Why is Lady Justice crying? Family Court decisions do extraordinary damage taking children from hundreds of thousands of loving families and failing those children truly at risk. As Green Party Congressional Candidate for New York District 21, I want to update my prior statements on abuses in foster care and traumas of child custody battles with a statement detailing the immediate and long-term actions we need to take.
Every year, state agencies forcible take about 670,000 children from their homes and kinship networks and place them with strangers. About 85% of these taken children – more than half a million children – should never have been touched by the state. This is a hidden epidemic of taxpayer-funded kidnappings, stolen newborns, forced terminations of parental rights and forced adoptions have reached heartbreaking, national levels. They join children and parents hurt by the win-lose culture of family law when custody decisions force families into the pain of parental alienation.
My previously published Democracy Chronicles articles on the abuses and violations of rights in foster care and family court decisions, and five solution sets for foster care and family court, set the stage for my recent call for expanded attention to all family separations not just those at the southwest border. This statement updates my roadmap for actions in light of the latest events. I demand the following:
- Immediate halt all actions of state agencies that separate children from families and kinship networks, without physical evidence of abuse, including ex parte orders without a hearing and all contested TPR (Termination of Parental Rights) and contested adoption proceedings; halt all adoption and guardianship bonuses
- Implement Family First Prevention Services Act and shift taxpayer funds away from forced separation of children from family and kinship networks to providing services, resources and opportunities to at-risk families; fund family advocate programs
- Transform agencies and change federal legislation to stop $50 billion for-profit foster care system; develop and fund models for independent child/family/advocate/agency case reviews including forced TPRs since 1990
- Call for Congressional Hearings on Adoption and Safe Families Act including detailed accounting of child whereabouts and impact of child separations; focus testimony on children and parents
- Call for Congressional Hearings on shared parenting, parental alienation and the harms of outdated family and custody law
Called “the Government Mechanic” when I ran for President as an independent candidate in 2016, I am an organizational psychologist by training. I excel as an architect of solutions to complicated problems. I hope you will join me and the Family Forward Project in this fight for children’s rights and to transform family law.