeed in committing suicide than children in two-parent families. Note that these studies control for factors like race, education, and poverty that might otherwise distort the relationship between family structure and child well-being.

It appears that children are even affected physically by father absence. Pioneering work by Bruce Ellis suggests that the timing of puberty in girls is linked to the presence of a biological father: Girls who grow up without their biological fathers experience puberty (and therefore are likely to have sex) at significantly younger ages than girls who grow up with their fathers.

Why do fathers matter to children?
Fathers typically bring an extra pair of hands, an extra set of kin, and extra income to the child-rearing enterprise, not to mention extra concern for the child’s well-being. They also perform better than mothers when it comes to disciplining their children–especially their sons. Finally, fathers who are in good marriages with the mothers of their children implicitly teach girls to expect respect from members of the opposite sex, and boys to treat girls and women with respect.

For all these reasons, it is time to bring children’s welfare into the discussion of donor-assisted single motherhood. A serious consideration of children’s best interests would probably lead us down a regulatory road comparable to that being pursued in Europe, with bans on the donor-insemination of single women and on the anonymous donation of sperm and eggs. It won’t be easy to rein in a multibillion-dollar fertility industry that is used to catering to the desires of adults unhindered by regulation or moral objection. Nor is it possible to protect all children from fatherlessness, given the vicissitudes of life. What should be possible is to reject the deliberate conception of children without flesh-and-blood fathers committed to playing a paternal role in their lives.

W. Bradford Wilcox is an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Virginia and a resident fellow at the Institute for American Values in New York.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Protected/Articles/000/000/006/450lpafj.asp

Parental Alienation: A Family’s Heartbreak: A Parent’s Introduction to Parental Alienation, a new book

In Childrens Rights, CPS, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, federal crimes, judicial corruption, parental alienation, Parental Rights Amendment on March 25, 2009 at 4:11 pm

by Mark Godbey
March 25, 2009

Just recently, I received a notification that a friend of mine has published a book on Parental Alienation. Because of the heinous nature of family court, and repercussions not only from the family court judge, but revenge from the alienator, my friend wrote the book under a pseudonym.

The book is available from his website, but can also be purchased on Amazon.com

Dear Mark,

We are pleased to announce that our book, A Family’s Heartbreak: A Parent’s Introduction to Parental Alienation, is finally out.  For legal reasons, I wrote the book under the pseudonym Mike Jeffries.

In conjunction with the release of our book, we have also introduced a new website — http://www.afamilysheartbreak.com. If you have our old Hugs to Heartbreak website bookmarked, in your contact information, or as a link on your webpage, please replace it with our new URL.

Anyone can order your book at http://www.afamilysheartbreak.com. The book is also available on Amazon.com, however people will receive it faster if they order it directly from our new website.

We wrote “A Family’s Heartbreak: A Parent’s Introduction to Parental Alienation” to raise the visibility of an issue that as you know, affects millions of parents, children and extended family members every year.

We’re confident “A Family’s Heartbreak: A Parent’s Introduction to Parental Alienation” will families deal with their very painful situations and educate the legal and mental health professionals involved in your case about this very destructive family dynamic.

Just wanted to let you know.

Best,

m. “jeff” jeffries.

Childrens & Parental Rights in Family Court

In Childrens Rights, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, Parental Rights Amendment on March 8, 2009 at 5:24 pm

by Mark Godbey
March 5, 2009

Over the past decades, parent’s rights and childrens rights in family and juvenile courts have been affirmed by many courts. But still parent’s and childrens rights are trampled on by the state in the areas of education, divorce, custody and religion.

It is time to codify the courts’ rulings. We need a Parental Rights Amendment.

One case in particular, Santosky v. Kramer, 102 S Ct 1388; 455 US 745, (1982). comes to mind:

To quote, “Even when blood relationships are strained, parents retain vital interest in preventing irretrievable destruction of their family life; if anything, persons faced with forced dissolution of their parental rights have more critical need for procedural protections than do those resisting state intervention into ongoing family affairs. The Supreme Court noted its “historical recognition that freedom of personal choice in matters of family life is a fundamental liberty interest protected by the Fourteenth Amendment.”

Yet, for most parents, Constitutional procedural protections have not been extended to parents, in fact, the have been legislated out of existence for more transient political purposes, for example, domestic violence. Domestic violence restraining order are not issued in criminal court since domestic violence is a matter before a criminal judge. When was the last time that a married couple was dragged before a “family court” judge for an incident of domestic violence? They are not. They go before a criminal judge, where Constitutional due process rights are upheld. Not in family court, however.

But if you are getting divorced, suddenly domestic violence becomes not a “real crime” but a tactic to keep children away from one parent or the other. In criminal court, you have the 6th amendment right of confrontation and physical evidence must be produced for a crime to have been committed. The evidence must be “clear and convincing” in most cases, and in some “beyond a reasonable doubt”. In family court, this evidence standard is ignored.

“Clear and convincing evidence” is evidence that is not self-contradictory or vague and tends to prove the fact for whose proof it is tendered. It would normally involve not only an unequivocal allegation as the central fact but be accompanied by accurate peripheral detail which would allow the court to see that the evidence is consistent with the external factual matrix, of which the nature is known independently of the witness, ” so says my friend Barbara C. Johnson of False Allegation.com.

The Santosky decision held that a “clear and convincing” proof standard is constitutionally required in parental termination proceedings.

Santosky, 102 S.Ct. 1388, 455 U.S. 745, 769-770 (1982). “Few forms of state action are both so severe and irreversible.” Id. “The Constitution of these United States is the supreme law of the land, any law that is repugnant to the constitution is null and void of law.” Id.

“`The fundamental liberty interest of natural parents in the care, custody, and management of their child does not evaporate simply because they have not been model parents or have lost temporary custody of their child to the State.'” Youmans v. Ramos, 429 Mass. 774, 777 n. 7 (1999), quoting Santosky v. Kramer, 455 U.S. 745, 753, 102 S.Ct. 1388, 71 L.Ed.2d 599 (1982).

To quote another case:

“The rights of parents to the care, custody and nurture of their children is of such character that it cannot be denied without violating those fundamental principles of liberty and justice which lie at the base of all our civil and political institutions, and such right is a fundamental right protected by [the First] amendment and Amendments 5, 9, and 14.” Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (l965).

So where does that leave us here in the United States of America? In the 50 state, Puerto Rico and other Territories? According to the many state laws enacted, almost nowhere. The states have gobbled federal dollars to enforce court-ordered “supervised visitation and court ordered child support payment, and there is no incentive for them to stop.

Stop to think about it. If the federal judiciary is saying that what the states legislatures and state courts are doing is wrong and illegal, then why does the federal legislature keep creating piggy bank legislation to do just what the federal judiciary says is un-Constitutional?

The answer is simple, we need state laws that mirror Constitutional law regarding civil rights, and due process rights that the US Supreme Court states that “we the people” have.

It is time for state parental rights amendments.

California Parental Rights Amendment

Section 1. The right of biological parents to direct the upbringing of their children, and to the care, companionship and society of their children is a fundamental right.

Section 2. The right of children under age 18 to the care, companionship, and society of their biological parents is a fundamental right.

Section 3. The state of California, nor any administrative, judicial, executive or legislative act, directive, order or rule or ruling shall infringe upon these rights without demonstrating evidence beyond a reasonable doubt in a jury trial that such a fundamental rights be abridged except in cases of criminal neglect, abandonment or abuse. No governmental act or acts now in existence can be created to supersede, modify, interpret, or apply to the rights guaranteed by this article.

Please join in:

http://apps.facebook.com/causes/224467?m=3f1cca43