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Parental Responsibility

November 6, 2011 in Alaska, family rights, justice, parental rights, termination of parental rights, TPR, Visitation

Just exactly what rights and responsibilities do parents have to a child? We all know the laws concerning child support, child custody and visitation are unfair and unjust but still they persist.

Just today found on Lawyers.com was an interesting question:

To Terminate Fathers Rights, Or Not Too?

A military man and his wife of 4-years took the ex-wife to court for the military man to claim his parental rights to the child, because he has been paying $491 a month in child support, but has never had the opportunity to see his child. He has two other children in the home and he is serving his country in Afghanistan. [Continue Reading]

Rights?

Speak Out Against Injustice!

You would think an issue like this would be rare, but it happens all the time. Some cases are so egregious that it can make you crazy. For instance, I know of one man in his mid-30’s, he has 3 children by two different women. His first child was born to a wife of 10-years, he was ordered to pay over $700.00 a month in child support.

His two subsequent children were born of his relationship with his live-in girl-friend of several years. When they split the court ordered the father to pay $25 a month (for both children).

You simply can’t support 2 children on $25 a month, even if you assume both parents split the cost.

Instead, why don’t they use a regional formula, sort of like the ones they use to distribute welfare benefits and food stamps. The county office needs to figure out the average cost of caring for a child in their county and allocate half to each parent. Why should some children live very comfortably, when other children barely have food to eat?

There simply has to be a better way. A way that helps ensure the needs of the children are being met.

Please post your comments below and at the link above.

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Valentine’s Day Protest

February 6, 2011 in corruption, family court, Visitation, Washington D.C.

On Valentine’s Day, Monday February 14, 2011 at 11:00 a.m., Mothers of Lost Children will hold a press conference in front of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 200 Independence Ave SW, Washington DC.

They are protesting the enormous expenditure of tax dollars to help ex-prisoners and known abusers connect with their children, and the heartbreak for mothers and children when this funding is misused and misapplied. A vigil and speakout by mothers and child victims will be held at the White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW on Sunday February 13 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

During the past two decades, mothers have been losing custody of their children (even nursing infants) in increasing numbers to fathers who are convicted or identified batterers, child molesters, drug addicts, gang-bangers and felons. Family courts force children into the custody of abusive fathers at alarming rates, allowing these men to continue controlling and abusing their victims. 

Research shows that 70% of batterers who ask for custody get it. Safe mothers who left the abusers in order to protect their children are frequently labeled “unfriendly” and are inappropriately ordered to supervised visitation or denied all contact with their children.

“The reason, in part,” says Karen Anderson, Executive Director of California Protective Parents Association, “lies in a misguided and dangerous objective of the Fatherhood Initiative to give fathers access to their children regardless of the risk they pose.”  ‘The goal is to have former prisoners paying child support and reconnecting with their children as soon as possible,’ (Washington Post June 21, 2010.) 

“It’s crazy to believe that allowing violent men to care for children is a good idea.  Vulnerable children should not be used as guinea pigs to try to rehabilitate criminals,” says Anderson.     

The National Fatherhood Initiative website states in 15 years it has “ensured that two million more children are living with their fathers”.  The Leadership Council research indicates 58,000 children are placed with abusers every year. These statistics may be connected.  

“Thousands of former prisoners and identified abusers have also discovered that if they get custody, they can receive child support instead of paying it.” says Ms. Anderson. “It’s a batterers’ and molesters’ paradise. Federally-funded supervised visitation centers are meant to protect children during visits with potentially dangerous fathers.

Instead, family courts order safe mothers to see their children under supervision, which means the children aren’t able to tell their mothers about abuse by their fathers. That way the Fatherhood Initiative goals are met to access even more federal funds.”    

During this time of deep fiscal crisis, when children are hungry and parents are penniless, $500,000,000.00 dollars designated to increase marriage and promote ex-prisoners to reconnect with and often harm children is doubly offensive. 

Mothers of Lost Children call for a Congressional investigation into the failure of family courts to protect children and potential fraud, waste and abuse of taxpayer dollars.

Another Shattered Family!

December 26, 2010 in Child Protective Services, DHS, Tennessee, Visitation

Hi, I’m not sure how much information I can give without getting myself in trouble or jeopardizing my case to get my son back but, I need some people to reach out and help me and give me advice so here it goes:

I have been a foster mom in the state of Tennessee for almost 2 years, I have helped many children and I am still in touch with the ones that were old enough to keep in touch with me. Most of them still call me momma, which warms my heart.

Well, one of my foster daughters (age 17) stole my vehicle to run away in (mind you there, is no information on the records they gave me about her run away charges) . She led the police on a 105 mph car chase, which ended with my vehicle being totaled, after she took out 75 foot of guardrail and a 2010 Sheriff’s car. Thank God, no one was hurt.

I filed a claim with the State of Tennessee, requesting payment for the damages, I did not even ask for the amount that it would take to replace the vehicle and pay for the guardrail. They denied my claim, stating I need to prove DHS negligent.

I have all of the proof I need to prove them negligent but, I haven’t been able to work on my appeal because they came and took my 2 foster sons on Friday, the 10th of December.

My daughter was in a car wreck, a school bus ran her off the road. We were in an ambulance, on our way to the hospital around 4:30 p.m. that afternoon. I got a call from my mother, who was caring for my son, while I was at the hospital, with my daughter. She told me I needed to get to her house immediately that CPS and a police officer were there about my son.

Thank God, my daughter was okay and we were leaving the hospital when she called. I talked to my mom several times while we were on our way to her house. We were told that if my husband came to my parent’s house he would be arrested (he is on the sex offender registry) and that he was not allowed around my son.

I got there and spoke with them; I told them that by law my husband is allowed to be around my son. The officer said well, “If he comes in here, I will arrest him.”

CPS didn’t take my son that night and I did sign a hand written safety plan stating that I would not let my son be around my husband unsupervised. We went to the local Sheriff’s office and one of their investigators said that was not grounds for removal from our home. She looked up the laws from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations stating that my husband could be around my son all day and night but could not sleep in the same house. (My husband filed a no lo contender plea in 1993 three years after the alleged crime)

We are in the process of having his name taken off the registry, since it was not suppose to be there in the first place.

Well, I called the CPS office and gave them the investigators name and number so that she could get the information regarding the law for herself. A CPS worker asked if my son, my husband and I could meet her at the DCS office to talk, I said sure. We went there and talked to her, she told me to make certain that when they were together that the visit was supervised.

We thought everything was fine and going great, when on December 16th, I got a call from the CPS worker asking if Aiden and I could come to the office the next day to sign a safety plan. My mom and daughter were invited to come along as well, if they wanted to.

I didn’t have a problem with this, since I had already signed a hand written safety plan.

When arrived there the next day, I discovered that I had been lied to! They did not want me to sign a Safety Plan — they took my son!!!!

I had done everything they asked me to do; we followed every law. I told them again, what I told them on the 10th of December, that I am willing do whatever it takes to keep my son at home (which is suppose to be their main goal). If necessary, I would divorce my husband whom I love with all my heart and I would make him leave the property. (We have a garage apartment where he sleeps at night.)

The Supervisor of CPS told me that my son was being taken because of my bad choice of my son’s father and my bad choice of marrying a sex offender, who does not have a record, other than that charge 20 years ago. 

We went to court. The judge said she knew my husband and that he was a good guy, but she lets DCS/CPS make these kinds of decisions. She supported their opinions.

I was unable to spend Christmas with my little boy. He did not get to wake up to Santa. This is tearing my family apart. I am allowed only one visit a week for 4-hours.

My mom is a licensed foster parent as well, so she has my son, but they still have to tear him off me, when it is time for me to leave. Not only have they taken me away from my son, they have taken my away from the support of my family.

I was told the only way to get my son back is to divorce my husband. Why should I have to do that? It is not against the law — but that is what I am doing after writing this letter. The divorce papers will be filed tomorrow. On what grounds I am not sure. I don’t know maybe the grounds will be the State of Tennessee is making me get a divorce, so my son can come home and I can have the rest of my family back together.

We go to court in a week and a half. If I am not granted my son back into my custody, things are going to get very bad in this county and in the State of Tennessee. You will be seeing this story on the news and in the paper, even on CNN. I will do what ever it takes to get my son home — he is my life.

Please if you know of anything or anyone that can help me, in this short amount of time, please let me know.

A.J. in Tennessee

Fighting Court Bias

January 29, 2009 in Arkansas, family court, Visitation

Fighting Court Bias in Arkansas

Six years ago, I was a recently divorced single mom. I was struggling and turned to my mother for help. I was offered a job out of state and had asked my mother to care for my children long enough for me to be able to find a home where the job was.

I signed guardianship of my children to my mother in case of an emergency. I’ve been denied the right to be with my children ever since. I have been through two different lawyers. I have been fighting for custody of my children, Evelynn (11 yrs) and Jessyca (9 yrs) in the courts for 3 years now.

When I started, I had been paying child support, yet I was denied all contact with my children. Recently I have been allowed a meager 12 hours of unsupervised visitation a month. I now pay the maximum allowable child support for my income, $264.00 twice a month!

Criminals are allowed more contact with their children than myself! Even deadbeat fathers get standard visitation of every other weekend and holidays!

I have had a stable home and a stable job for several years. I have no physical or mental disability to prevent me for providing a good life for my children. I have been involved with child protective services and they found me to be a good mother. I have even had parenting classes provided to me by child protective services at my request!

I want custody of my children. My children have stated to a court appointed counselor as well as a court appointed (for them) attorney that they want to live with my husband and I.

My home has been proven fit for my children. I have a bedroom all ready for my little girls to come home. I have never been found unfit by child services. I don’t even have a criminal record other than traffic tickets. So, what I want to know is what is stopping the courts from allowing me to raise my children?

My mother was raised in Yell County, Arkansas, where my case is being heard. She personally knows the judge and all the court employees. When I first filed for custody of my children, with out my mother’s knowledge, somehow she was able to file a counter suit before my case was ever served to her!

She used to baby-sit the mother of one of the court clerks employed at Danville Court house. I know in my heart that there is a serious miscarriage of the law happening in this case. I feel that as long as my case is a Yell County court case, I will never get my children back. I feel that the court is unfairly biased against me, to the benefit of my mother.

Why else would this court system fail my children and myself so badly? I am tired of watching my children cry every time I have to return them to their grandmother. Please, I am begging you to help me. I just want to be a mommy. Please help me!

Thank you for your time,

Russellville, Arkansas
My Space

Visitation Questionnaire

October 17, 2008 in DHS, foster parents, Visitation

We are a foster family that is frustrated with DHS regarding visitation and we are considering offering to supervise visits to make it easier.

The mom made some mistakes regarding visitation at the beginning of the case, but seems to be doing better. It is so difficult to get visitation scheduled with DHS supervising that we think it would be easier to work directly with the mom. We would like feedback from bio parents.

  1. Would you prefer to have one of the foster parents supervise visit or would you prefer DHS?
  2. Would you want the foster parent to be silent unless redirection of conversation is necessary?
  3. Would you be willing to do things together with the foster family in order to make it more comfortable for the kids?
  4. What recommendations/concerns would you have as the bio family?

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

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