August 12, 2020 by Robert Franklin, JD, Member, National Board of Directors
Last time I posted a piece about Donald Williams, Jr., the California man who narrowly avoided having Arizona child welfare officials shanghai his daughter Melody away from him and into foster care and then adoption. The process took over four years, but Williams finally prevailed in the Arizona appellate court. His daughter now lives with him and he’s rightly suing the Arizona Department of Child Safety for deprivation of his constitutionally-guaranteed parental rights.
Today I want to delve into that case a bit deeper. Here’s the appellate court’s decision that makes all too clear what DCS agents were up to. Judges write in a very circumspect manner, but beneath that calm veneer, it’s easy to see the unanimous panel seething. What DCS did was outrageous by any stretch of the imagination.
Most importantly, it was from the start. DCS knew they had a child of a father who was both impecunious and lived out of state. Getting his child away from him and into foster care and then to adoption surely looked like the easiest of slam-dunks and DCS lost no time in seeking to remove Williams from Melody’s life. From the very beginning they violated long-established U.S. Supreme Court precedent that’s written into Arizona statute law regarding state power and parental rights.
Put simply, the state cannot legally intervene into families in which parents are fit and children aren’t being abused or neglected. Everyone in the Arizona child welfare bureaucracy knows the law (or should), and everyone in Williams’ case violated it. In short, they did so intentionally and the juvenile court that ruled on the matter took part.
August 11,2020 by Robert Franklin, JD, Member, National Board of Directors
Donald Williams, Jr. is suing the ironically named Arizona Department of Child Safety and several individual officers thereof for $25 million (AZ Central, 8/1/20). I hope he gets every penny of it. He won’t, but I still hope he does. Williams’ case is a lesson for anyone who wants to learn about the depredations of child welfare agencies. It provides a good look at what they do and the assumptions they make.
Williams lives in Sacramento, CA. Back in 2014, he had a brief relationship with a woman who soon moved to Arizona. She gave birth to their daughter, Melody, in 2014, but the child was taken from her at the hospital because she tested positive for illegal drugs. She’s not been a part of the case since.
August 6, 2020 by Robert Franklin, JD, Member, National Board of Directors
This article performs an excellent public service (Lincoln Journal Star, 7/27/20). It once again informs us about the bankruptcy of the arguments made by anti-shared parenting activists, this time in Nebraska. This is all they have to offer? If so, there is in fact no argument of any substance against equal parenting.
Readers may recall that, not long ago, I posted a piece on the pro-shared parenting op-ed in the same publication by Ray Keiser. Well, the linked-to piece is supposedly an answer to his. It’s almost touchingly naïve. From its ungrammatical headline to the final word, the article could have been written by a high school freshman. And, tellingly, while it’s written by two lawyers, neither of them has any background in family law. Is there really not one family lawyer in the state who can be convinced to trot out the usual nonsense that poses as reasoned opposition to shared parenting? Apparently not.
August 5, 2020
Dear National Parents Organization Supporter
I’m writing with exciting news! National Parents Organization is making available, free of charge, video recordings from the most significant shared parenting conference ever held.
NPO, in collaboration with the International Council on Shared Parenting (ICSP), brought together the world’s leading researchers on child well-being and separated parenting in order to address the most pressing questions about shared parenting when parents live apart: