New Sherwood

More CPS justice

Watch this video and weep for your country. There is no other “America” waiting to take in refugees. God have mercy.

Courtesy of The Common Room.

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June 22, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

9 Comments »

  1. The commentator at the end says a few times that the parents “did nothing wrong,” but the CPS person quoted said “we have a long history with this woman.” I suspect there are more details to this story that we don’t know yet.

    Thinking beyond this case (because the two parents here do appear to be married), generally speaking, what do you think is the more prevelent problem in this country: allowing too many children to grow up with with parents who have no business being parents (i.e. directionless, unmarried, high school girls), or state agencies being too agressive in removing children from loving, competent, married, two-parent homes?

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    Comment by Chris | June 22, 2008 | Reply

  2. I want to watch that video, but from what DHM said, I just can’t. I do know quite a lot about foster care, though, from the inside, because we were foster parents and have friends we still do respite for. I have to say there is another side to things as far as taking babies away as newborns, and it is this: METH. There are many parents who do not care as much as this mom does, and there is no way to keep the baby safe with a meth user. The parents sleep for days at a time and keep baby formula where the meth is cooking, which is pure poison. We know of a couple in the system who is having baby #4 this fall, and the oldest isn’t three yet. They are about 11 mos. apart each, because meth also makes one, well, really aroused with no control. CPS is removing each baby from the home as it is born. I know two families of overwhelmed foster parents who are trying desperately to keep their sanity while taking turns taking the children so the siblings will always know each other. Sometimes this will involve a car payment where there wasn’t one before.
    I’m not saying CPS is right, it isn’t, and the system is HORRIBLY broken, and I wish it weren’t. But foster parents make a lot of difference for the individual children who are caught in the middle.
    Thanks, by the way for prayers on our trip and for letting us visit. It was wonderful!

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    Comment by Annaberri | June 22, 2008 | Reply

  3. Actually, the reason stated was that the parents – in the past, because they lived in a motel – could not “provide proper housing”. The long history appears to stem from the fact that the woman had once applied for welfare. Once that happens, CPS moves in for good.

    If either of the parents were using meth then yes, I agree, the child should be removed. That’s a totally legitimate reason and why something like CPS is necessary. I just find it difficult to believe that both the newscasters and the video’s creator failed to mention this or any other serious problem in the film. The CPS worker didn’t even mention it. This was a publicized case and it would be pretty tough to hide a meth problem from anyone who wanted to know.

    Given what we do know about CPS, they don’t exactly get the benefit of the doubt. Unjust seizures of children are an everyday affair in this country. At the same time, kids are dying at the hands of meth-using parents right under their noses. It boggles the mind. If the story in the video seems incomplete, a little time on this site should help drive home the point.

    Annaberri, thanks for the insights with respect to foster care. I’ve known a few foster parents over the years, and for the most part have not been impressed. I’m glad there are good families in the system.

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    Comment by Jeff Culbreath | June 23, 2008 | Reply

  4. It’s my opinion that a major problem with all of this is that they never even have to find parents guilty of anything in order to take children away. Taking children away, even permanently, is not treated as a punishment at law, hence you have _fewer_ rights than an accused criminal and _less_ due process for having your children taken away than for being sent to jail or even fined. Moreover, the emergency provisions are usually not statutorily defined, so they can be used in cases like this where as far as I can tell the only thing that created an emergency was the fact that the woman was about to be discharged and take her child home. If they already knew something that bad about the home that just taking the baby there constituted an emergency, why had they not gone to a judge in advance to set the machinery in motion? Why did they have to come with an unsigned warrant and get it signed the next day? What horrible thing was going to happen to the child in 24 hours because it was going to be sent home?

    Now, the mother does say something to the effect that she knows she’s made mistakes before but just wants another chance. Who knows what that means, though I doubt it’s anything as serious as meth. Obviously they don’t take all welfare moms’ babies away or there would be no welfare moms living in the inner city with their babies, which obviously there are. But it’s equally obvious to me that CPS has got it into their heads that this couple must never keep any of their children, and we may never know why, simply because the whole process is not subject to the same controls as a criminal process. There ought to be some way to correct this in law without causing more harm than good.

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    Comment by Lydia | June 23, 2008 | Reply

  5. “Thinking beyond this case (because the two parents here do appear to be married), generally speaking, what do you think is the more prevelent problem in this country: allowing too many children to grow up with with parents who have no business being parents (i.e. directionless, unmarried, high school girls) …”

    Well, I would have to object to the language of “allowing too many children … to grow up with parents who have no business being parents.” Parenthood, once accomplished, is a fact. One may have had no business becoming a parent, but everyone who is a parent has business being a parent. Part of the problem is the way we think about the state – that it benevolently “allows” parents to be parents. No, parenthood is anterior to the state, and the state exists to protect its rights. The answer to an imperfect family situation is not to shatter the only family bond that remains – mother and child, as the case may be – but to create an environment that incentivizes the improvement of that family.

    However, in fairness to you, I think your point is really that there are too many directionless, unmarried, high-school age girls becoming mothers. I agree that this is a big problem and something needs to be done about it. Forcibly removing their children is not, of course, the answer.

    “…or state agencies being too aggressive in removing children from loving, competent, married, two-parent homes?”

    The increasing boldness of the state in taking children from their parents (whether loving, competent and married or not) without due process is a much bigger problem in my opinion. The teenage mother in the inner city is not directly a threat to the Blunts or the Culbreaths (although her fatherless children might be someday), but state agencies with the authority to separate children from parents, on little more than the subjective opinions of salaried social workers, is a very serious threat indeed, not only to our families but to what’s left of our civilization. I think Lydia’s last comment gets right to the heart of the problem.

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    Comment by Jeff Culbreath | June 23, 2008 | Reply

  6. I think adoption through good agencies is an excellent option, and if I knew unwed mothers I might be interpersonally tactless in suggesting that they place their babies for adoption with 2-parent, Christian, families through a Christian adoption agency. I have a bias here as an adopted child from such a situation. But I would hardly force this on a young woman in that situation.

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    Comment by Lydia | June 23, 2008 | Reply

  7. By the way, one of the reasons they may not have mentioned more facts in this case is because of privacy laws. We’re not supposed to talk about the cases AT ALL. Which is really, really hard, if not impossible. I know it’s a silly reason, but it’s very likely true that they didn’t share certain info because it’s illegal.
    For all readers, to learn more about foster care, go to http://www.fosterparents.com and read lots of the articles and also the discussion boards. They are REALLY educational. I read them for at least a year before we became fosterparents.
    Also, go to http://www.tapestrybooks.com for more good stuff.
    Enjoy!

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    Comment by Annaberri | June 24, 2008 | Reply

  8. I guess I bring to this issue a personal bias that colors my reactions and presumptions: I was the third child born to a young unmarried woman, spent the first three months of my life in foster care, and was adopted by the loving married couple I consider to be my only parents on this earth. AFAIK, my birth mother placed me for adoption voluntarily, but I really don’t know. Regardless, I thank God I was raised by my adoptive family and not in the chaos into which I was born. I suppose this has led me to be more sympathetic to those seeking to remove children from terrible situations, and to presume their good intentions unless proven otherwise. I realize foster and adoptive families are not perfect, either, but again my personal bias is to give them the benefit of the doubt.

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    Comment by Chris | June 24, 2008 | Reply

  9. I know people who are great foster parents, too. And that’s besides my own situation in which I, too, am happy to have been adopted. (I was released entirely voluntarily for adoption, as it happens.) But surely how great this or that set of foster parents are is a totally separate question. I mean, the foster parents weren’t the ones who decided to take the children from their parents or who set up the circumstances in which it took place. They just take care of the child afterwards. No matter how good the foster parents are for some child, it may still be the case that in that case it was totally wrong, scandalous, unjust, etc., to take him forcibly from his parents in the first place. It could be your children or mine, and none of us would ever think that the kindness of the foster parents on the other end justified what was done on the “taking” end. It’s just a totally separate set of people.

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    Comment by Lydia | June 24, 2008 | Reply


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