- a California school of social work,
- a vaccine apologist, and
- the government
have in common?
No, it’s not just that they’re the traditional enemies of parental rights. Rather, in the last two months ParentalRights.org has been invited into conversation with all of them!
As a nation we see too many children suffer unnecessary removal from loving parents in perfectly good homes. Too many families live in fear rather than freedom.
It is high time we had some serious conversations as to what we’re going to do about it. Fortunately, we are not the only people who think so.
Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe
Last month I received a call from the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, or the “U.S. Helsinki Commission.” (From their website, the Commission “monitor[s] compliance with the Helsinki Accords and advance[s] comprehensive security through promotion of human rights, democracy, and economic, environmental, and military cooperation in the 57-nation OSCE region.”)
The Commission planned to address parental rights and family integrity at an upcoming briefing, and they called us to learn our concerns. What is the pulse of family rights not just in Europe, where Norway’s Barnavernet is taking children away without cause, or where Germany and the Scandinavian countries prohibit home schooling, but here in the States, as well?
We talked about the 83% of child welfare investigations that are ultimately unfounded or unsubstantiated. We talked about how easily children are “medically kidnapped” if parents disagree with their health care provider, and about the lack of due process in “Shaken Baby Syndrome” cases, where a child abuse “expert” proclaims guilt or innocence.
Social Work Professor
Then last week I spoke with a social work professor from one of California’s state universities. She is putting together a program to provide her social work students with the parents’ perspective so that when they become professional investigators, they will be better prepared to respect parents and serve the needs of the families, instead of just taking children. As she put it, she wants to “re-professionalize child welfare,” to “stop repeating the same mistakes that have led to so much friction” between the system and the families in it.
Lastly, at a recent D.C. conference I had a wonderful conversation with a former pharmaceutical marketer. Now with a large biotechnology trade association, she represents many of the companies who manufacture the vaccines our lawmakers are mandating without exemption today. Yet she and I were able to have a warm and constructive conversation about the concerns of parents and the non-transferable responsibility we have to make the best medical decisions for our individual children.
We talked about the road blocks to conversation when it comes to vaccines. We share a concern that parents in some locations are denied quality health care simply because they oppose vaccinating their child or choose not to vaccinate on the doctor’s schedule.
Mostly, we talked about the need to have the conversation. We talked about the need to protect our common interests in health, for instance, without demanding that families give up their rights to privacy and self-determination.
We’re Having the Conversations Because of You!
To be fair, these relationships are all in their infancy. I have no stunning conclusions to share, no amazing breakthroughs to pass along. But these are very much the kind of conversations we want to be a part of!
As I write, I’ve just completed a special year-end message asserting that we are changing the culture for the better. These conversations were too new to make it into that letter, but they perfectly exemplify its point.
Through perseverance and your faithfulness, we have caught the attention of organizations with influence to change the way parents are viewed in some crucial situations. They in turn have reached out to hear what we have to say about your children, your families, and your rights.
What an amazing privilege to come to the table with the traditional enemies of parental rights—the government, the vaccine industry, and a school of social work! What a powerful opportunity to speak into the issues on your behalf!
We would not have been invited apart from your faithful support through the years. So thank you for standing with us.
I can’t wait to see what fruit will follow in 2019!