“She is my heart…” Bryce Cook, Father, Fighting to Gain Custody of Premie Daughter

Bryce Cook and his premie daughter, Bryelle. Go Fund Me: https://www.gofundme.com/help-bring-bryelle-home

(Idaho Falls, Idaho: January 2018)  Bryce Cook is fighting to gain custody of his premie daughter, Bryelle, who was placed in foster care after he reported the child’s mother for alleged drug use. Cook says he reported the drug use because, “I want my daughter to be safe and home at least a fair chance in life…” 

Bryelle is a miracle baby, born at 25 weeks weighing a little more than one pound. Cook decorated a nursery for Bryelle; the place where a baby is supposed to sleep has become a place to reflect on his pain,”I sleep in the nursery so I can look out, instead of being out looking into an empty nursery, it kills me inside. I cry, I cry just thinking about when she’s 18 and has to leave the house again.” 

Cook wrote a desperate plea for help on GoFundMe:

First if all I hate doing this I’m not a begger but I need help.

My daughter Bryelle was born 1 lb 12 oz cps was called because I was worried about her safety do to situation. Despite facts they have lied made false accusations and appointed me a criminal defense lawyer honestly I don’t know how I got involved. It wasn’t my case felt i did right thing. I was the only person to see Bryelle everyday sometimes two three times working a full time job and two part time one a payback I have two kids that mean the world to me. I have not failed any uranalysis I got on chantix for respitory issues due to the early birth.

Im finding resources to take care of her special needs likeeating even though they should’ve offered I got a nicer place and a nursery set up she is my heart and they have used everything against me even when I planned it out discredited there concerns and didn’t have a fair chance to receive the basic training I worked hard for my family and I hated doing this but thought it was worth a try.

I want my daughter to be safe and home at least a fair chance in life I appreciate anyone’s concern and I’m sorry I’m asking I just have don’t have money due to baby needs cps is breaking laws and I have tried everything I can do

God bless and if you wanna check out my story check out timeline God bless this girl is special and I feel hopeless. Thank you and share if you want I just want my daughter to be ok. I also have a son who misses his sister. I’m a good man and have a good heart. Anything helps Bryce Cook if u wanna check it out and share.”

Cook shared his story in support groups for parents of premature children on Facebook and has recently been featured in a local news report: Local father fighting for custody of premature daughter (Local News 8)

Also visit Cook’s GoFund me atHelp bring Bryelle home

 

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Response: “The Business of Divorce is Broken. It No Longer Works for Anyone…”

The evidence that the family court system is failing is overwhelming… an attorney shares her thoughts on common concerns, and encourages family law professionals to be part of the solution. As a parent involved in family court, I offer my thoughts as well. 

As a child, Michelle Crosby vividly recalled the pain of her parents’ divorce, which later became the catalyst for her to enter law school. Crosby has since dedicated her life to helping families involved in divorce or custody proceedings reach resolution without getting stuck in the legal system. She is the founder and CEO of Wevorce a company that offers an innovative approach to deal with divorce more amicably that is customized to the individual needs of each family, and is settlement focused.

In the article Family Law Is Broken. Let’s Fix It. Crosby, says that family law or “the business of divorce” is broken and does not work for anyone – not couples, not children, and not even the judges, attorneys and professionals driving the  system. 

Crosby shares some common problems facing the family court system:

** The family court system is designed to work for society as a whole and not designed to individually address each family’s problems.  Crosby says that in order to meet the demands of a large group of people,  family courts seek a traditional or “cookie cutter” approach to cases and expect all families to comply no matter how complex or unique their needs are.

** The family courts are underfunded and ill-equipped to handle complex cases that require more time and resources to reach a resolution.

**Couples entering family court have no idea of what they are getting into when litigation begins but the courts do, attorneys do. Many litigants do not understand the court process. When seeking help, the complexity of what is involved as well as the variety of services makes it hard to be an “informed consumer” when getting the right professional help for your situation. (In my opinion, this creates an imbalance of power which makes litigants/parents more vulnerable. — Especially when that litigant/parent cannot afford legal help and is forced to represent themselves pro se.)

** Finally, Crosby says divorce is looked at as a legal issue alone and that emotional issues must also be considered when seeking resolution for families. She warns, “Until we change this mindset that divorce equals law (and therefore lawyers, big legal bills, fighting, courtrooms, and so on), we don’t have a chance to change how divorce is done…

Crosby is optimistic that the family court process can be improved, and that families will fare better if law professionals work together to seek solutions. She encourages professional involvement (mediators, therapist, community orgs, etc) so that families become more empowered, and are given more choices to resolve their own divorce in a more personalized way that does not overly rely on the court. Crosby also advises that litigants/parents “ take ownership of their divorce and what their family’s unique situation requires…

** RESPONSE **

Family court is, itself, is trapped in it’s own messy divorce with the families who come under it’s jurisdiction. 

The family court system is broken and failing miserably and that is clear.

Some would say family court is corrupt. Or that family court operates like a business, a “court-oration” that profits off keeping families in the system. Others place the fault at pro se litigants, claiming those who do not have attorneys clog up the system by filing frivolous motions or creating conflict. Or simply excuse complaints about the court system as coming from “disgruntled” litigants.

Whatever you believe the evidence of the failings of family court are overwhelming – most families leave court in a worse position than when litigation began.

Common complaints about family court include: 

Domestic abuse survivors are pressured or threatened to stop reporting abuse by judges, GALs and other court professionals; and punished when trying to protect children from harm. 

Children are court ordered into the custody and care of abusive, unfit parents at alarming rates. Many of these children are re-abused, some are even murdered. 

When abusive, dysfunctional parents gain custody (and it is usually sole custody) they continue to abuse their ex partner, and children and are more likely to sabotage the child’s relationship with the other parent.

Laws are routinely broken in family court, and the Constitutional rights of parents/litigants violated.

Family Courts easily remove children from the custody of parents and do so by stripping parents of their legal rights, and denying due process. 

Litigant/parents have little or no recourse while judges, GALs and other court professionals receive immunity.

And justice is denied.

CC0 Public Domain Image: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net

So now you have families dealing with the challenges of divorce and/or child custody, grappling with various issues that are both material and emotional, entering a court system that is itself abusive, dysfunctional and chaotic. Litigants enter the system seeking resolution for their family’s own problems and ultimately find themselves in a tug-of-war for their children, their finances, their assets, their reputations and even their freedoms against the court itself.

The children involved in these cases spend their whole childhood involved in litigation; subjected to invasive interventions from the court’s cottage industry of professionals that disrupt their lives. Parents who once made decisions for their children are now being overruled by complete strangers working in the system who know what is “best” and often make assertions without having the proper credentials to do so. Even the relationship between the parent and child is subject to revision through use of aggressive demands, as well as psychological treatment placed on parent and child by court order.  In a large number of cases fit, loving parents lose custody of children and/or visitation is severely limited while abusive, dysfunctional parents are given sole custody (and preferential treatment). Some parents become permanently estranged from children, and lose all contact. All of this, supposedly, in the “best interest” of children.

The result, predictably, is more pain, stress and strife for families – many who find themselves trapped in the legal system for years and years, and leave family court traumatized, their lives totally devastated at every level.  

I appreciate the insights Michelle Crosby has shared. And applaud her willingness to seek solutions by reaching out to all involved in proceedings – family law professionals, community providers and parents. I agree with Crosby that solutions to “fix” family law should involve not only addressing the systemic problems but also assisting families to seek solutions privately, keeping the role of the court minimal.

But at the same time, the injustices happening in family court cannot and should not be ignored. There needs to be more transparency in the court system, and more accountability overall. Litigants/parents should be given effective means to file complaints and have them heard. Judges, GALs and court professionals should face real discipline when they act outside their mandated duties, or when they break the law.

The court system also needs to develop better practices when allegations of domestic abuse or child abuse are raised. Victims should be protected – not punished.

Fix family law.. alot of work needs to be done! What are your ideas? Please post below – together let’s be part of the solution. 

~ “Emily Court”

Read More: 

Wevorce CEO Michelle Crosby is shaking up the adversarial divorce process

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Child’s Drawing: “Daddy in Jail, He Hit Me..” (Family Court Awards Custody to Abuser)

Family Court Injustice Hennepin County, Minnesota

(Hennepin County, Minnesota: 2006-2018) Mother discovers child’s drawings in a lost notebook, a voice silenced by family court speaks out about abuse…

“Daddy red touch – jail with lock. He hit me.” Child then slaps himself in the head, hard, to show what happened. 

This picture of “Daddy” is drawn in red crayon to represent “red touches”. The words above I wrote based on what my child, ” then age 7, reported to me.

Child has suffered severe PTSD and behavioral problems, which therapists noted are consistent with witnessing or being a victim of domestic abuse. As a result of recalling this troubling memory, child would become upset and later have a meltdown. “Meltdown” meaning he would fall to the floor crying and screaming. At times, during a meltdown, he would repeat swear words he heard from “Daddy” or become aggressive. Therapists noted in records that DJ told them “I learned my tantrum from Dad” and “I want to be the boss like Dad“. 

Child read the “Red Flag, Green Flag People” book in a domestic abuse support group for children and learned about personal safety.  “Red Flag, Green Flag” follows the good touch/bad touch teaching pattern, with green flag touches being safe and appropriate touches and red flag touches being inappropriate, uncomfortable, or hurtful touches.

Background: 

In April 2006, I was physically assaulted by my abusive ex, Martin and forced to flee the home to seek safety for myself and my children. My child was injured during the incident when Martin forced entry into the home, slamming him in the face with the door, causing a black eye. Being homeless, and living on the streets or couch surfing, was actually safer than staying in an abusive relationship with Martin. But nothing could compare to the nightmare that awaited us in the Hennepin County Family Injustice Center.

Martin sought sole custody of the children telling me that he “wanted me to know how it felt to be hurt“. Martin also told me that if he could not gain custody of the children that he would “call a social worker and have the children put into foster care” just so they would not be in my care.

When litigation began, in June 2006, I naively believed that the family court would listen when I reported the abuse, and investigate the various evidence I submitted showing that abuse did happen, and would work to protect the children.

I thought the Guardian ad Litem, first Christine Davis and then Jamie L. Manning, would listen to the children when they reported abuse, and showed fear of their father, and do something to protect them. Just the opposite happened – my children were pressured and coerced by the court and GAL Manning to recant abuse, and forced into a relationship with their father despite tears and cries for help. When my children reported abuse to the Guardian ad Litem, and court appointed therapist they were told “it happened in the past” and if there wasn’t bruises on their body right now, they could not prove abuse happened. And when bruises and other marks as a result of abuse or neglect did happen, the court and GAL continued to make excuses for the abuser and deny that my children were endangered. 

I was unjustly removed from my children’s lives by court order and told that reporting abuse meant I was unable to co-parent. And also told that I am “keeping secrets” because I entered an address confidentiality program for victims of domestic abuse (and that meant I am an unfit parent). All of these obscene reasons were used to illegally strip me of parental rights and forcibly remove my children from the safe, loving home I provided. I now am allowed just one visit a month with my children, and the court order states I must ask Martin – the abuser – for permission before being given any additional parenting time.

As a result of proceedings, my children have been forced to live in an abusive and dysfunctional environment. The children have been physically and mentally re-abused and emotionally neglected after Martin gained custody. By court order, the children have been  forcibly estranged from their mother, and any connection to their maternal family including their sibling, other family members and friends and their cultural and religious heritage.

I am still involved in family court proceedings, fighting to regain rights and visitation to my children, and working to keep them safe.

~ “Emily Court” © 2018

Posted in Abuse Allegations & Documentation, Our Family Albulm | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Disciplinary Hearing set for Family Court Judge Rena Hughes Who Threatened Child With Jail

Judge Rena Hughes

(Las Vegas, Nevada: February 2, 2018) Family Court Judge Rena Hughes soon will be judged in a disciplinary hearing after a complaint was filed due to her conduct in a custody hearing that included threatening a weeping 12 year old child with jail if she did not immediately go into the custody of her allegedly abusive father.

The mother, Welthy Silva, was then slapped with a no contact order prohibiting any contact with her daughter, and has fought to regain parental rights. 

A video of the hearing captured the 12-year old girl’s terror at Judge Hughes actions towards her

Annie (Crying, Pleading) “Please no, I want to be with my mama. Please. I don’t want to be with him.”
Judge Hughes: “I’ve made my decision. I’ve already told you that.”
Annie: “I beg of you.”
Judge: “You don’t need to beg.  I’ve made the decision for your best interest.”
Annie: “How do you know my best interest? You don’t know me.”
Judge: “Because I told you, I’m a grown-up, and you’re a child.”
Annie: “Please, please, please, please, please.”

Silva says about the video footage of the hearing that it is too painful for her to watch. She also says,”I wasn’t thrilled about having my daughter exposed like this, but if it can get some justice, if it can save future children from this kind of abuse of power, then so be it. Judge Hughes sealed the case soon after the court video surfaced on You Tube.

Since the airing of this video, more mothers have come forward to complain about the behavior of Judge Hughes on their cases, who has been described as a “bully on the bench”. According to Action News 13,”More mothers are coming forward to Contact 13 saying a Family Court judge is a bully on the bench, accusing her of ripping families apart, failing to enforce child support orders and leaving children as collateral damage.. CONTACT 13: More moms come forward to say Family Court judge is bully on bench (Darcy Spears)

 

Update from the Las Vegas Review Journal,A disciplinary hearing has been set for Family Court Judge Rena Hughes to address allegations that she improperly held a mother in contempt of court during a custody battle.

At a hearing in June 2016, Hughes awarded a girl’s father temporary custody, then threatened to send the girl, who cried during the court proceeding, to Child Haven, a shelter for abused and neglected children, if she refused to go with her father, according to a formal statement of charges from the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline…

Source: Las Vegas Review Journal: Disciplinary hearing set for Family Court judge/

Also read the previous FCI post on the Silva case: UPDATE On Silva Case – Child Berated By Judge, Threatened With Jail After Refusing to Visit Abusive Father

 

Posted in Child Abuse, Children Stolen by the Government, Family Court Injustice, Family Court News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Reader Question: How Do You Cope with Loss of Alienated Child with Family, Siblings?

Public Domain – Pinterest Wall Paper

The FCI blog received a reader question regarding coping with the loss of an alienated child, and addressing the issue with a sibling child and other family members.

Readers please leave your thoughts, tips and advice to support this parent, and all parents going through this very painful loss. You can post as comment to chime in or if you want, contact the FCI blog at djfund @ live dot com

Thank-You!

______________

Deanna writes:Once you have a child that is alienated from an entire family

How do you propose the family deal with the loss?

And how do we help our younger children deal with the loss of a sibling?”

________________

FCI Response:

Hello Deanna,

The loss of a child due to alienation is just as painful as if the child has died, and in my experience, you go through the very same grieving process. This type of loss is called “Ambiguous Loss” mean it is a loss that happens suddenly, and without explanation, and remains unresolved or there is no opportunity for closure.

Every person, and family, deals with the loss differently. There is no right or wrong way. What is most important is finding ways to offer you support, and assist in your grief in a way that is meaningful for you.

Tips on Dealing with Ambiguous Loss:

Coping with an Unknown Outcome: Ambiguous Loss

Coping With Ambiguous Loss: Resiliency Not Recovery

When dealing with the loss of my children, it also helped tremendously to find a way to honor my children, and keep them a part of my life even though they are not with me. I did alot of volunteering because it gave me a way to use my mothering, and express what I valued most about being with family, in another setting. For example when working at a clubhouse for disabled adults I enjoyed cooking meals for potlucks or playing games with clients. Church was also really helpful for me because it offered messages of hope, and stories of people overcoming incredible challenges.. and gave me a strength I did not have inside of my self. So be open to trying new outlets to channel what is meaningful to you about your child or your role as a parent. Or be open to find support in creative places.

One tip – you do NOT have to tell anyone your story if you do not feel comfortable, and it may even make you vulnerable to do so. It’s ok to keep your story private and use generic expressions when asking for help such as “I’m going through a loss” or “I have experienced grief” or “I’m needing support for a challenging I’m going through”. Also many community support groups are anonymous, and it’s ok to use a nickname or anonymous name if you feel more comfortable.

As far as younger children, what I did when my son was grieving the loss of his siblings is find books or movies to tell him what is going on in a kid friendly way, and let him know I understood his feelings.

The best movie I found was “Elmo in Grouchland”. The villain in the story, Huxley, steals Elmo’s blanket, and takes it to another world and away from Elmo. Elmo grieves the loss of his blanket. And then goes on an epic adventure to get it back.

It felt easier to talk about the loss of my son’s siblings when comparing it to the loss of Elmo’s blanket. That Huxley had problems sharing so he took the blanket away, and that made Elmo sad. I said that my ex also had problems with sharing so he wasn’t letting us see your siblings, and we also feel sad. But just like Elmo worked hard to get his blanket back, mommy was also working hard to be able to spend more time with your siblings. And that might not happen right away but your brother and sister love you, and know we love them.

Another book that is really helpful is “The Kissing Hand”. The book is about a young raccoon that misses his mother when he goes to school so the Mother raccoon gives him reassurance by kissing his paw, and placing the paw on his face to remember her love.

At night, I would read my son the book and then we’d kiss our hand, and through it out the window imagining that it would reach his brother and sister. It comforted my son to know he could do something, and that somewhere his siblings were getting his kiss.

Anyone else have any tips for dealing with a child that is alienated from the family? Please post in comments.

 

Posted in Inspirational Quotes/Scripture, Parenting Tips and Articles | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ethics Charge: Judge James W. Palmer Jr. Tries to Avoid Paying Child Support by Pressuring, Intimidating Child Support Officer

CC0 Public Domain Image: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net

Family Court Judge tries to avoid paying child support by pressuring, and intimidating child support officer now faces a formal complaint, ethics charges. 

(Somerset County, New Jersey: 1/22/2018) – Superior Court Judge James W. Palmer Jr., who sits in the Civil Division in Ocean County, faces ethics charges for allegedly referring to his position as a judge in an attempt to reduce his child support obligation with the Somerset County Probation office that is handling his case.

Judge Palmer is desperately trying to avoid paying child support and is willing to emancipate his child so that he no longer has any financial obligation to her. During the incident, Judge Palmer bitterly complained about the cost of living increase included in child support, implying that he is unable to pay because voters failed to raise his annual salary of $165,000 (that includes tenure).

The formal complaint can be read here: Complaint James W Palmer Jr, Judge of the Superior Court

Judge Palmer is charged with violating the rules of judicial conduct;  of which one of the rules states that judges should “avoid lending the prestige of their office to advance a personal interest.” The violation included name dropping himself as a judge, and exerting pressure when Judge Palmer tried to reduce his child support payment and encourage the emancipation of a child who is the custody of his ex-wife. Should the child be emancipated, Judge Palmer would no longer be legally obligated to pay any child support.

During the incident, which happened on March 21, 2o17, Judge Palmer argued with a caseworker at the Probation for 20 minutes before a supervisor was called to deal with him. Judge Palmer told the supervisor that he objected to a cost of living increase in his child support payment “because you voted that I don’t get a raise.”, complaining about his annual salary of $165,000 (that includes tenure). 

By law, Judge Palmer will have an opportunity to answer the complaint and then a public hearing will be scheduled. After the hearing the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct will recommend to the state Supreme Court what, if any, public discipline should be imposed judge.

Read More: 

Ocean County judge faces ethics charges in his own Family Court case in Somerset County

 

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Global Citizens Arrest Day, January 3, 2018: Global Effort to Raise Awareness of Family Court, CPS Corruption & Abuse

January 3, 2018 is GLOBAL CITIZENS ARREST DAY

Join this worldwide effort to raise awareness of the corruption and systemic abuses occurring in family court and CPS.

You can also help by joining the facebook pages, which will provide you with information, updates and ways to participate: 

Facebook: Punished 4 Protecting Advocacy Networking Group

Facebook: Global Citizens Arrest Event

PLEASE SHARE this event with friends and family, and encourage them to not spend any money on January 3, 2018. Also share web links and Global Citizens Arrest Day images on your social media accounts or groups. THANK YOU!!!  

What: January 3, 2018, do not spend any money whatsoever. No shopping, no restaurants, no apps/games, etc and limited internet usage We are putting a STOP to our nation as we know it, for this ONE day!

Mission: To raise awareness of corruption, systemic abuses,  happening in family court and CPS; and the devastating impact of this on families, and children.

Stand united to apply public pressure to the media, court system, and political leaders to listen to the voices of families harmed by family court and urge needed reforms.

Once the Global Citizens Arrest has captured the attention of those in higher power, we will proceed to file and request that our government begin to investigate, audit and ultimately arrest and prosecute of all the judges, guardian ad litems and CPS workers, (etc) who are proven to have been a part of this money-making racket and responsible for putting innocent children in unsafe homes.

Why: A crisis of pandemic proportions is occurring in family court and CPS. Here in America, and across the world, children are being unlawfully taken from fit, loving parents and sent to live in abusive home where they suffer. In effect, children are being “legally kidnapped”.

In family court, dangerous perpetrators of domestic abuse, and child abuse, are being given custody and/or unsupervised access to the children they have victimized. Parents who raise concerns for the child’s safety are not only being punished by the very system that should be protecting the children but are also being unjustly stripped of custody and/or allowed minimal visitation. Other parents are forcibly removed from the lives of their children, never to see them again. When sent to live with an abusive or unfit parent by court order, the children are re-abused and re-traumatized; and suffer for the rest of their lives.

The Child Protective system has been dubbed “Child Predator Services” because children are being further abused when placed into homes or institutions where they are abused, neglected, and even murdered. Other children have been used for medical experiments, and subjected to being heavily medicated on powerful psychotropic medications either without need, or without being given proper treatment. An alarming number of children go missing from state care, never to be seen again. Other children run away from state care and then become victims of exploitation and human trafficking. Other children are adopted out for profit, permanently removed from families.

Parents have little or no recourse to assert their rights or protect their children because the system works against them, destroying families. Thousands of public servants known as family court and juvenile judges, Guardian ad Litems, social workers and other court professionals abuse their position of authority. They also Break laws, violate civil liberties and Constitutional rights, take advantage of the public, harass and bully parents. The family court and CPS system has become truly lawless, and is responsible for causing significant,and lasting, harm to families and children.

We must continue to unite and fight this corruption for the sake of the next generations.

These systemic abuses in family court and CPS have gone on for way too long, as you know. The only way a change will be made, will be to apply public pressure and demand accountability, and that is what we intend to do with the Global Citizen’s Arrest on  January 3, 2018.

Be a Part of this Historic Event! Please Join: 

Facebook: Punished 4 Protecting Advocacy Networking Group

Facebook: Global Citizens Arrest Event

Sources: 

January 3, 2018 is GLOBAL CITIZENS ARREST DAY – http://unhappygrammy-grandparentsblog.blogspot.com

Punished 4 Protecting

Punished 4 Protecting YouTube Channel – Videos, Personal Stories, Expose and More

 

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Lydia Fairchild: Rare Medical Condition Almost Caused Her to Lose Kids, Be Charged with Crime

I am publishing the story of Lydia Fairchild, and including a link to her story as featured on “Chimera: Twin Inside Me (Medical Documentary) – Real Stories” because it offers a compelling example of a common problem many parents face when dealing with social services or CPS. – And that problem is when CPS rushes to judgement, without having all the facts, then falsely accuses a parent and works to take custody of children, even when it is totally unwarranted.  

Due to an extremely rare medical condition, Lydia Fairchild gained the attention of social services when she applied for public assistance, and was subjected to mandatory DNA testing. It is understandable that an investigation would follow given the test results, that showed no DNA link between Lydia and her three children. However, a volume of medical evidence existed to show that Lydia was in fact pregnant, and gave birth to all of the children.  Lydia’s entire family was DNA tested, and did provide a genetic link to the children. Witness and professional testimony overwhelmingly showed that Lydia is a fit, loving mother and posed no danger to her children. There was ZERO evidence that any crime or fraud had occurred involving Lydia or the children. The father of the children, Jamie Townsend, was also proven to be a safe parent, and capable provider of the children. He also supported Lydia, and vouched that he was present for their births and that Lydia indeed is their mother. In a rush to judgment – involving a complex medical situation that social services had absolutely no understanding of, and was not qualified to assess –  the State fought to take the children into guardianship, creating a nightmare for this family that lasted nearly 2 years.

What was needed here was NOT removal of the children from two safe, loving parents (it is not explained why placement with relatives was not considered) but instead, an answer to the medical condition that could create these DNA results – a deeper look into other possibilities. Instead the State focused on taking the children into guardianship without ever providing an explanation, or offering proof that a crime involving Lydia or the children had occurred, that would warrant such drastic measures. To this day, Lydia suffers from the trauma caused by the State’s actions against her.

While Lydia’s case is exceptional for it’s rare medical diagnosis – similar situations happen with CPS workers around the country rushing to take custody of children in situations where state care is not needed, and in fact, causes real harm to the children and families involved. Too often evidence that would explain the concern, or exonerate accused parents is ignored or dismissed. Too often expert testimony is not utilized – or CPS relies on “in house” professionals that collude with the State in their agenda, and unjustly target parents. Too often parents who seek another professional opinion never have their professional testimony heard or considered because it is perceived that the professional is somehow tainted or unreliable when their opinion contradicts the State.  And not just experts – but community organizations that could offer support or assistance to families are not considered an option. Too often relatives who could care for children, are refused when placement is considered. The results are always tragic for children, and for the entire family involved. 

A valuable lesson is offered in Lydia Fairchild’s case.  Ultimately what saved Lydia and her family from being torn apart was a deputy prosecutor who was willing to think outside the box, and look at other possibilities for what could be causing the DNA results. That is the other reason I am publishing this story, to encourage CPS and professionals who work in the system to look at what almost happened to this family, and why, and learn from this case.

______________________

I know that I carried these kids, I know that I gave birth to these kids, to feel like I was the only one in the whole world trying to fight for my kids, and nobody in the world was listening to me…every day I felt like that would be the last day that I would see them..” ~ Lydia Fairchild

(Washington State, 2006) Due to a rare, undetected medical condition, Lydia Fairchild faced not only the threat of CPS taking her four children, but jail as well. The father of the children, Jamie Townsend, was equally frightened that his children would be taken into state custody.

Lydia bravely fought for nearly two years to prove that she is, in fact the biological mother of her own children, and to keep her family together. How could this happen?

In 2002, Lydia Fairchild was a single mother of two children, and pregnant with a third, when she applied for public assistance. As a routine measure, the state DNA tested both Lydia and her boyfriend, Jamie Townsend, to establish parentage. To Lydia’s complete shock, while the DNA tests determined that Jamie is the father, the tests also revealed that Lydia has did not share a DNA match with her children. Lydia was adamant the children were hers but now was facing suspicion from social services, and a Prosecutor’s office ready to charge her with a litany of crimes – welfare fraud, identity theft, abduction and that Lydia was acting as a surrogate, bearing children for money. Jamie was even accused of fathering the children with another woman. Three DNA tests later, and children traumatized by the invasive procedures, the DNA tests all concluded the same – Lydia could not be the biological mother of the three children she gave birth to.

Lydia was supported by her family, including her mother who was present during the births. Jamie, who was also present at the birth of the children, told social services that there could be no other mother of the children than Lydia. He objected to the state taking guardianship of the children, claiming that Lydia “is a good mom”. Lydia’s obstetrician Dr Leonard Dreisbach, who had cared for her during pregnancy, and witnessed the birth of her children, attested that she is the biological mother. Medical records, including foot prints taken of the children after birth, confirmed that Lydia was indeed pregnant and gave birth to all of the children The state was so suspicious of Lydia that when she gave birth to her third child, a court officer stood in the room to witness the birth. A DNA test was immediately taken between mother and child. Again, the DNA test revealed that Lydia did not share DNA with her newborn.

Lydia was panicked as court proceedings continued, and the threat of losing her children grew closer every day…

In another part of the country, another woman named Karen Keegan from Boston was facing the same bizarre situation: testing for a kidney transplant revealed that her DNA did not match that of her children. Seeking answers, Keegan submitted herself to comprehensive medical research and testing. After taking multiple samples of Keegan’s tissues, it was discovered that her body contained two distinct genetic codes. Karen was a chimera – a rare medical condition that results when a fraternal twin is absorbed in the womb during the first weeks of pregnancy. This is commonly described as “I Am My Own Twin”. 

A chimera is a single person made up of cells from two different people. Chimerism results after two fertilized eggs fuse, creating two distinct set of cells, two separate strands of DNA to create a single embryo. As the embryo grows some cells become become organs, others become blood, tissue or bone – which cells have which twin’s DNA is totally random. In other words, the genetic material of twin that does not survive pregnancy microscopically lives inside the body of the other twin. Conducting a DNA test on a chimera is complicated as two sets of DNA can be detected in the body, but genes are not uniformly distributed and secondary genes are often found in certain organs, and areas of the body, and not others. 

I want to state strongly that Chimerism does not make a person less of a mother (or father) – the biological connection to the child exists, as does the emotional, spiritual and familial bond.

When Karen Keegans’s case was published in a medical journal (2002), the answers to her medical mystery were discovered by one of deputy prosecutors working on Lydia’s case… it’s profound impact would shape the future of this family…

Read the Full Story Here:

ABC News: She’s Her Own Twin

Pregnancy No Proof of Motherhood; Woman Was Her Own Twin-and the Twin Was the Mother of Her Children (Graham Noble)

REAL STORIES:

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“I Will Never Recover from This”: Quote from Mother Who Unjustly Lost Custody of Children in Family Court

Picture quote based on a comment from Frances, a mother and victim of family court.

Frances lost custody of two infants after informing the family court that her ex had been previously investigated for sexual abuse, and that his mother considered him to be a “sexual predator”.

The full comment reads:

I’m still in shock & disbelief that my spouse & his attorneys took my two infants two years ago….never to be seen by me again.

The family court judge didn’t believe i was disabled. When giving birth to my youngest infant, an aneurysm ruptured in my brain. I was denied disability aid in the court although I could have easily provided proof of my disability.

I also let the court know that my spouse had been investigated for sexual abuse as a minor. His mother told me he was a “sexual predator”. Fearing a subpoena she filed a doctor’s note saying she was to feeble to go to court. That note was kept in a sealed envelope. She wasn’t too feeble however, to leave the state with my spouse & babies.

It was considered abusive that I had filed the info with the court that he had been investigated. I fought the hardest fight..there was no psych eval (and) my parental rights were not terminated. I was accused of contempt for denying his visitation. Ordered to meet at a substation to bring him our babies. I thought he would have them for a couple days. That was the last time i saw, kissed, smelled, touched or heard them.

I was the joke of the court room having no attorney myself. His attorney was impossible to serve and i didn’t know were he lived. Its been over 2 years and a few months ago my sister in law messaged me that he, his parents and our babies had just shown outta out of state moving van n all. ….

Best interest of the child? How does this happen? The babies lived with me, their big brother & my ex who helped raise them. Gone torn away overnight. Im alone now. My ex took my teenage son and moved away. They couldn’t process what had happened or the unimaginable pain I was in. Imagine the psych. trauma they suffered. We went from singing twinkle twinkle on the porch before bedtime..holding them in our arms looking at the stars… We will never recover from this. Time cant be replaced. Not that the court is attempting to remedy this. Brush it under the table..after all its in “best interest of the child” right?

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The Turkey at the Window: A Thanksgiving Fable (Grief, Child Loss & Alienation)

Source: https://pxhere.com – The image is released free of copyrights under Creative Commons CC0.

This story is dedicated to all the parents separated from their precious children on Thanksgiving. And dedicated to to all the children who are being denied the love and care they deserve from a parent due to an unjust court order, or due to an abusive or alienating parent.

Summary: A curious turkey who peers into the window of a farmhouse on Thanksgiving Day, wondering what the holiday is about. The turkey is startled to discover the mother living in the farmhouse is not celebrating Thanksgiving but rather, grieving the loss of her children. This leads the turkey to a startling revelation about the human world, and what he is thankful for. 

Inspiration: This story is based on a touching article describing the care and nurturing a mother turkey (hen) provides her young: A Mother Turkey and Her Young – “Their Kind and Careful Parent”

I also used as a source: NWTF: Wild Turkey Lifestyle & Breeding

This story is also based on my own horrific experiences with the family “injustice” system, and the pain I being kept away from my children, due to an abusive ex, on Thanksgiving.

This Thanksgiving, I am thankful that I am not as evil as Judge Patrick D. Robben in Hennepin County. I may have lost custody of my children but I have not lost my heart, or my integrity. Judge Robben has not only alienated my children from me with an illegal, and unjust court order, he also REFUSES to grant me any parenting time on any holiday. Instead, Judge Robben has court ordered me to beg and plead with my abuser just to spend time with my children. Which has caused me unending emotional distress, and subjected me (and the children) to further emotional and psychological abuse.

Due to Judge Robben’s disgusting court order, I spent the last 3 weeks begging the abuser, Martin Hegland, for a visit with my children on Thanksgiving. NO parent should have to beg, or file a court order just to see their children and be a part of their lives – that is abusive. I just wanted some time to be together with my children on Thanksgiving – it did not have to be on the actual holiday – I was willing to take anything. Martin will not allow a visit. He is forcing my kids to pretend to be happy, and play into this fantasy of a “perfect family” when their hearts are breaking.

I don’t know where my children are this Thanksgiving. I won’t be able to serve them my special dish – sweet potato casserole. I won’t be able to take them to church. I won’t be able to hear their sweet voices share what they are thankful for. Or take them to visit family.

Wherever Martin has brought my children, and whoever he is spending it with… just know that these two children have a mother who loves them with every breath in her body, every fiber of her being, and this mother is grieving their loss on Thanksgiving.

This Thanksgiving, I am thankful that I had the courage to leave an abusive relationship of 8 years, and thankful for this second chance at life. I will never stop fighting to keep my children safe, and to bring them home.

___________________

Source: http://clipart-library.com – public domain clip art

A wild turkey ventures close to an old farmhouse bordering his woodland range. He looks into a kitchen window on Thanksgiving day: strangely, the lights are turned off, the oven is cold. A whimpering cry can be heard from another room, curious the turkey draws closer…

Mama Hen warns, with several high-pitched notes: Putt, putt, putt. Do not get too close to the farm. Under the deep curve of her wing, I am safe.

What is there to be thankful about on Thanksgiving for a Turkey?

Curious birds, turkeys are. So Thanksgiving day, I leave my woodland home. Flying over split-rail fence, I land onto gravel road leading to the farm. I shrug off Mama Hen’s warning as I near.

Thanksgiving – what is this holiday that brings man and bird together?

Mother Hen said I am too young to understand. Hah! Admire my tail fan, brown and black feathers growing long. A red-orange round bumps protrudes my from skinny leg, this spur marks my growth into a real tom. Soon a crown will grow on top of my bald head, the color of a blue sky, and I will fight for my place in the pecking order.

The farm is strangely quiet, for a day all turkeys fear – Thanksgiving. I puff my feathers to menacing height, a tactic that works against most predators. In the distance, blinking red and blue lights travel farther down the gravel road and out of sight.

No humans in sight. I stride to the barn. Old rooster crows in protest. Cows moo low and long, begging to be fed. Snow begins to fall on scraggly grass.

I cross the yard to peer into the windows of the old farmhouse. The kitchen is dark, counter tops bare. A strange white “tree” in the corner of the kitchen has colorful “leaves” that grow out of it. On one of the leaves is the picture of a smiling human “poult” (baby) riding a pony. Another of a human Mama Hen and the poult, swimming at a beach. Did you know that we turkeys can also swim? Not my favorite but sometimes you need to cross a stream or pond in order to reach better foraging grounds. My wondering is startled by wailing heard from another room. This is a sound unlike any other … curious I walk around the farmhouse, seeking another window.

Looking into another window, I see a room dimly lit by a small “sun” hanging from an indoor “sky”. A forest of lifeless stuffed animals is piled in the corner. A bottle scratched with the word “Bubbles” is tipped on its side; a crystalline river seeps across the floor. The human Mama Hen is curled on a perch that is decorated with flowers, her knees to chest. My heart marvels at the golden brown color of her hair- it is the same color as my beloved Mama Hen’s soft brown feathers. The snow accumulates, covering a chaotic trail of human tracks leading from the gravel road and scattering across the yard, and beneath this window. It is growing dark. Mama Hen will be gathering us soon, to roost high in the trees. I ignore instinct as I step closer to the window. The human Mama Hen must sense my presence because then she looks up, tears glisten in her eyes as she stares … through the pane of glass, I stare back.

Very slowly, the human Mama Hen begins to stand. Her legs uncurl, they are strange legs with fuzzy feathers decorated in pink and black stripes. Her claws are also painted a shocking color of pink. She is cautious, not to startle me. I would not run, even if I could. I am transfixed by the sight of her. The human Mama Hen stands just a few feet from the window, her featherless “wings” clutch a square of crumpled “bark”. The “bark” is scratched with the image of two figures, both smiling. A heart is drawn over their oval heads, along with “I Love You Mama”.

Then I understand… A Mama Hen is the center of her young’s world. The moment the egg cracks open, imprinting begins. Mama Hen nurtures and guides her young safely into the world. During the first few weeks of life, the poults sleep on the ground, in the warm embrace of her protective wings. When strong enough, the poults leave the ground to join Mama Hen in tree branches, where she sleeps at night. The bond between Mama Hen and her young forged early in their development is critical to their survival, and remains with them for the rest of their lives.

The sounds made by the human Mama buzzed in my head then came into focus as my own imprinting responded. Though different species, turkey and human, the wailing cry is the same – it is a terrified sound made when the young strays too far from Mama. When the poult responds to her call, Mama Hen runs towards her little one. She gathers the poult close, nuzzling him softly with her beak.

This human Mama Hen was also calling for her lost ones. Her wings flap uselessly, with no poult to cuddle. Though they are lost to her, the human Mama Hen remains connected to the smell, the warmth, the yearning… for her young.

My senses opened in a way never experienced in the wild. The world of the humans is cruel. It destroys the bond between flock. It separates Mama Hen and poults, leaving the young without protection in the harsh world. And leaves a mother to grieve on Thanksgiving Day.

Though the life of a turkey is short, I am thankful to have experienced the deep love of my Mama Hen. Thankful for the belonging, and closeness of the flock. Thankful for the freedom of wild life.

Even the turkey whose life comes to an end on Thanksgiving are more fortunate to have died quickly, than to experience the prolonged suffering a human Mama experiences as the result of the loss of her children. Thanksgiving is a time when family and flock should be together. Instead, Mama is alone, crying in dark, empty rooms. It is unjust, and wrong.

We turkeys understand nature – some survive, some are taken by predators. But there is no predator in the wild that preys upon family, causing trauma, separation. No predator that steals the young from their Mama; who are not returned, even when she calls. Such a vicious predator that feasts on its own flock, and destroys its own family, exists only in the human world and its “pecking order” (the courts, government).

I turned away from the window, troubled in a way I have never felt before. My heart felt cold and heavy like a rock submerged at the bottom of a stream. I raised my break to the frigid November night, to form an urgent sound – an insistent, high pitched yelp. This is the sound we turkeys make to call a scattered flock back together. To call the lost ones back home. I puffed my feathers and I inhaled deeply, my voice rang pure and clear over the woods, down the gravel roads, and into the spreading blue-black horizon of night, urging this Mama’s young home.

In the distance my own Mama Hen responded. I headed into the snowy woodlands, away from the human world, and its injustice.

“Emily Court”, November © 2017

 

Public Domain Image – clipart-library.com

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