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NPO publishes blog articles to inform and to stimulate conversation about issues of importance to NPO's mission.  All blog articles express the opinions of the authors as individuals and do not necessarily reflect the views of National Parents Organization, its Board of Directors, or its executives.  

October 26, 2015 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

“We took our child to the hospital seeking help and they stole our baby from us,” the parents said in the statement…

Michael Turner QC of Garden Court Chambers, who represented the parents, said: “These innocent parents have been spared a criminal conviction and a prison sentence for a crime they never committed. Their life sentence is that they are likely never to see their baby again.”

Yes, it’s another day and that means another child taken into “care” by a government and placed for adoption. It’s another pair of parents who did nothing wrong but lost their baby anyway to a state apparatus that’s far more interested in getting children away from perfectly fit parents than in maintaining healthy families. We see this all the time; this time it’s in the United Kingdom, but tomorrow it’ll be somewhere else.

But wherever it is, the story will be much the same. A nation that, like all nations, depends for its health and vitality on the health and vitality of its families seems to think of little but destroying them. It does so in any number of ways, but one of the main ones is deciding that certain families can’t care properly for their children. That done, the kids are torn from their parents, whisked into foster care and, in the fullness of time, adopted. Each step in that process damages the children emotionally, often long into adulthood. As adults, those kids often make less than ideal parents due to the trauma of their family lives. That of course allows the state to take their kids and begin the cycle anew.

In the United States, the federal government offers direct cash incentives to do exactly that, resulting, unsurprisingly, in increasing numbers of foster care placements and adoptions therefrom.

Obviously, this is not to say that many children don’t require foster care and/or adoption. And many foster parents are fine, capable and loving. Many children thrive in foster care. But surely we can all agree that only children in real need of alternative families should be placed in them. Children with competent parents should stay with them and not burden the adoption system that should be used to serve kids who have no fit parent.

But time and again, that’s not what happens. Children who don’t need to be adopted are taken from their parents anyway and adopted by parents who should be directed toward the millions of children worldwide who need adoption.

This case is yet another one of a ruthless state intervening in a family to no purpose other than to abuse the parents and the child alike (Buzzfeed, 10/7/15).

Three years ago, the baby’s parents, Karrissa Cox and Richard Carter, took their 6-week old baby to the A&E department at the Royal Surrey County Hospital because it had been bleeding from its mouth after it had been fed.

According to a statement on their lawyer’s website, their baby had a “torn frenulum, but no other associated bruising or swelling in or around the mouth. In addition the baby had a number of minor bruises on the body. On skeletal X-ray it was said the baby had a number of healing metaphyseal fractures. Subsequently, the baby was found to have Von Willebrands II, a blood disorder which causes someone to bruise more easily.”

It apparently also had a fairly serious case of Vitamin D deficiency despite having been fed on Vitamin D-enriched formula. In short, the parents had done nothing wrong. They had a child with a blood condition for which they could in no way have been responsible. They’d sought appropriate medical care and received an appropriate medical diagnosis.

Nevertheless, their child was taken by the state and placed in “care” pursuant to adoption. The government filed criminal charges against them, of which they were acquitted. But the adoption went ahead anyway. For a couple of years, the parents were allowed to see their child and partings from those meetings were traumatic.

[Cox] told the paper: “[The child] said mummy and daddy quite a lot and used to get upset when it was time for contact to finish. [The child] wouldn’t want to be put back in the car and would cling on, hold on to me. We’d love to have our child back home with us where [the child] belongs.”

But because the state had no mechanism for keeping the child with the parents while the claims against them were adjudicated, the adoption has now been completed. It’s a case of “possession is nine points of the law.” The adoptive parents had the child long enough that, despite no wrongdoing by Cox or Carter, it now “belongs” to them. The state treated a child like property.

It took one of the parents’ lawyers to get the matter right.

Emma Fenn, who also represented the parents, said: “This tragic case highlights the real dangers of the Government’s drive to increase adoption and speed up family proceedings at all costs.

Another child taken unnecessarily, another set of parents bereft, another governmental error. And, unseen by all, is another child, nameless and faceless, who truly needs to be adopted. That child has no parents to care for it. It may be languishing in an orphanage somewhere, but whatever the case, wherever it is, it needs adoption. And the adults who adopted Cox and Carter’s child could have adopted that child, but didn’t. They were too busy adopting a child with fit parents, parents it called “mummy” and “daddy” and clung to when forced to part from them.

The victims of the state’s incompetence and misguided policies aren’t just Karrissa Cox and Richard Carter, but their child and, yes, another child somewhere in the world who falls asleep each night and wakes up each day with no arms to hold it, no one to sing to it, read to it, love it, raise it to healthy adulthood.

The state is the author of all that.

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National Parents Organization is a non-profit that educates the public, families, educators, and legislators about the importance of shared parenting and how it can reduce conflict in children, parents, and extended families. Along with Shared Parenting we advocate for fair Child Support and Alimony Legislation. Want to get involved?  Here’s how:

Together, we can drive home the family, child development, social and national benefits of shared parenting, and fair child support and alimony. Thank you for your activism.

#adoption, #fitparents, #forcedadoption, #fostercare

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