Paranoid enough to think they’re watching me; rational enough to know I’m right…

December 14, 2009 § 18 Comments

Try this on for size: Social Services in England take a two year old from his parents because they refuse to feed him junk food.

The thing is, here in the US, our laws are written in such a way that children cannot be taken from the home unless there is “proof of harm.” But according to the UN’s Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which England (and most of Europe) has ratified, the “best interests” of the child are the defining factor for removal– and it is a broad definition at that.

I have a lot of issues with the CRC, not the least of which is that if the US ratifies it, it would supersede the Constitution and overturn the rights of the parent. ParentalRights.Org is an organization that is trying to create an amendment that would help protect parents from having their children ripped away for silly and arbitrary reasons, and keep governmental bureaucracies from undermining parental authority.

That’s not to say that the way things are currently parents do not sometimes find themselves in a position of defending their parenting habits, but at least there are regulations in place to minimize unjust removals.

But on a lighter note, here’s a video about the unjust removal of our money from our wallets.

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§ 18 Responses to Paranoid enough to think they’re watching me; rational enough to know I’m right…

  • kingodin says:

    From what I learned in government class, the U.S. Constitution is supreme to any international law, and American law itself stands on equal ground with international law. I think one right they should give children is the right to life (and I fear my mother would have aborted me had she found out I was autistic before I was born). I do give thumbs up to the U.N. for the Convention on People with Disabilities, although the monsters at Autism Speaks showed a nasty anti-autism video to them recently, so I’m skeptical. I think, too, that all totalitarian states should be kicked out of the U.N. so that it’s a true arsenal of freedom and democracy.

  • DT says:

    The way the UN resolution is worded, if our country ratifies it, it would supersede the Constitution.

  • kingodin says:

    Thumbs down to that, then. Parents should definitely not be stripped of moral authority over their children.

  • frodo_esque says:

    I’m confused at your outrage; the parents in this case refused to feed their child food to sustain his life, why is that okay? As they stated, the child was a fussy eater who wasn’t eating the healthy foods offered to him, so why not give him something that will allow him some caloric input to grow? It just doesn’t seem to be the ideal time to stick to your convictions if a hot dog will allow the child the calories he needs to survive.
    Also it’s good to know that the Daily Mail is very poorly regarded source.

  • DT says:

    I wholly disagree.
    The child’s life wasn’t in danger– he was just a fussy eater. And I will never agree that chocolate, chips, cakes and candy are a viable solution for “putting weight” on a child. If my doctor ordered me to feed my child junk food in an effort to increase her weight, I would change doctors.
    And if his life were in danger, junk food would not be a solution– the treatment for malnurishment is not empty calories, chemicals and synthetic food, it is greater amounts of real foods– especially ones that pack a greater nutritional punch per volume.
    Those parents went to the doctor in good faith to find solutions to get their son to eat more of the healthy choices they were offering– this was a behavioral issue with the child, not a neglect issue from the parents.
    His developing system and his current and future eating habits were harmed far more by the addition of empty calories and unhealthy chemicals than by his picky eating habits. Not to mention the intense damage to his psyche in being ripped from his parents for 4 months to live with complete strangers. The fallout from the mishandling of this case will be far reaching for this entire family.
    A child will eat when he’s hungry–no child ever starved to death because he was a fussy eater. A parent’s job is to make sure that whatever choices are presented are all healthy and nutritious so that when he does eat, he can thrive.
    As someone whose child wasn’t</i< gaining weight and was starting to lose weight soon after birth, I take this story very personally. I was told by my doctor at the time that if she hadn’t started to gain weight that they were going to put her in the hospital on a feeding tube, and then later by the nurse that if she hadn’t gained anything, they would have to report me to child services. I LOVE my baby. I was feeding her every half hour. I was NOT neglecting her. There was a legitimate medical issue as to why she wasn’t gaining.
    Their situation is different in that he was eating, just not to everyone else’s satisfaction. Far too much emphasis is placed on “meeting growth charts.” Each child is different and grows at their own pace. As long as they aren’t losing weight or showing signs of poor health in other areas, there is generally nothing to worry about.
    The doctors should have come up with ways to encourage the child to eat more of what was being offered, all the while assuring the parents that there was really nothing to worry about, he wouldn’t starve, and he would eventually grow out of his pickiness and retain the healthy food choices that they were fomenting in him.
    I am thoroughly disgusted with how this situation was handled.

  • frodo_esque says:

    Whoa…okay, good point. Just goes to show that I probably shouldn’t do work and respond to LJ articles at the same time.
    I agree, taking the child away was rash, but I am going to allow a little bit of allowance towards there being more to the story. Perhaps there is nothing more and the NHS did overreact–and if that’s the case, it would be a shame.
    That said, I think far too much emphasis is put on people wanting to feed their kids only healthy foods, I’m in a field that pushes healthy eating, but I really think moderation is the key. What I reacted to in this article was the parents refusal to give the child any junk foods. I’m loath to accept any sort of extremism.

  • ladyfaith3 says:

    I agree with you on all of this. Junk food will actually cause malnutrician even if there is weight gain. It seems foolish to take the advise of “add chocolate” to the kid’s diet! There are other ways to add calories that are nutricious, whole fat yougurt, peanutbutter, whole fat cheeses, baby nutrician shakes even! I don’t see junk as a good sollution either.

  • ladyfaith3 says:

    oh and the little guy looks very unhealthy I can understand some concern he may even have had a digestive disorder or allergy. I think that should’ve been checked before he was remomved from his family.

  • DT says:

    I agree that there may be more to the story… For instance, as pointed out, why didn’t they check for an allergy or other sensitivity or health issue first? Perhaps he wasn’t eating because the foods disagreed with him.
    That being said, if it were a case of food sensitivity, or something extreme like celiac disease, adding in junk food could potentially be even more disastrous.
    I agree with “everything in moderation,” but wonder at the necessity for junk foods at all. How many societies have lived and thrived without ever once eating a Twinkie or a Hershey Bar? 😉
    I’m still trying to wean myself off of sugar (and have started gaining back what I lost post pregnancy because of my addiction to chocolate cake and other yummy yet empty foods) and would prefer that my daughter not have to struggle with it at all.
    Ahhh… I need my farm where I can grow all my own yumminess!!!

  • DT says:

    Yes, one of the things I was thinking of when I read this article is the incidence of childhood obesity in the West. Children are fatter than they have ever been in history, and yet they are more malnourished.

  • frodo_esque says:

    Oh, junk food is definitely NOT needed, but it’s such a part of our culture that denying a child it will only increase it’s temptation.
    Case in point: My parents wouldn’t let us have gum when we were growing up, so that when we got older (like um, now), I go crazy when someone offers me gum. =)
    My mom actually said that she began to have to give us gum when I kept swallowing it when offered by friends. lol
    That said, we REALLY savored our sweets because we knew it would be a long time before we got another one; and the gum fetish has slowed down big time now that I can buy as much as I want. I eat my sweets slowly now, in fact, a slice of cake can often last me a few days.
    So uh, maybe my parents were right. lol

  • pixie117 says:

    That article shocked me so much, I had to re-post it to my own journal. Wow. Thanks for sharing. I had enver thought something like that was possible…but then again, I am surprised by people everyday…

  • DT says:

    Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

  • DT says:

    I am surprised by people everyday…
    Tell me about it… Shocking new lows of idiocy seem to abound every single day.

  • frodo_esque says:

    That is true, although my younger brother is the complete opposite. He’s very obese and eats a lot of sweets with no limits, however, I think his eating is way of treating his unhappiness inside.

  • lijuun says:

    Actually, any UN conventions or ANYTHING ELSE cannot supersede the Constitution, regardless of how the convention is worded. They only do because we, collectively, let them.

  • lijuun says:

    The thing is, here in the US, our laws are written in such a way that children cannot be taken from the home unless there is “proof of harm.”
    I hate to break it to you, but children are taken away from their families all the time. without due process – right here in the US. The due process is what is required to get that “proof of harm” and yet it is carelessly ignored on a daily basis across our country. I am not talking about children found bloody and starving, I am talking about children who might have a bruise (what child doesn’t?) or who is seen crying (again, what child doesn’t?) in public and are taken away from their parents without due process. What happened in the UK could easily (and probably already has) happen here.

  • IAWTC.
    The UN convention is not law, for one, and even if ratified, in order for it to supersede the US Constitution, it must be amended into the Constitution. Case in precedent: prohibition. The 18th Amendment to the US Constitution effectively forbade alcohol in the United States; the 21st Amendment, which repealed it, was added, because without it, that law is set in stone.
    Also, doing some research (Wikipedia for the win), it looks like the only conflicts with this convention are Article 29 (which would override private school rights to teach a religious faith, as near as I can tell), and Article 37 (in which children would not get life sentences in imprisonment with no opportunity for parole, in conflict with several states which have apparently gone so far as to approve execution for juveniles). This said, Article 29 would not jive with Amendment 1 in the Constitution (ergo effectively killing it on the spot), and I’m not so sure I agree with life imprisonment, let alone execution, of juveniles in any circumstance.

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