It is incomprehensible to me that Child Abuse and Neglect was first recognized in the United States in the mid 1800s only after the Society for the Prevention of the Cruelty to Animals activists succeeded in legislation that allowed them to go into the homes of private citizens to rescue animals that were being abused and neglected. It was during this time that animal activists noticed the plight of helpless children who were being abused, neglected and tortured. The first of the activist to respond to the plight of the children reported that the hideous state of the children made grown men cry. These men sobbed openly as they attempted rescues of children and in some cases their bodies.
Thirty percent of the United State’s Population is children under the age of 18 years of age. While we have many children languishing in the foster care system who could be adopted by other family members such as: grandparents, extended family and gay parents it is no longer a matter of special interest, it is a matter of what is in the best interest of the children. The laws must reflect the rights of children to be treated as human beings and not property.
Grandparents who are seeking visitation for their grandchildren and/or custody of the grandchildren or are raising grandchildren they wish to adopt, run up against barriers and issues such as privacy rights of the parents. The privacy rights supersede the best interest of the child in the Unites States Court systems in spite of research that shows better child outcomes when the interactions include nurturing and loving extended family and grandparents. Children who have been adopted by one gay parent and cannot be adopted by the other gay parent are denied the feeling of solidarity and recognition of the love and allegiance they feel for both of their gay parents. Children who are denied access to their fathers or mothers due to the court systems inability to determine what is in the best interest of a child are deprived role modeling and care of a parent they may have bonded and attached to thus creating emotional attachment issues that often plague them throughout their lives. The laws must reflect the rights of children to be treated as human beings and not property.
If and when the best interest of the child supersedes the privacy laws in the United State then and only then will we see a change in how children’s issues are approached and dealt with on all political fields. Children are people although they are developing into adults they are no less human beings with feelings and thoughts and opinions about their lives. To carelessly and recklessly abdicate all responsibility to parents without regard to the best interest of the child, provides no less than “ownership” of a child to the parents which is the equivalent of owning a piece of property or a vehicle. This depersonalization of children is why violence in parenting and in society is still tolerated and even advocated against children. Children are assaulted every day in our schools, in their homes and on our streets without proportional justice on their behalf. A birth certificate is not a certificate of entitlement to ownership of another human being, it is an identifier of a child’s birth and who they have been named. The birth certificate legal belongs to the child, as does their life and their right to be treated with the same human dignity as that of any other human being. Being placed as the guardian of a child through parenting is a gift, not ownership. The laws must reflect the rights of children to be treated as human beings and not property.