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.