Posts Tagged ‘Child’

On MomLogic from Stacey Doss regarding the California versus Ohio battle for Vanessa Doss Adoption Custody Lawsuit: “The California court has passed the buck and given the entire case to Ohio. The Ohio judge has decided that they will put Vanessa into foster care. The birth father will have night visits with Vanessa.  Vanessa will likely be placed with the birth father’s mother. The California court is vacating its order to keep Vanessa with me as of July 16, 2010. The court chose July 16th to give us time to file with the Court of Appeals in California.  I only have until July 16th to save my daughter.”

This is a case where a little girl who has been living with the only mother she knows since June 2008, may end up in the hands of foster care in Ohio!  How is this in the child’s best interests?  It seems that when the biological mother of Vanessa gave her up for adoption she lied to the adoption agency saying that she had a one night stand and did not know the biological father of the child, enabling her to give the baby up for adoption in Ohio.    Stacy Doss, the adoptive mother from California has been fighting a battle since the biological father came forward to claim his parental rights.

Laws about birth parents’ rights vary from state to state, but in Ohio, the burden is on the biological father to register with the state. A birth father has up to 10 months (beginning a month after his child’s birth) to sign the “Putative Father Registry,” which protects his parental rights in case the birth mother doesn’t identify (or intentionally misidentifies) the birth father.  If Mills signed this Registry, his parental rights are still intact. That doesn’t necessarily guarantee he’ll gain custody, but it means Stacey faces an emotionally difficult and financially draining road to justice. She has hired seven attorneys to fight this case, preparing for the worst. “I’m in big trouble,” she says. “It doesn’t look like California is going to stand up for this baby.”

But why would Mills want custody of Vanessa, considering he has already relinquished custody of his four other children? “That’s what’s so egregious about this case,” says Robin Sax, a momlogic legal analyst and former prosecutor. “While he may be asserting his parental rights, is he really acting in the child’s best interest? Or is he taking advantage of the situation where the judge’s hands are tied?”

I hope that the Ohio court sees that this child is in the best possible hands and allows Ms. Doss to finalize the adoption.  While I feel for Mr. Mills, the biological father, it is my understanding from reading about this case, that he does not have contact with any of his children, has relinquished custody of them and does not support them.  If he truly loves his daughter as he claims, he should do what is best for her and let Ms. Doss adopt her.

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I read an interesting article this morning on Divorce Without Dishonor. The article is found here. The article talks about how parents play games to gain extra time with their children during the summer. The author of the article talks about a personal child custody battle which occurred shortly after the ink was barely dry on the divorce.

The article further goes on to state that in many court orders, each parent is entitled to one (1) or two (2) weeks of summer vacation and the dates are usually left to the parties to work out. Often divorced parents are required to take turns each year in having the right to select their vacation time with the children first. Sometimes each parent is entitled to have two (2) non-consecutive weeks of summer vacation and as is customary, these weeks would replace or supersede the regular child access schedule and therefore necessarily “trumped” the other parent’s regularly scheduled time with their children.

The problem? The summer is only so long, and from school year’s end to the next start date it is usually about ten (10) weeks, i.e. about seventy (70) days. Neither party can plan with any certainty when the summer schedule isn’t confirmed or if it is in dispute because of misinterpretation or deliberate exploitation by playing “word games.” Taking an example with a regular schedule of children being alternating Friday, Saturday and Sunday overnights with each parent and during the week, with Dad overnight on Monday and Tuesday and with Mom overnights on Wednesday and Thursday.

When mom advises that she will take her first week after her five (5) day scheduled time with the kids, there will likely be a problem. By doing it that way, in fact, she will strategically choose days so that she gets at least (12) twelve or more overnights in a row. And of course no good deed goes unnoticed and Dad, when it is his turn to count will return the scheduling favor so each of his weeks will begin at the conclusion of his five (5) overnights so that he will the take his twenty-four (24) overnights (almost three and one-half weeks), as his two (2) weeks vacation. The bigger problem is that with (48) forty-eight (twenty-four 24 each) of maybe seventy (70) summer nights accounted for, what happens in between all of that? Hard to plan isn’t it? Who gets what? How much agreement is there likely to be and what kind of summer will your children have?

Might I ask, “How is it that (2) two weeks consists of 24 twenty-four overnights?” No wonder we need lawyers to figure this stuff out!

Yes, many parents continue playing games with each other for many years after they split. What they fail to take into account is that the ones losing in their games are the children. It is the children who don’t get to see the other parent for those 24 consecutive overnights with the other parent. When you have small children, it is especially important to these children that they have contact with both parents on a consistent basis. Believe me, when they are grown they will remember the games you play. So, if you are one of the parents who thinks that it is cool that you got one over on the other parent and are constantly playing “word games” with the orders in your custody matter, you may be out in the cold when your children grow up.

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If you are the parent of a child with a learning disability and need more information on how you can help them, I came across a great article in the New York Times which may help you. According to the article, parents should do their homework so they can contribute to an individualized learning plan for a student with a learning disability.

This begins with learning about the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act. Each state’s parent information center can help explain IDEA and how it applies to your family. A directory of the centers is on the Technical Assistance Alliance for Parent Centers’ Web site.

In Sonoma County, a great place to start is with The Matrix Parent Network and Resource Center. I have provided a direct link here. This center is located in Novato and from what I have read, they provide excellent assistance to families with learning disabled children.

Coming up on April 19, 2010 is their 3rd Annual Author Luncheon with the extraordinary observer, teacher, speaker, and author TEMPLE GRANDIN. If you have never heard of her, Ms. Grandin is the most accomplished and well-known adult with autism in the world and among her many published works are The Way I See It: A Personal Look at Autism and Asperger’s (2009) and Thinking in Pictures and Other Reports From My Life With Autism(1995). For more information on this luncheon you can contact Brenda at 415-475-2118 or For more information on Ms. Grandin, you can see that here.

Temple Grandin

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Every afternoon 15 million U.S. children, more than a ¼ of our kids, are left alone after school. Among them are more than 40,000 kindergarteners.

This huge and heartbreaking number isn’t because of parent neglect, it reflects a simple fact: Afterschool programs are unavailable or too expensive for millions of families across this country.

In fact, studies show that 18 million U.S. parents would enroll their kids in an afterschool program if one were simply available.

Unfortunately, we’re now in danger of losing the limited afterschool programs we currently have.

The President just released his proposed budget and it does a lot of things right, but it cuts more than 13,000 kids out of safe and educational afterschool programs.

Congress is debating our national budget right now. So it’s up to our Representatives to get America back to work and keep our children safe and learning by protecting afterschool programs.

Will you join me and take a moment to tell your Representative that you are a part of the 83% of American parents who support public funding for afterschool programs?

For more information, click here to check out Momsrising.

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