Parents’ Constitutional Right to Legal Representation When CPS Takes Their Kids Routinely Violated Leading to Greater Child Kidnappings by the State
Since we have started covering the medical kidnapping issue here at Health Impact News, we have frequently pointed out that when child protection social services (CPS) removes a child from their home, parents have fewer legal rights than rapists, murders, or terrorists. All it takes to have one's children seized by CPS is an anonymous call making a claim against the parents, or a doctor reporting the parents to CPS for not taking their advice and wanting a second opinion, etc. Since each child placed into foster care represents a huge monetary value to the state, the incentive to make sure parental rights are preserved is very low. Judges in Family Courts routinely abuse parental rights, including issuing gag orders against the parents in an attempt to stop them from sharing their stories with the media - a clear violation of the First Amendment. In most of these cases, the parents are either not represented with an attorney, or represented with an appointed attorney that only tries to reach a settlement, not fight for the parents' rights. While we agree with the late Georgia Senator Nancy Schaefer that the child welfare system in the U.S. is too corrupt to reform and needs to be abolished, and with the former Director for the Baltimore City Department of Social Services Molly McGrath Tierney that the whole premise behind foster care is "a bad idea" and that instead "kids ought to be in families," there is some evidence that when parents have good legal representation at the very beginning when they are investigated by CPS, far fewer children are removed from their homes. That begs the question: why aren't most states providing proper legal representation of parents under investigation by CPS, which is in fact their Constitutional right? Richard Wexler, the Executive Director of the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform (NCCPR), and attorney Vivek S. Sankaran, Clinical Professor of Law at the University of Michigan and director of the Child Advocacy Law Clinic and the Child Welfare Appellate Clinic, have recently addressed this issue, and they give practical advice on how this situation can be remedied immediately.