By Terri LaPoint, Real News Spark
November 13, 2019
It is not just abusive parents who receive a knock on the door from social workers saying, “We’re here to take your children.” More often than not, children are taken from their families based on accusations that are unsubstantiated. Innocent parents can lose their children because they made an educational decision that someone didn’t like, asked for a second medical opinion for their child, or because someone made a false allegation against the parents.
According to the federal AFCARS report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, less than 16% of children taken from their homes are taken for reasons of any kind of abuse.
Only 17% of allegations against parents nationally are substantiated or indicated.
Yet, numerous studies show that children in foster care are at least 6 times more likely to be abused, molested, raped, or killed in foster care than they are if they are left in their own homes, even if that home is a troubled home. See article:
The trauma of separation from their parents, even for a short time, can leave life-long scars that may never heal. See article:
We have come to a time in our history that the governmental agencies tasked with protecting children from being beaten and molested have themselves become the very instruments of placing children in harm’s way.
Group Launches White House Petition to Fight Back
All over America, families are pushing back. There is a groundswell of parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and former foster children who are saying that this has to stop. They are holding rallies, calling legislators, going to Congress, sharing their stories on social media and, increasingly, on mainstream media. Their voices are growing louder.
One organization, ParentalRights.org, has been working for decades to push back against the steady encroachment of state agencies into territory that was once held sacred – the family.
Recently ParentalRights.org launched a White House petition asking President Donald Trump to urge Congress to amend the Constitution to protect parental rights. According to White House policy, if the petition reaches 100,000 signatures within 30 days, the administration will issue an official update.
Their goal is to bring the issue to the President’s attention and get this vitally important conversation going. It is an achievable goal, but they need your help.
There are 10 days left. The petition closes November 23.
The petition says simply:
Ask Congress to amend the Constitution to include the right of parents to raise, nurture, and educate their children.
No one knows a child’s interests better than her parents. Yet children’s lives are turned upside down by investigators who second-guess reasonable decisions in education, medical care, and supervision. Poverty is too often treated as neglect to justify separating kids from parents instead of providing services. The child-welfare system disproportionately investigates minority children. Parents with disabilities face discrimination as well.
The role of parents in protecting their children is eroding—at great cost to children themselves—throughout the U.S. It’s time to protect children by empowering parents.
Mr. President, would you urge Congress to amend the Constitution to protect children by preserving the traditional liberty of parents to raise, nurture, and educate their children?
Family advocates ask that you sign the petition, and share it with everyone you know.
Role of Government to Secure, not Give, Rights
According to the Declaration of Independence, it is the proper role of government to secure the basic fundamental rights that we already have:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,….Declaration of Independence, 1776
The Supreme Court has already declared, repeatedly, that the right of parents to rear their own children is a fundamental right. In the landmark case, Troxel v Granville, 2000, Justices upheld this right, stating:
The Fourteenth Amendment provides that no State shall “deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” We have long recognized that the Amendment’s Due Process Clause, like its Fifth Amendment counterpart, “guarantees more than fair process.” Washington v. Glucksberg, 521 U.S. 702, 719, 138 L. Ed. 2d 772, 117 S. Ct. 2258 (1997). The Clause also includes a substantive component that “provides heightened protection against government interference with certain fundamental rights and liberty interests.” 521 U.S. at 720; see also Reno v. Flores, 507 U.S. 292, 301-302, 123 L. Ed. 2d 1, 113 S. Ct. 1439 (1993).
The liberty interest at issue in this case–the interest of parents in the care, custody, and control of their children–is perhaps the oldest of the fundamental liberty interests recognized by this Court. More than 75 years ago, in Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390, 399, 401, 67 L. Ed. 1042, 43 S. Ct. 625 (1923), we held that the “liberty” protected by the Due Process Clause includes the right of parents to “establish a home and bring up children” and “to control the education of their own.” Two years later, in Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510, 534-535, 69 L. Ed. 1070, 45 S. Ct. 571 (1925), we again held that the “liberty of parents and guardians” includes the right “to direct the upbringing and education of children under their control.” We explained in Pierce that “the child is not the mere creature of the State; those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right, coupled with the high duty, to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations.” 268 U.S. at 535. We returned to the subject in Prince v. Massachusetts, 321 U.S. 158, 88 L. Ed. 645, 64 S. Ct. 438 (1944), and again confirmed that there is a constitutional dimension to the right of parents to direct the upbringing of their children. “It is cardinal with us that the custody, care and nurture of the child reside first in the parents, whose primary function and freedom include preparation for obligations the state can neither supply nor hinder.” 321 U.S. at 166.Troxel v Granville
Child Protective Services Ignores Fundamental Rights
Though the Supreme Court consistently upholds parents’ fundamental right to raise, nurture, and care for our children, that right has not translated into the practice on the ground by Child Protective Services and the courts involved. In practice and reality, that right and other Constitutional rights are increasingly and routinely violated, as children are seized by social workers from non-abusive families.
This is why legislative and executive action is needed. The Supreme Court has upheld these rights, but lower courts, law enforcement, and the Child Welfare agencies funded by Congress act as though these rights are non-existent.
The 14th Amendment right to Due Process is all but ignored as a matter of practice. Children are frequently taken from their homes in violation of the 4th Amendment.
Social workers have told parents that the requirement to have a search order or warrant before seizing a child does not apply to Child Protective Services.
Just before she seized a newborn from a young mother, Alabama DHR supervisor Ahzshaka Evans told a mother:
we can summary remove, which means that we don’t have to have a court order. Only two people are allowed to do that: the Department of Human Resources of the state of Alabama and law enforcement. Those two people have the right to remove without a court order.” See story here.
In the infamous “Right to Lie” case, Pancy Linn, the attorney for a Child Protective Services social worker, argued that there is nothing in federal law or the Constitution that prevents a social worker from lying to courts about parents in order to seize a child. Judge Stephen S. Trott of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals was incredulous at her line of reasoning.
In direct opposition to the argument often cited to parents embattled with CPS that “the Constitution doesn’t apply in Family Court,” Judge Trott stated:
No, no. In criminal proceedings? This is COURT proceedings, with a liberty interest, a fundamental liberty interest, at stake.
When parents are deprived of their fundamental liberty interests in raising their kids, the children are deprived of their own fundamental human right to the love and nurture of their parents. Parental rights ARE children’s rights.
How many more thousands of children will suffer the harm of being ripped away from their parents, relatives, homes, and heritage before our elected officials act? How many more hundreds of thousands of children will go missing, be trafficked, abused, killed, and experimented on before the fundamental right of parents to raise, nurture, and educate our children is secured?
Congress can write laws that secure this right. The President can call upon Congress to ensure the real protection of our children. For far too long, corrupt forces within the system have hidden in shadow, shrouded by the secrecy afforded them by policies purported to be “in the best interest of the children.”
The curtain has been drawn back. Oz can no longer hide. The wickedness within the system has been exposed.
What are we going to do about it?
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