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The New Yorker Tilts at the Children’s Welfare System, Misses

February 8, 2016 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

In its February 1 edition, The New Yorker’s Jill Lepore took on the issue of children’s welfare agencies and how they so often get wrong the one job they’re tasked with doing – protection of children. Lepore’s article weighed in at a hefty 7,500 words. With all those keystrokes, you’d think she’d have gotten a lot more right than she did, but alas it was not to be. She nails a couple of issues, but only a couple. Her effort rates a C- that’s probably too generous.


Missouri Affiliate Files Shared Parenting Bills in State House and Senate

February 7, 2016 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

NPO’s contact person in Missouri, Linda Reutzel, brings us up to date on the progress of our two companion shared parenting bills in the state House and Senate. Here’s the House Bill. She’s cautiously optimistic about their chances for passage. Here’s her message to me followed by her update.

The Missouri legislature has two new companion Shared Parenting Bills this 2016 session. The house bill, HB 2055, is sponsored by Representative Kathryn Swan and the Senate bill, SB 964, is sponsored by Senator Wayne Wallingford. Both use the same language to make clear, that children of divorce or separation, want and need equal access to both FIT and WILLING parents; the bills make it clear that equal access to both FIT and WILLING parents IS in the best interest of children. This language change is a small one to our Statutes, but a very important one in the lives of our children. Research and common sense show that children want and need equal access to both parents and their extended families. It's in their DNA! 


New York Child Protection Courts: ‘Absurd Levels of Dysfunction’

February 5, 2016 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

The picture I paint of the child welfare system isn’t pretty, but it’s also incomplete. This article fills in one of the key gaps, but, alas, doesn’t improve the picture (ProPublica, 2/2/16). Indeed, it’s all of a piece with what I’ve said so many times before.

It’s about the New York City court system that is tasked with dealing with child protection cases. The article is mostly an interview with Abigail Kramer, a journalist who studied the child welfare courts in New York and wrote a report for the New School’s Center for New York City Affairs. Perhaps what best conveys the state of those courts is the fact that, when Kramer describes their “absurd levels of dysfunction,” it’s a compliment. She’s trying to express how they’ve changed for the better.


What Does the Super Bowl Mean to You? It Means Something Special to Pantene

February 4, 2016 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

The Super Bowl is fast approaching, and that means…

What? You could fill in the blank with a hundred different things. Far too much airtime devoted to pointless football trivia, what LeBron James tweeted to Cam Newton, an ever-more grandiose half-time show, or practically anything you could imagine. But one thing that Super Bowl weekend means that you almost certainly didn’t imagine is this: a long-time shared parenting advocate’s work would make up the basis for Super Bowl ads for a major product line.


Dad on Daughter’s Adoption: ‘It’s a Legal Way of Kidnapping’

February 3, 2016 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

The outrage that is a putative father registry is on graphic display in this case (KMOV, 1/28/16). Truly, it doesn’t get much worse than this.

As readers of this blog know (but precious few other Americans do), putative father registries exist to facilitate the adoption of children fathered by unmarried men. They do so by removing the requirement that the father be notified of- and consent to- the adoption of his child before it can take place.

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