Kenneth Paschal: Flawed bills hurt children, parents and grandparents has appearance of state actor fraud on parents.
March 21, 2014 § Leave a comment
Alabama voices – Kenneth Paschal: Flawed bills hurt children, parents and grandparents
Approximately 40,000 children in Alabama are annually subjected to child custody determinations which result in court orders limiting children to only 48-56 hours twice a month with one of their two fit parents. This places children at risk as well as causing approximately 80,000 grandparents to be alienated from their grandchildren because of court orders because it limits grandparents’ opportunities to interact with their grandchildren.
Family Law Reform is needed to address this issue.
By reforming the Alabama family law and practices, the majority of the issues of grandparents being deprived of a loving and nurturing relationship with their grandchildren will be resolved without the state infringing upon fit parents’ rights to raise their children.
The sponsor of the bill testified that the purpose of HB289 was to address the following issues: to ensure grandparents have visitation rights to their grandchildren when the parents are either unable or unwilling to care for the children such as: parent(s) are addicted to drugs or alcohol to the extent of institutionalization or placed in a recovery program; incarceration; abandonment; when a parent is deceased; a parent has been established as missing for a specified amount of time.
HB289 and SB190 go way beyond the above mentioned and do not protect the parent-child relationship of fit parents and their children from unwarranted state and government interference into the family unit without first determining if parents are unfit or deceased.
It is the role of the lawmakers to implement public policy to protect children and the family unit from unwarranted state and government interference. HB289/SB190 does neither; in fact, these bills recklessly place children at further risk of being separated from their fit parents without any legal reasoning or compelling state interest.
Grandparents’ rights are very important. Children’s rights to have both fit parents in their lives are primal and fundamental rights. Secondarily, a parent’s right to raise their children is a fundamental right protected by the U.S. Constitution.