Wednesday, August 19, 2009

No More Parental rights? The Threat is Real

Even as I am writing this, activists are gathering in Washington DC to rally in support of the ratification UNCRC (UN Convention on the Rights of the Child). It has been suggested that there will be an attempt by supporters in Congress to pass "ambush legislation" - that is, to rush through the ratification of this international treaty without getting the support of the American People.

The last few days and weeks should tell you that Congress does not give a damn about the support or desires of the American People.

  • Ordinary Americans who do not support Obamacare have been vilified and mocked in the press and by legislators themselves as some sort of insurance industry shills and (God forbid) right-wing crackpots.
  • Yesterday the White House directed the Justice Department to file court papers claiming the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act discriminates against homosexuals, even though the Justice Department lawyers have been arguing that it is constitutional, and an infringement on the rights of taxpayers in the 30 states that specifically prohibit same-sex marriages. observes:

Under the UNCRC, instead of following due process, government agencies would have the power to override your parental choices at their whim because they determine what is in "the best interest of the child."

In essence, the UNCRC applies the legal status of abusive parents to all parents. This means that the burden of proof falls on the parent to prove to the State that they are good parents—when it should fall upon the State to prove that their investigation is not without cause.
It should insult you that this treaty will consider you an abusive parent unless you are able to prove otherwise. This sets a dangerous precedent that undermines our legal status as "innocent until proven guilty."

For those who cannot believe that parental rights are endangered by this treaty, but here are a couple of examples of cases where judges decided against parents without the treaty. We are not talking about parents who are abusive and dangerous themselves. There are already laws on the books dealing with those. We are talking about judicial activism and a culture that increasingly devalues parents and seeks to place control of our children, if not with the state, anywhere but with us.


A West Virginia mother was shocked when a local circuit judge and a family court judge ordered her to share custody of her four-year-old daughter with two of the girl’s babysitters. Referring to the sitters as "psychological co-parents," the justices first awarded full custody to them, only permitting the mother to visit her daughter four times a week at McDonalds. Eventually she was granted primary custody, but forced to continue to share her daughter with the sitters.

When her case finally reached the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals in October 2007, the beleaguered mother was relieved to finally be granted full custody of her daughter.

In their October 25 opinion Supreme Court justices wrote that they were "deeply troubled by the utter disregard" for the mother's rights. One justice referred to the mother’s right as the “paramount right in the world."

Chief Justice Robin Davis summed up the case in one simple question."Why does a natural parent have to prove fitness when she has never been found unfit?" he asked. (
In Re: Visitation and Custody of Senturi N.S.V., 221 W.Va. 159, 652 S.E. 2d 490 (2007))
Excuse me? With the girl's BABYSITTERS?? Does modern contempt for all things traditional or parental know no bounds? How about this one:


The case involved 13-year-old Sheila Marie Sumey, whose parents were alarmed when they found evidence of their daughter's participation in illegal drug activity and escalating sexual involvement. Their response was to act immediately to cut off the negative influences in their daughter's life by grounding her.

But when Sheila went to her school counselors complaining about her parent's actions, she was advised that she could be liberated from her parents because there was "conflict between parent and child." Listening to the advice she had received, Sheila notified Child Protective Services (CPS) about her situation. She was subsequently removed from her home and placed in foster care.

Her parents, desperate to get their daughter back, challenged the actions of the social workers in court. They lost. Even though the judge found that Sheila's parents had enforced reasonable rules in a proper manner, the state law nevertheless gave CPS the authority to split apart the Sumey family and take Sheila away.
(In Re: Sumey, 94 Wn. 2d 757, 621 P. 2d 108 (1980))
Did you catch the date on that last one? That was almost 30 years ago! Do you really think that judges have become more traditional since then? The battle has escalated alarmingly in just the few months since Obama was elected.

I know these last few posts do not deal directly with home business, but they do deal directly with homeschooling. Home schooling is already being restricted in other countries, notably in the UK, precisely because of provisions of this treaty. But even if you are not a homeschooler, if you have children and believe that you know better how to raise them than the state does, you should be afraid.

Very afraid.


  1. I think that those who wants their children to do home schooling are those who thought their children would become like Thomas Edison.

    Wake up and please do not joke on yourself again people.

  2. Please do not mock us or question our motives, particularly if you are going to do so using ungrammatical sentences.

  3. A simple search into the very cases that page claims to share shows that the information on there is incorrect. In regard to Sumey case, this is easily found:

    "This appeal was certified to this court by Division Two of the Court of Appeals to determine whether the residential placement procedures of RCW 13.32 violate due process by authorizing placement of a minor without a prior finding of parental unfitness.
    Sheila Marie Sumey, the petitioner at trial, is the daughter of appellants Rolin and Laura Sumey. *At the time of trial in August 1978, Sheila was 15 years old. In the years preceding the initiation of this action, a number of problems had developed between Sheila and her parents. The parents set several rules for Sheila's conduct, which she did not always follow. On a number of occasions, Sheila ran
    [ 94 Wn.2d 759 ]

    away from home. Extensive family counseling was attempted, but was not successful.*

    *In early June 1978, there was again conflict in the home and Mrs. Sumey began to believe that Sheila would once again run away from home. On June 17, Mrs. Sumey called the police to prevent Sheila from running away. The police placed Sheila in a receiving home on that day.* The Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) began to provide crisis intervention services to the family and on June 20, Mrs. Sumey signed a consent form stating that Sheila should be in receiving care.

    The DSHS crisis intervention services did not succeed in reconciling the differences between Sheila and her parents. The DSHS staff concluded that Sheila could not be returned home at that time, and she remained in receiving care. On July 15, Sheila filed a petition for alternative residential placement with the Pierce County Juvenile Court, pursuant to RCW 13.32.020. A hearing on the petition was held, and the juvenile court concluded that: the family was in conflict; prior counseling and crisis intervention had failed to remedy that conflict; the conflict could not be remedied by continued placement in the home; and the reasons for the alternative residential placement were not capricious. The court approved the petition for alternative residential placement and ordered that Sheila be placed in a nonsecure licensed facility. The court provided for rights of visitation for Mr. and Mrs. Sumey. The case was set for review in 6 months to determine what had been accomplished in resolving the conflict and reuniting the family.

    Mr. and Mrs. Sumey appealed the juvenile court order and challenged the constitutionality of RCW 13.32, the statutory authority for the order of alternative residential placement. Division Two of the Court of Appeals certified the appeal to this court.

    (The asterisks were put in by me to emphasize what those parts say.)

    As it's plain to see, Sheila was in fact 15 years old, there was a long history of family conflict that family therapy didn't help fix, and it was HER MOM that called the cops when Sheila was put into the home.

    A little investigation on my part found this out. I'm almost afraid to find out what the case of the mom and the babysitters actually was about, plus the fact that there's no reference for the second story on that site makes it questionable. And I find this all out mere hours after being approached about the Parental Rights amendment website!

  4. Thank you for providing the URL for the information you posted concerning the facts of the Sumey case. Your intent is obviously to demonstrate some sort of bias or misleading content on, but what it is showing is that you believe a 15 year old who doesn't like disciplinary measures or behavioral standards that her parents impose, has the right to be "emancipated."

    The court actually ruled against the parents, and in favor of a girl who was unwilling to adhere to the standards her parents established for their family. This was the reason for the alarm with which covered the story. The dissenting judge stated it well.

    "The majority sanctions a serious intrusion into the fundamental, constitutionally protected, parent-child relationship. In so doing, the majority approves a statute which is fatally defective because it lacks sufficient criteria to justify such trammeling of parental rights. If the record in this case justifies removal of a child from the family home, it means the Department of Social and Health Services and a recalcitrant juvenile can cause a child to be taken from the home of fit and proper parents whose only “fault” was to try to impose reasonable behavioral standards upon their minor child."

    He went on to explain that "The nature of the constitutionally protected parent-child relationship has been clearly articulated by the United States Supreme Court, this court and other courts." He then went on at length, citing legal precedent for protection of the family unit and the primacy of parental decisions.

    You can read more about it at

    So I don't think the problem is with their statement - or misstatement - of the facts of the case, but that they wrote about it through the grid of their worldview, just as you wrote about it through yours. That they believe parents should be able to monitor and control (within reasonable limits) the behavior of an out-of-control 15 year old does not mean they are dishonest or trying to obscure the facts of the case. It just means they disagree with you.

  5. Thanks for writing, it reminds me that it is important to double check even sources I trust.

    Here is a citation concerning the case involving the babysitters. I concede that the article does not mention that the two caregivers were cousins of the father. But by focusing on that you are missing the point. The point is that the courts stepped in and made a ruling that undermined the parental relationshipand gave standing to parties who clearly had no standing by "focusing on the wrong issues", according to the Supreme Court. Had the babysitters been his cousin's hairdresser's brother's roommates, it would not have made the court's decision any more wrong.

    "Notably, this Court has previously admonished the lower courts for failing to adhere to the plain language of this statute. In In re Visitation and Custody of Senturi N.S.V., 221 W.Va. 159, 652 S.E.2d 490 (2007), a mother of a child who had been exercising a substantial majority of the custodial responsibility decided to relocate to Texas in order to return to school and be near her family. Id. at 163, 652 S.E.2d at 494. The father objected and the family court allowed the father's cousins, who had acted as the child's caregivers, to intervene. Id. The family court ultimately denied the mother's petition for relocation, and ordered the mother to share custody of the child with the intervenors, finding that they were the child's “psychological co-parents.” Id. The circuit court affirmed this decision. Id.

    On appeal, this Court reversed, finding that the cousins had no standing to intervene, and that the family court had focused on the wrong issues when denying the mother's petition and re-allocating custody. Id. at 165, 652 S.E.2d at 496. The Court specifically found that the family court should have focused on “evaluating the legitimacy and reasonableness” of the contemplated relocation, as directed by the statute. Id. at 164, 652 S.E.2d at 495. While the facts of Senturi are significantly different from those presented here, in both cases, the family court ignored the clear statutory directive that permits a parent who has been exercising a substantial majority of custodial responsibility to relocate with the child when the move is legitimate and reasonable."