Co-opting Parental Rights

by cogdogblog

Empty child's chair---Photo by cogdogblog


To Absorb, Assimilate, Take Over, Appropriate

Families are under incremental attack on many fronts.  I happen to be an optimist, as are many of you.  In our society, we take things as they are, for granted.  It’s human nature.

I like to see the glass  half full, to enjoy my leisure and believe the best of my fellow men, but the truth is, either by design or ignorance, there are freedoms and rights that are slipping away from us nearly unnoticed.   I read this quote over at United Families. It makes  my parental blood boil, because I have seen enough of social workers, family courts and foster care to know just how true it is.

“As a society grows lax in its defense of the traditional family, the goals of the anti-family movement draw closer to fulfillment.  Their desire is to create a genderless society that is run by the state – void of religion, marriage and parents.  They hope for a pleasure-filled culture with no responsibilities and zero accountability.”

There is no one societal element that encompasses all of these goals, but each separate element plays a part, and cohesively, they are overwhelming in power.  Identifying the trend is the first step in reversing it.  Then, get involved with both feet.

The idea that the family is somehow replaceable by bureaucrats, or that mothers and fathers don’t know what is best for their children is a natural outgrowth of the breakdown of the family.  The government takes on an increasing role in parenting as increasing numbers of parents ditch out on responsibility in lieu of personal pursuits.

Unfortunately, it’s a self feeding cycle.  Once the distrust of parents is entrenched, the guilt is by association, and the assumption that naturally comes is that the nanny state knows best.  It’s not just limited to child custody, the attitude is spreading like a cancer through the education system and into international waters.  In some countries, the culture of the child is preeminent and parents are nothing more than caregivers with no ability to teach, discipline or correct.  These trends must be reversed.

What is the state of these attitudes in our country?  Check out these stories from the parental rights front of the war on family over at

—Beetle Blogger


WEST VIRGINIA—A West Virginia mother was shocked when a local circuit judge and a family court judge ordered her to share custody of her four-year-old daughter with two of the girl’s babysitters. Referring to the sitters as “psychological co-parents,” the justices first awarded full custody to them, only permitting the mother to visit her daughter four times a week at McDonalds. Eventually she was granted primary custody, but forced to continue to share her daughter with the sitters.

When her case finally reached the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals in October 2007, the beleaguered mother was relieved to finally be granted full custody of her daughter.

In their October 25 opinion, the Supreme Court justices wrote that they were “deeply troubled by the utter disregard” for the mother’s rights. One justice referred to the mother’s right as the “paramount right in the world.”

Chief Justice Robin Davis summed up the case in one simple question: “Why does a natural parent have to prove fitness when she has never been found unfit?”



MASSACHUSETTS—When his 5-year-old son came home from a school with a “Diversity Book Bag” including a book to be shared with his parents, David Parker began reading. He was distressed to find that one of the books, titled “Who’s in a Family” depicted two families led by homosexual partners.

Reluctant to expose his son to homosexuality at such an early age, David immediately contacted the school, intending to establish a dialogue as a concerned parent. His well-meant call, however, swiftly escalated into a dispute which pitted the father against the school.

After refusing to leave a scheduled meeting with school officials until the matter was resolved, David was charged with criminal trespassing and spent the night in jail—simply because he was concerned about the material being presented to his son.

A no-trespass order was issued, prohibiting Parker from setting foot on school grounds. While a local court has dropped the criminal trespassing charge against the father, he has procedurally been placed on “pre-trial probation” for one year.



CONNECTICUT—As a proud new mother, Diana Owen’s joy at her daughter’s birth soon turned to deep concern for the baby’s health. At only a few months old, tiny Bryanna-Rose seemed prone to violent vomiting episodes, at times struggling for breath while her lips turned a bluish color.

When she first began to observe her daughter’s frequent incidents of projectile vomiting, the panicked mother rushed her baby girl to the hospital. For Diana, that day marked the beginning of many sleepless nights at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence while her baby daughter underwent numerous tests to determine her condition.

While doctors grappled for an explanation for Bryanna-Rose’s sporadic yet violent symptoms, Diana waited—having no idea that something more sinister was afoot: a growing suspicion of Diana’s reliability when it came to her claims about her daughter’s health.

When hospital personnel informed the anxious mother that they were taking her daughter into “protective custody,” she was shocked. But gradually the cold realization began to dawn on her: the medical personnel at the hospital were accusing her of Munchausen by Proxy, a mental disorder wherein a parent or primary caregiver actually induces or fabricates a child’s illness as a ploy for attention from doctors.

Turning a deaf ear to Diana’s cries, officials handed little Bryanna-Rose over to the Department of Social Services (DSS) and eventually a new foster mother. The new foster mother was floored, however, when Bryanna-Rose began violently vomiting. “It’s not the mother!” she told DSS, “This baby does have projectile vomiting!”

Even with the foster mother’s validation, Diana’s battle to gain trust continued to drag on. The day officials took her daughter, Diana could not have guessed that eleven months would go by before she was permitted to visit with her alone—and only after months of psychological evaluation and intrusive questioning by social workers.

Today, while Diana is delighted to have her daughter back, she feels bruised by the experience—particularly by the eleven months of separation from her daughter. “It is myself and my family that will face the consequences of this nightmare,” she says.




  1. { Lisa } said,

    December 17, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    This is both disgusting and scary at the same time. Who in their right mind, would do these things. Makes you wonder what kind of parents they had for them to hate parents so much and so intrusively step on their rights?

  2. James R. said,

    December 17, 2008 at 7:06 pm

    My sister is a social worker, or was. She says that the pressure is so great to solve society’s problems, that any family becomes suspect. Your son gets out the door without his hair combed every so often? Maybe it’s just a hectic morning or maybe there’s something really wrong. There are many many social workers out there who give families the benefit of the doubt, but there are no kudos down at the office for finding out a family is doing ok. There are all kinds of wrong reinforcements for being the one to “out” the abusers and neglectful ones. Whether it’s grounded in truth or not.

    The disrespect of families has major consequences in the child custody arena.

  3. Mary Ane said,

    December 17, 2008 at 7:17 pm

    That’s the kind of disruption that should never be made in a child’s life unless absolutely necessary. There should be no mistakes.

    I don’t know that much about social work, but I am a homeschool mom and I know that before we took our kids out of public school, the teachers were always on the look out for kids who hadn’t had breakfast. It was a big deal to the lady in the office. She kept cookies and granola bars under her desk and patted herself on the back whenever some kid would come wandering through proclaiming breakfast neglect so they could have one.

    Perhaps it’s part of people putting off having kids. They just don’t have a good grounded understanding of how incredibly smart kids can be because they’re not around kids as much. Kids are no dummies when it comes to cookies and granola bars.

  4. Emissary said,

    December 17, 2008 at 7:53 pm

    I have to admit, I thought the article sharing custody with baby-sitters was a satire at first. I had to follow the link and read the whole thing to actually become convinced that this happened. What were they thinking? What’s next? A daycare demanding custody rights over a child and refusing to let the parents move? I worry about this, actually. I worry that some day it will be seen as “parental neglect” if children aren’t in a daycare by 2 to “become socialized”.

    Little children do not know what is best for them. For example, I know many people who were “forced” to take piano lessons when they were young. They didn’t enjoy it at all. But now, as adults, they are so grateful for it. Same with being “forced” to go to church.

  5. beetlebabee said,

    December 17, 2008 at 7:59 pm

    It breaks my heart to think of the families upset and broken because parental rights of these families were trampled so easily. It takes just a momentary decision by some official to rip a child away from it’s mother, let the facts be worked out in the system. Meanwhile, months pass and irreparable harm has been done. These aren’t the only stories. There are hundreds more. Can you even imagine what these parents went through?

    The little empty seat really says it for me.

  6. rubyeliot said,

    December 17, 2008 at 8:00 pm

    It just goes to show that we are a nation suspicious of families. Instead of promoting, encouraging, celebrating…we are quick to criticize and assume the state can do a better job.

  7. JillJean said,

    December 17, 2008 at 8:38 pm

    Wow. that’s all I’ve got for this one B. Wow. If you can’t trust parents, who can you trust?

  8. wootmama said,

    December 18, 2008 at 12:02 am

    I remember hearing about this deal with the dad going to jail for trying to protect his kid from the school indoctrination, but I hadn’t heard about the other two.

  9. Pearl said,

    December 18, 2008 at 2:19 am

    Oh Beetle, Beetle. What is happening to our society when darling, innocent children are stolen from their mothers’ arms based on suspicion and judicial mandate? Whatever happened to “innocent until proven guilty?” Seems as though it doesn’t exist anymore.

    In all this attack on the family, it is the children who will suffer most. The children. The babies. The kids. The funny little chiclets who fill our days with laughter and sunshine. And when “parents” no longer exist? When Big Brother government is “daddy?” All the laughter and sunshine will be gone and the bewildered children will be standing there naked, stripped of all meaningful relationships, vulnerable to the whims of a harsh world. And parents will have no right to help them, save them, love them, hold them, cherish them. Who will cherish them? Government doesn’t have the time or ability to cherish them; only educate them. Who will adore them? Who will caress their soft little cheeks and read bedtime stories and have tickle wars? Life should be happy and carefree for children. There is enough “reality” to fill their adult lifetime later on.

    Parents = stability & safety = sound, well-rounded development.

  10. December 18, 2008 at 2:49 am

    It’s important to keep an eye on what your kids are learning at school so that they don’t get fed “Diversity Big Books” or at least hear the truth about the issues.

  11. beetlebabee said,

    December 18, 2008 at 3:20 am

    Yeah, the trouble is, I remember going to school and having no idea that my mother would have objected to something until I was an adult. There was so much junk that went on in my school that my parents had no idea of.

  12. Pat said,

    December 18, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    “Government doesn’t have the time or ability to cherish them; only educate them.”

    If you look at the statistics it doesn’t even do a good job of that.

  13. Pearl said,

    December 18, 2008 at 8:28 pm

    Thanks Pat. You are right, of course. I revise, “…only [poorly] educate them.”

  14. lahona said,

    December 24, 2008 at 1:32 am

    Diana Owens story is the saddest part of this article. Because honestly what can be done to DSS to cause them to reform? You cannot sue them unless you have millions to invest in such a law suite. There are no rules to rein in the DSS. They must be controlled somehow so that situations like these do not ever happen.

  15. January 5, 2009 at 1:02 am

    “There is no one societal element that encompasses all of these goals”

    I beg to disagree. These are all stated goals of Marxism.

  16. beetlebabee said,

    January 5, 2009 at 1:10 am

    It’s interesting that you should say that. I’ve just been watching a presentation by Jennifer Roeback Morse on the ties between homosexuality and socialist communism.

    I think you are right.

  17. Diana Owen said,

    May 14, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    I want to thank you for publishing this story.

    I just want to say I did not do this alone .

    We had the two best Court Appointed Lawyers in Mass Esq James Harrington and Esq David Tibbetts. I will never say in my life time that Court Appointed Lawyers do not care.
    These two lawyers fought DSS at every turn ,they both knew what DSS was doing to our family and DSS had NO case from the statrt.
    Dr. Lee Birk and countless others who supported us threw this mess, once they saw I was telling the truth and witnessed what Bryannna – Rose was doing. ( and my big brother)

    Most of all I want to thank my husband, he gave up so much to stand by us.
    When DSS could not get him to agree with them, that I have Munchausen and divorce me, they started going after his mental status.
    He had 1 wk and 2 days to graduate , DSS would not let him finish school.
    DSS played mental games with him – a few times they told him he could go back and finish at the last second they would inform him if he left they would take Bryanna -Rose – each time DSS did this he had penalties on his student loans.
    My husband lost a dream job of a life time because of this case, the company waited for my husband to graduate ,when he was not allowed to the company looked for him .When the company was told what happened they wrote a letter to the judge and DSS — Too Bad !!!!
    We were going threw other peoples trash to get scrap mental to save enough money for him to go back to school after the case was closed.
    We were so heart broken threw out this case, it was not easy !!!
    No matter what DSS did to him or us he never left our side.

    Before Bryanna – Rose was born my husband and I were child/ family Rights activest, we worked with Federal and State officals to reform DSS, to put a cap on DSS federal spending, DSS insentive to baby mill children or use the medical field to abuse children children to gain more federal funding. (Munchausen)
    One week after DSS in Mass took Bryanna -Rose, DSS questioned our activest work.

    RI Hospital’s own medical records reported that their own staff was seeing what I was claiming, before RI took Bryanna – Rose.????

    Here is the big issue RI Hospital told DSS that Bryanna – Rose did not spit up in those 5 days -We have recorded evidence that the RI Hospital nurse told us the day after Bryanna – Rose was taken she vomited 2x on the 5th day multiple times, the nurse stated that she had Bryanna- Rose in other babies rooms for feeding time.
    RI. hospital had a problem with the fact that I would not leave her side, RI Hospital failed to inform any one that there was NO! security of any kind on Bryanna-Rose’s floor other than the nurses at the nurses station?
    RI. Hospital called my husband while in school in FL and asked if he had witnessed what I was reporting, he stated YES! and gave them great details.
    RI.Hospital also called Bryanna- Roses Pediatrician in Florida, ( Bryanna was born) That Pediatrician stated in a fax that Bryanna – Rose vomited several times.

    RI.Hospital stated they treated us with respect untill I showed them sign’s of child abuse — No! after I called a Doctor an ASS.. I was questined.
    The day after I called the Doctor an ass ( he truly was) I had Pediatric Psychologist questoning me for a mental evaluaction.
    It was so poorly done that my lawyer was given a Court Order ( on taped) to allow him to question the Pediatric Psychologist- She refussed and so did RI Hospital.
    One of our Lawyers filed for a limine on the Court Investigator’s report, It was riddled with half truths, half the time it did not comply with pretrial technical rule, she gave my husband and I her trained Psychological Evaluation as a Lawyer.
    The Court Investigator was contacting the Psychologist during my Evaluation so was DSS to offer their professional trained oppion of my mental status. DSS tried this with DR. Lee Birk ,That did not sit well with Dr. Birk, He called my lawyer right away and told him what DSS was doing and he was uncomfortable (letter).

    There were two other Professionals that did not get mentioned in the Boston Glob- Doctor Stanley T. Spevack of Fall River Mass and Cathrine Ayoub of Mass child and Law.

    Dr. Spevack was the first Doctor that I saw in Mass, First jerk!
    On record DSS stated he was diffcult to work with.
    On the last visit to Spevack Bryanna -Rose vomitted 4x that morning, once in his hall. We were treated like crap and I left again.
    Bryanna – Rose was geting worse by the afternoon that’s when my sister took us to RI. Hospital
    After we got Bryanna -rose back, we had another visit with Dr Spevack.
    An Early Intervention Worker went to the visit with us to tell Spevack her concerns out Bryanna-Rose, The EI worker stated her name and title and asked if Bryanna could be allgeric to milk or lactose , Spevak stated to her I do not care who you are, babies are not allergic or lactose they would die! He then turned to me and asked if I went for my Psy Eval yet , I stated to him that was non of his concern, between my lawyer and myself, Spevack said I beg to differ, I agree with RI Hospital and Bryanna ‘s lawyer you have Munchausen and the sooner your family see’s it the better,
    ( Spevack is a Pediatrician not a Psychologist ).
    Bryanna’s visiting nurse wrote Spevack a letter about her concerns (DSS case worker told her to) Spevack again made it my fault.
    Dr. Spevack wrote letters to all of the doctors, out side of his office , that Bryanna -Rose was about to see at Boston Childrens Hospital, etc, Spevack informed each Dr that I had Munchausen over my head!
    One of Dr. Spevack test’s showed that I was telling the truth about her skip breathing, he dismissed it, this was before we went to RI. Hospital.

    Dr. Spevack played hard right along with RI. Hospital and DSS and others in accusing me of Munchausen. Remember even DSS stated he was diffcult to work with. DSS still forced us to take Bryanna – Rose to see Spevack threw out the whole case. DSS went on every Doctor’s visit, that felt great !!

    DSS witnessed two of eleven of Bryanna ‘s 104 fevers, the last one the 2 DSS case workers witness 104 they stated ” they could not bare to see her that way it is not like Bryanna, this is the happyest kid they have ever seen ”
    DSS called Dr. Spevack-?????.
    There is much more on Dr Stanley T. Spevack of Fall River Mass.

    Bryanna’s Lawyer Lennor Pipper hired -Cathrine Ayoub – not a Doctor or an Psychologist ( RN , MN ,Doctorate in Education ).
    Ayoub wanted to evaluate me alone without my lawyer, NO WAY!, DSS and Esq Pipper took us to court to force us to see her without my lawyer, my lawyer stated that would violate my civial rights and the judge agreed.
    DSS still tried to force us to comply with Ayoud alone even after the Judge said it would violate our rights.

    Ayoub did an Munchausen Expert Witness Evaluation on me baseed on The Psy Eval by RI. Hospital, Staff at RI. Hospital, Dr. Spevack DSS, my first Psychological Evaluation – (the one that DSS & Court Investgator called on to give oppion.)
    I don’t need to tell you what her evauation turned out to be. I was the worst Mother ever!! I was a Monster.
    Even Bryanna- Rose made her look like a fool ( very high IQ & Social skills)

    Ayoub uses medical oppion that Dr. Meadows would not use the founder of Munchausen and is serving time (15 yrs) for false reporting Munchausen.
    In the New England Psychologist news paper of May 2007 she stated she wants to work with DSS to prove that children with ADD or ADHA there mom’s have Munchausen. $$$$$
    DSS uses ADD or ADHA on children even if they do not need it to gain more federal funds and Ayoub wants to work with DSS to prove their mom’s have Munchausen !!!! $$$ –Munchausen is so Rare she just so happen’s to have 50 Legally- ruled cases 2 families have completed a 10 yr treatment process.
    In my case Ayoub took any tactic to get medical records of me – a lie or without my concent.(Evidence !) It dose not matter what she has to do to get a Munchausen case. Dr. Meadows is serving time for that ?

    Our Lawyers stated that no matter how much evidence we have or support DSS, RI. Hospital , Esq Lennor Pipper, Dr. Spevack, Ayoub are not going to let go, so our Lawyers allowed us to do our activest work in this case.
    We went to our local Representatives in Mass we asked they to review the conduct of DSS in violation of Title 22 , They reviewed conduct and case ,then wrote letters to the DSS Commissioner and the Ombudsman, inturn the Ombudsman hired an other expert to review if I have Munchausen and less than a month the Ombudsman called my lawyer and stated I do not have Munchausen and DSS droped the case.
    On June19 2007 – DSS set up a meeting with 3 of our supporting Professionals, to try to teach me how to deal with Doctors and how I have to live with Munchausen on Bryanna – Roses medical records – this can happen again and again– even now the Doctors are aware of the case and they do make US pay !!!!!!
    Sue Photo Head DSS- on that day still wanted me to admit to guilt , Doctors don’t lie !!
    This is how DSS closed the case out to show they did their job right and help save another family.
    We are over 80 thousand in the whole because of this case.
    To this day WE are treated like crap by the medical field, still all mom’s fault ..
    We now treat Bryanna – Rose on natural products only and what a huge differance a better quility of life.

    We want to thank you for your time, and thank you for putting this story out there, all the support has been a healing
    .– I could use help in geting my name cleared … and demand that Diana Owen recieve the Ombudsman report , under the freedom of information act. I have been trying to get the Ombudsman report for over 2years.

    DFS Commissinoer & Kevin Barbosa Ombudsman.
    Department of Family Services
    24 Farnsworth Street Boston Mass 02210

    Thank you

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