Fair Start Movement is working to replace parent-centered family planning with the child-centered Fair Start model.
Some of the worst consequences of parent-centered family planning are the many abused and neglected children it creates and subsequently ignores. Because the parent-centered approach prioritizes the parents’ desire to have any number of children, in any conditions – irrespective of what children need – this approach leads to some horrific results for kids.
For example, parents who have abused and/or neglected their kids – and as such are prohibited by law from having custody of any children – will often continue to have more kids. These kids are then taken in by the state – oftentimes right from the maternity ward. They are left in limbo – raised by failing state systems rather than loving and caring parents.
These kids do not get anywhere near a fair start in life. They lead lives none of us would choose for our own kids. The abusive and neglectful parents often suffer as well, separated from their children. The rest of us suffer, too, in failing communities funding a failing system of public childcare.
In the face of this horrible situation, some judges have stepped forward and said, “Enough is enough.” In certain cases, they have issued orders prohibiting abusive and neglectful parents from having more kids. These judges take the position that:
- Society cannot care about children – the most vulnerable citizens – and not also care about the conditions into which they are born.
- There is no ethical or legal conception of parenthood that would allow abusive and neglectful parents to create children for the state to raise (and raise poorly).
These judges’ orders clearly protect future children. Their orders also protect individuals who can’t parent, and society as a whole.
Fair Start Movement is working to improve and expand the use of such orders – what we’re calling “Fair Start orders.” We are working to make sure they are constitutional, and are used under specific guidelines and in egregious cases.
To improve our efforts and accurately reflect our memberships’ views, we sought your opinion, using a survey that was based on a real-world case.
As you can see, Fair Start Movement’ membership strongly supports our efforts to protect children from being born to abusive parents.
This is the survey and results:
A Florida couple with four children stands accused of abusing at least one of the children by shocking him/her with a stun gun and forcing him/her to eat dog feces. The other children were present during this abuse. Some courts are conditionally limiting the right of abusive parents to have more children in order to protect the children those parents already have, as well as future children.
If the charges prove true:
1. Should the couple be allowed to retain custody of their four current children?
Yes: 18 (6.98%)
No: 240 (93.02%)
2. Regardless of whether they are allowed to retain custody of their current children, should the couple be conditionally limited by court order from having more children, under penalty of fines/jail time?
Yes: 193 (75.39%)
No: 40 (15.63%)
Other: 23 (8.98%)
3. Regardless of whether they are allowed to retain custody, should the couple be conditionally limited by court order from having more children, but there would be no penalty assessed for violating the court’s order?
Yes: 43 (16.86%)
No: 170 (66.67%)
Other: 42 (16.47%)
Your opinion really matters to us – thank you for taking the time to respond to our survey. We will take the results into consideration as we develop and promote model Fair Start orders.