Children vs Parents
USA Today Originally published in USA Today. This article highlights the liberal emphasis on separating children from parents. The argument remains current.
“[Gregory Kingsley] now stands virtually alone in court; the next scared child who needs protection may not be as bright and determined as Gregory. Most are stuck in the system; it should be held accountable. Children shouldn’t be forced to go mano a mano with their parents in a court where they could so easily become pawns in a much larger chess game.
THE EDITORIAL PAGE; Today’s debate is on CHILDREN’S RIGHTS and whether they should be heard in court”
OPPOSING VIEW: Beware the legal precedent enabling children to sue their parents. It will harm children.; Charmaine Crouse Yoest [Ph.D.] is a [former] policy analyst [now Vice President] for the Family Research Council, Washington.
One fact is certain: Gregory Kingsley’s life has been tragic. This trial should generate a long-overdue uproar over our foster-care disaster.
But it mustn’t generate a legal precedent enabling children to sue their parents. Ultimately, such a far-reaching ruling would harm children by separating them, in legal theory, from the protection of their parents. Parents should not be our target when the system is the culprit.
Fundamentally, children need protection. If parents violate that duty, the state may step in. This case highlights the state’s failure; but do we really want attorneys – with a myriad of personal agendas – to be the next line of defense? Gregory, for instance, is represented pro bono by an attorney who won the case striking down Florida’s parental-consent laws on abortion.
With the exception of her attorney, few defend Gregory’s mother. She claims her “right” to her child without, apparently, recognizing that those rights are rooted in an awesome responsibility. Most people, however, know that lack of contact with a child for a year (or less, even) is clearly abandonment.
So why is the state of Florida only now filing for termination of parental rights, clearing the way for adoption, when Gregory has been in and out of its care for several years? This failure is the appropriate target of legal wrath. For the sake of other children in its care, Florida should not be let off the hook.
Gregory now stands virtually alone in court; the next scared child who needs protection may not be as bright and determined as Gregory. Most are stuck in the system; it should be held accountable. Children shouldn’t be forced to go mano a mano with their parents in a court where they could so easily become pawns in a much larger chess game.
Thank you (foot)notes:
Originally published in USA Today, Sep 24, 1992. Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction or distribution is prohibited without permission.
See Don Singleton.