On air: When should children be taken away from their parents?

The UK papers, news message boards and blogs have been dominated over the last few days with stories questioning how a baby, who suffered horrendous abuse at the hands of it’s mother and two men, was killed in his own home despite regular visits from care workers. Sadly it’s not the first case.

What is the best way to protect children; keep them with their parents and monitored by care workers, or put them in care? What about when mistakes are made? Children are taken away from the family home, only to find out years later that abuse allegations were false.

But this isn’t just about abuse, what about if parents are struggling to cope, have mental health problems – should we offer support or take away their children?

In another case this week in the UK a two year old and three month old baby were stabbed to death in Manchester in the UK. Their mother is under arrest

What happens where you are in the world?

Here’s an African perspective. Where do we draw the line? Should children be taken away from their parents if they are obese? Or people who adopt a different lifestyle?

98 Responses to “On air: When should children be taken away from their parents?”

  1. 1 Steve
    November 14, 2008 at 15:37

    I think it’s time that socities stop considering procreation a “fundamental right”. There are some people who are too mentally ill to be procreating. They will likely have mentally ill children, or abuse the children to the point of making their children’s lives difficult to live, even outside of childhood.. We need to stop the entitlement mentalities some people have. If you’re so disturbed, you shouldn’t be having kids. It’s unfair to the children. There should be mental tests administered to see if people are balanced enough to have children. If you don’t make the cut, too bad for you. The world had too many sick people already. There shouldn’t be a “right” to create deliberately more sick people. Get over your silly selfish desire to have your “name live on.” Stop being self absorbed and think of the greater good. You as a messed up person, raising messed up children, does nobody any good.

  2. November 14, 2008 at 15:39

    Hi WHYSers!

    When the parents are unable to provide real care for the safety and protection of their children and to ensure (?) that they turn out to be well adjusted adults. Child raring courses should be a mandatory part of the state education programme, at all levels! It is simple really, if we want good citizens we must also educate and train them to become what we require them to be! Parenting is critical to that process!

  3. November 14, 2008 at 15:48

    I posted a comment earlier, but I am not seeing it on here. (Please delete if this is double posted!).

    The state needs to regulate this business of child raring far better than it currently does. The developed nations of the world are perhaps ahead in terms of ensuring that there are regular visits by state officials to monitor at risk children. However, as evidenced by the examples above, there is a danger in that too. Teach parenting in school, at all levels. Do not leave it to chance!

    People can do some really dumb things. Let us limit the chances of those happening by educating people on what to do and not do! Remove children from parents who are at risk and also, remind as part of parenting that sex has purposes other than just procreation, in my view. Not because you can means you should!

  4. 4 Steve
    November 14, 2008 at 15:50

    I just saw a study that says that obese children even under the age of 10 have similar arteries to adults in their late 40s. So by allowing their kids to get so fat, the parents are basically ensuring the kids will live unhealthy lives and will also live shorter lives in many cases. I don’t know if they should be taken away for that reason alone, but the state should require that people lose weight, especially if we’re going to be going in the direction of socialized healthcare.

  5. November 14, 2008 at 15:58

    If we are lucky enough to catch the abuse and save the child, then we should “fix” the adults involved, take their children, and prosocute them.

    If it is an instance where the parents just can’t care for their children, then they should have a place to go or number to call and be able to say, “I need help”, with out fearing that they will go to jail, lose their children forever, and be labeled as a bad person. I do think that people in social service departments make mistakes based on aligations of false abuse, but the only way to combat that is more funding, training, and more people. They are stretched too thin to deal with all of the kids crying wolf and miss the ones who really need help.

    People in that line of work carry a lot on their shoulders and every time one slips through the cracks they end up the sole blame. I think the agencies fear law suits, budget cuts, and loss of faith from the community every time they make contact with anyone. They do the best they can, but only more support will help protect the children (and adults) they need to protect.

  6. 6 Justin Mann
    November 14, 2008 at 16:07

    child abuse is something that should never ever be taken litely. In America child protective services is a flawed system. Often case workers are over taxed, and under paid. There needs to be clear set standards for abuse, and various agencies need to be held acountable if they fail to recognize this type of situation.

  7. November 14, 2008 at 16:17

    Children have the right to live in a sound environment as childhood affects adult life. Parent who can’t rear and protect their children should have them removed from them. A child needn’t live under constant torture in his or tender years. Sadist parents shouldn’t be allowed to mistreat their children by considering them as their own property and it’s nobody’s business to interfere with them.

    If children can’t have the chance to have a normal life, they should live with a relative willing to accommodate them and why not be given for adoption by families starving to have a child.

    A child’s place is in a family, not in an orphanage or a care centre. This means children shouldn’t be taken from their own parents only to be in a place where they feel uncomfortable and yearning to be like the majority of children surrounded by real kin . In other words, they shouldn’t be not in an artificial atmosphere to make the feel at home, but actually it isn’t a real home.

  8. 8 Venessa
    November 14, 2008 at 16:21

    We will continue to see this poor parenting as long as society promotes the “fundamental right” to procreate as Steve points out.

    I work as an advocate for foster children. Caseworkers are habitually overburdened with heavy caseloads that make it very hard to give the appropriate amount of attention to each case. Often they are spending time putting out fires for the most urgent issues while other important problems are neglected. There is a shortage of foster homes in my city. The ultimate goal is always to reunite children with their parents if possible but this is mostly the exception. Parents are offered many different kinds of services and I have seen that many make excuses not to go.

  9. 9 Jennifer
    November 14, 2008 at 16:26

    Stories like this make me so upset. First, I can’t believe that ANYONE should allow someone else to hurt their child; especially a mother. I think a big problem is that most children are NOT planned. Their parents just kind of went oops; how did that happen? Here is your beautiful baby!

    The main purpose for social workers as it relates to children in abusive homes is that they should be in the least restrictive environment possible. That would be family FIRST; then extended family, and only last should they be removed from the home. That sometimes is in direct conflict of what would actually be best for a child. Parents, whether children are planned or not, have the obligation to protect and care for them.

    Social workers try to impact families and help them through education and by linking them with access to resources that can make their family stronger. That only works IF the parents choose to make it work. It is my experience that parents are not entirely invested in most cases.

    Another thing to address is the age that these parents are. At 12, noone is ready to be a parent. I don’t think anyone is ever 100% ready but 12 is much too young. These are not even couples who are married, able to provide financially or emotionally for the children. Often the dads are just sperm donors who are otherwise not in the picture.

  10. 10 Robert
    November 14, 2008 at 16:27

    On a practical level no matter what you do there will also be mistakes in both directions. In some cases homes will be torn apart because the social workers falsly moved in too early and because stigma won’t leave those involved destroy a family, which causes harm to the children involved. In other cases the system will miss those children most in need of help and they will suffer. As it involves human judgement the system can’t be perfect and we will always have mistakes being made.

    That being said it is best the err on the cautous side as the harm to the child is less from a broken family than the harm suffered from abuse.

  11. 11 Thea Winter - Indianapolis IN, USA
    November 14, 2008 at 16:29

    Good Day,
    There are a lot of stories like this one all over the world. Children should be taken away only when there is abuse and illegal activity in the home. We need to help these children. You also ask if the children are obese should they be taken. NO. Parents need to take control of what their children eat but a parent is not with the child 100% of the time. As that child gets older then a parents influence becomes less.

    In the states we are now seeing parents turning their children in to hospitals stating they can no longer care for them in this economy. Some of them are baby’s, but some have been older. In Colorado there have been parents dropping off children at old as 15. Maybe we need to talk about that.

    Thea Winter

  12. 12 1430
    November 14, 2008 at 16:38

    Hello Everyone,
    Well,I am a 16 year old teenager.I like to think that I would love to have some privacy once I step into university(two years from now).But before that I don’t have any problems with my parents looking over me.I mean if my parents don’t look after me today I know I will ruin my life.I have friends who leave alone are have already destroyed their lives(by activities such as smoking).
    But the case we are discussing is different.If I were obese,I wouldn’t want to live with my parents because I know that I am a burden for them.At this moment its the responsibility of the parents to understand this fact and maybe send him to a place where he feels more comfortable.
    There is one saying:’Too much protection will not teach the child to develop and be independent’.Hence parents should understand the perfect time to let go their children and let them understand the true meaning of life.
    Thanks you

  13. 13 Venessa
    November 14, 2008 at 16:42

    Abdelilah Boukili ~

    “A child’s place is in a family, not in an orphanage or a care centre.”

    Here DHS always tries to find a family member first to place children but even that is difficult. I have one child that her family just doesn’t want her and another where a willing relative is too sick to care for her. Sadly these children are just left in a system that does not parent them properly. The statistics for drop out rates among foster children is appalling and when they turn 18 they are spit out. Life already isn’t fair and these children are left at a serious disadvantage often with mental problems.

  14. 14 Thea Winter - Indianapolis IN, USA
    November 14, 2008 at 16:44

    @ Steve
    “So by allowing their kids to get so fat, the parents are basically ensuring the kids will live unhealthy lives and will also live shorter lives in many cases.”

    I am happy to see that you do not think the kids should be taken away. Hoover, as I child my sister and I were from time to time overweight. If you look at our school photos. One year we were overweight then the next not. Sometimes kids grow and the weight comes on first then they add height later. I believe you have no children so you would not know this fact.

  15. 15 Thea Winter - Indianapolis IN, USA
    November 14, 2008 at 16:44

    that was to be HOWEVER!

  16. 16 Vijay
    November 14, 2008 at 16:45

    An aquaintance of mine was a social worker in Kent,after years of being overworked she became disillusioned(with the public and the sytem) and fled to New Zealand.

  17. November 14, 2008 at 16:49

    Maybe the question should read when will parents grow up and be parents? If a mother allows others to harm her children she doesnt deserve to have that child, or any more. If a parent allows their child to become morbidly obese then they are to blame, not food manufacturers or the child. If a 12 year old can become pregnant than it’s the parents fault for not paying attention to that child. I think first and foremost us parents should remember that the day we (mom’s and dad’s alike) find out we are parents our lives as individuals are over and we become a world to that child. WE protect them, educate them, and direct them hopefully based on corrections to our own mistakes. Social workers would be able to better manage their case loads if more people thought that way.

    “It takes a village to raise a child”

  18. November 14, 2008 at 16:52

    I agree with Steve on this one. Child rearing falls into the classification of, “Everybody should have the right to do it, but not everybody should.” It is a paradox that drives conflicts in all societies. It is also an issue that our founders held justly in high regard, but the demographics of a child’s impact have changed since then. When having more children meant you could work more land, milk more cows, and raise more livestock, having children was an undeniable right. Doing so had no real burden on the society as a whole.

    But 300 years later, when having a child you can not afford, do not know how to take care of, and do not have time to teach and raise properly, then it becomes a problem for the society. It ends up costing the economy time, money, and resources. More problematic is that we end up with really dumb TV shows like “American Idle” or “Iron Chef”. Some really stupid ones grow up, get married and then get divorced over something their mate did in virtual space.

    Until we as a society develop into a format that allows only people who can financially, mentally, and responsibly be parents, we will endure stories like the posted one. Now that development can come in the way of restrictions, education, or adjusting many other inputs that have resulted in this situation. How we change them is based on how we want to shape the face of our society.

  19. 19 Vijay
    November 14, 2008 at 16:56

    In the UK there are nuclear families and one parent families,whereas in some third world countries there are extended families.What this means is that there is always someone to care for the children ,it takes the pressur off the parents,whether it is a grandmother ,sister in law, cousin or neighbour and if something is wrong ,news travels fast(It takes a whole village to raise a child).

  20. 20 Jennifer
    November 14, 2008 at 17:01

    Children who are obese (chubby if you want to say instead) should be monitored closely. Parents need to be parents. Often, when you see children who are obese it’s because their parents are and they see nothing wrong with it or their parents set no guidelines regarding eating. Of course parents aren’t with their children all the time but teaching them healthy eating habits will stick. A few pieces of candy every once in awhile isn’t bad but unhealthy eating on a regular basis can lead to problems.

    My mom gives her clients these little ziplock bags with 3 belly balls-a small marble, shooter marble, and a ping pong ball- in them to represent the size of babies’ stomachs as they grow. The stomach capacity of a newborn on day 1 is 5-7 ml, capacity at day 3 is between 22-27 ml, and at 10 days old is between 60-81 ml. Some parents want to overfeed their babies. Seeing the small size of the balls helps some of them understand that you don’t have to overfeed your baby. However, some parents start their babies on solid foods much too early or simply overfeed them. That stretches out the stomach and the baby will become accustomed to feeling overfull. That leads to unhealthy eating habits that can contribute to childhood obesity.

  21. 21 Steve
    November 14, 2008 at 17:11

    @ Thea

    I’m talking about being obese, not overweight. Some 20% + of children are OBESE, not just overweight.

  22. November 14, 2008 at 17:12

    A family where the social workers have to come 60 times over the course of a year or so isn’t much of a family. And a mother who claims that her one-year-old “bruises easily” isn’t a mother, just a woman who gave birth to a child.

    I think that doctors have to be much more vigilant about bruises on children, and notify the authorities immediately when they suspect that abuse may be the case. Social workers should make unexpected visits to see who really is in the house, and take away the child where necessary.

    Social services claim that it’s too hard on a child when it’s removed from a family, but what’s the alternative? I heard yesterday on WS that in the UK one child dies every 10 days, this number is clearly horrendous! How hard can it be on a one-year old to be removed from a questionable home to a foster parent who will do his/her best to help it recover???

  23. 24 Vijay
    November 14, 2008 at 17:13

    When should children be taken away from their parents?

    When they would be better off in care.

  24. 25 robert1987
    November 14, 2008 at 17:16

    I would like to know two things about this case

    What in the name of social services where the social services doing?

    Why on earth no one from this department been sacked or have done the honourable thing and resigned?

    My friend could do a better job the current head of the social services

  25. November 14, 2008 at 17:28

    @ dwight
    “Until we as a society develop into a format that allows only people who can financially, mentally, and responsibly be parents, we will endure stories like the posted one.”

    I don’t agree totaly with this statement. How many parents out there know exactly how to be parents from day one? How many parents out there can “afford” to have children? How many parents out there have never been driven crazy by their children?

    A person becomes a parent, most often as a baby grown to be a child. We only become great parents at grandparenthood.
    I have never heard anyone say they can afford to have kids. The more money you start with the faster you go broke as the kids get older and expect more.
    And mental stability comes from support and the people we surround ourselves with.

    So, frankly, I think we will become extinct if your society develops.

  26. 27 Sheikh Kafumba Dukuly
    November 14, 2008 at 17:33

    As long as the parents/guardians prove capable of caring for and or protecting the fundamental rights of their children,they are liberty to keep them. If authority observes that a parent is unfit to bring up a children be it by abuse or otherwise, the child should be taken by authority to avert further harm to the child.

  27. 28 Sheikh Kafumba Dukuly
    November 14, 2008 at 17:40

    The truth is, authorities are responsible many of the unreported abuses meted out against children especially in african society. Children are usually wayward; on the streets during school hours or at night; force labour, molestation and the likes. Little has been done by authorities to curb these vices against children.

  28. November 14, 2008 at 17:46

    The majority of the UN member nations have signed the Convention on the Rights of the Child (except the U.S and Somalia). The core principle of this Convention is the “Best Interest of the Child”. All the governments actions on issues relating to or that have an impact on children should put this principle before any other.
    In fact, a good part of the opposition in the U.S. to ratify this Convention is because it gives the opportunity in the State´s interference in parent-child relationships.

    In my opinion, I think that the State should be more careful regarding the investigation and, if it is necessary, the removal of parental rights on children that are abused. Unfortunately, in many cases the governments “turn the other eye” to this kind of situations and the consequences are attrocious to children.

    I don´t say this without any knowledge of the issue. I have worked with children victims of family violence. Many of them were rescued and removed from their parent(s) custody because of the interference of relatives, neighbours or friends. But I know that many children are not that lucky.

    When I see cases in the media of children that suffered extreme child abuse or even that because of this they are dead, my only question is: How come nobody noticed this? Where are the teachers, social workers, school psychologist, etc. who is their job to notice this kind of stuff?

    Finally, as a personal note, one time I denounced a case of child abuse. I was giving workshops about children rights at a community center and met a boy -one of my students- who was abused by his father. My coworkers and I helped him and his mother to get in a shelter and the father was put in jail. I am proud of what we did. I would do it again without thinking twice.

  29. 30 Raquel in Trinidad
    November 14, 2008 at 17:50

    Believe it or not, we have a street children epidemic here in Trinidad, kids roam the street especially at night and are open to all sorts of abuse, these children definitely should not be allowed to go home to their parents, where, most likely the abusive cycle begins, these children should be put in a home, either a government assisted home or homes that are run on the charity of others.

  30. 31 CarlosK
    November 14, 2008 at 17:53

    Hi WHYSayers

    This is such a very sad story. My condolences to the father and grand parents of the deceased.

    To answer the question directly, children should be taken away when there is sufficient evidence of child abuse( neglect, abandonment, physical abuse and overt and repeated verbal and emotional abuse and most definitely, immediately, when sexual abuse occurs).

    It is apparently that the African concept of a it takes a village to raise a child was not being practiced here. If neigbours were allowed to interact with this child or if neighbours had enquired about this child, the authorities would have had no choice but ot take the case seriously. For whatever reason, the authories were not convince this child was in danger. If only we were our neighbours keeper as the bible admonishes, this child would have been saved from a wrecked life and merciless death.

    Thank God, he is no longer able to feel pain. He did not live any life, he just existed for only 17 months.

    On another related matter, isn’t this sufficient reason to reintroduce capital punishment in the UK and Europe? Was this child’s murder accidental or premeditated. If the answer is the latter, why should the perpetrators continue to enjoy the luxury of life when they have vicioulsy exponged the child’s own?
    This thing about captital punishment being barbaric is a cop out! We can never be more compassion than God. According to the Bible, there is going to be a day of final reconing- capital punishment. Unrepentant murderers will be executed someday by no lesser person that our Creator God.

    I don’t consider capital punishment barbarous. I call it Justice.

    Kingston- Jamaica.

  31. 32 John in Salem
    November 14, 2008 at 17:55

    The cost of living in a free society isn’t always paid on the battlefields of foreign countries – sometimes it’s in the livingrooms and bedrooms of the house next door. It’s everyone’s responsibility to keep their eyes open.
    The sad fact is that you can have all the rules and guides and standards you want but it always comes down to a judgement call by the case worker and people make mistakes.

  32. November 14, 2008 at 18:00

    Children should be empowered to become the best adults they can be. If a parent or parents are unable and or unwilling to do that, then, there is a need to review whether people like those should be parents, at all, by the state. The goal of parenting is fundamentally to create the society of the future. Much more support needs to be given to parents by the state, even before people start having children. Include this as part of the curriculum, as noted earlier and insist that all people take these classes. In addition, the provision of child care services for working parents and other forms of welfare support such as social services are key. We have to find a way to reconstitute “the village” effect in raising children, in our maddeningly urban spaces in which we now live in the globalised world economy.

  33. 34 selena in Canada
    November 14, 2008 at 18:03

    Who will decide who is responsible enough to become a parent, if the state becomes involved?

    In a previous life, I saw people from all walks of life, in my work. Believe me, some of the professionals were simply lousy parents. One of the pillars of the community held his daughter’s head in a bathtub of water because her grades were not up to par. And that’s just one example.

    Society is quick to cover up and make allowances for the wrongdoings of those who occupy a place of influence.

    Not all people are cut out to be parents. But there would be less abuse, if money and societal expectations were not a factor.

    There is no way of knowing who is going to be a good or a bad parent. Some of the best parents I know come from the poorer communities. Some of the worse parents I know come from the affluent side of the track.

    Humans becoming involved in judging the capabilities of other humans is a Pandora’s Box that once opened will cause infinitely more problems.

  34. 35 selena in Canada
    November 14, 2008 at 18:05


    Well said!

  35. 36 Amanda
    November 14, 2008 at 18:06

    No child should be in care unless of sexual abuse by a family adult member or a serious physical assault. And before a child is removed there should be a plan laid in place to eliminate the danger. If this fails look at removal.
    I went into care aged 7 and was in care till eighteen. I would have to stop and count up if I was able to say how often I was sexually abused and the same for the beatings I recieved. I have suffered serious mental health problems but I’ve never beaten my children. Needless to say through a corrupt system I’ve lost two of my children to forced adoption even though I never hurt them.
    I’m not saying a was an ideal member or society I wasn’t at times I have taken drugs I have used violence and broke the law.

    All I ever need was therapy, support and love of normal people. It was never there. Experts should move in house with familes and work with the whole unit educating, training and showing them love and respect so they can give it to their own.

    We arn’t born with insight, understanding knowledge,it needs teaching and showing.

    The abuse I and my children recieved in care was far worse than what went on at home.

  36. 37 Biswas from Kathmandu
    November 14, 2008 at 18:10

    Children should not be taken away from their parents until they themselves are able to take firm decisions regarding their lives. Stabbed…. raped…. mistreated…. exceptions are everywhere…. and that’s what the police and the law are for!

  37. November 14, 2008 at 18:13

    In many societies children are abused by their parents by being frequently slapped or even beaten up by them. In these societies, there are no social workers to protect them.

    In Morocco there are care centres for abandoned children. But they are just token centres as they have the capacity for only a very small number of children in a difficult situation.

    In view of the lack of the means to protect these children, the authorities turn a blind eye, especially to parents who use their children and even babies for begging.

    There are parents who give up their young daughters as old as five to work as maids and they are denied even access to school.

    In third world countries where the poverty of parents is coupled with the state incapacity to protect children in a difficult situation, it becomes common to see children exposed to all sorts of abuse at home and outside home because there are no means to snatch them from the situation in which they are.

  38. November 14, 2008 at 18:18

    “Steve November 14, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    I think it’s time that societies stop considering procreation a “fundamental right”. There are some people who are too mentally ill to be procreating. They will likely have mentally ill children, or abuse the children to the point of making their children’s lives difficult to live, even outside of childhood.”

    This very dangerous and unpleasant final solution.


  39. 40 gary
    November 14, 2008 at 18:20

    Depending upon the man and woman’s individual dispositions, pregnancy is either a positive or a negative consequence of having sexual relations. Even if it is perceived a positive consequence by both parties, all parents begin as amateurs. Thus, it must be expected some will lack either desire or ability to advance to “pro” status.
    A child is a citizen. Nations protect their citizens by right and by need. Abusive, negligent, and incompetent parentings are all valid reasons for removal of children from their biological parents. Nations, and indeed parents as well, must regard parenthood not as an absolute right; but only as a granted, conditional right (a right of first refusal, as it were). Children are not the property of the parents, nor are they the property of the State; they are their own property. Their rights must be protected as assiduously as any adult rights.

  40. 41 selena in Canada
    November 14, 2008 at 18:22


    Well said!

    Children are not property!

  41. 42 Venessa
    November 14, 2008 at 18:30

    Bravo Gary. Parenthood is definitely a conditional right!

  42. 43 Steve
    November 14, 2008 at 18:36

    Why is parenthood even considered a “right”? it should be licensed just like just about everything else is regulated and licensed.

  43. 44 David
    November 14, 2008 at 18:39

    The question should really be, “How can we ensure children are safe and having all needs met?” This is the question children’s services social workers and, most importantly, communities should be asking with respect to all children.

    I am a Senior Social Worker with almost 15 years child protection social work experience in both the UK and British Columbia. It has been my experience that while removing children to safety is sometimes necessary, it is also the least desireable option and one that has been overused historically by child welfare authorities in many jurisdictions. Unnecessary and prejudicial removal of children from their homes and communities has severely impacted already marginalized groups such as Travellers in the UK and Aboriginal peoples in Canada and Australia. These groups are still in a process of recovery from the harm done to culture and community because of these interventions.

    When to remove a child is not the question. The real questions are, “Is this child safe?” and “How can we ensure all this child’s needs are being met?” It is a question that social workers assess and communities must ensure through access to resources for parents and children. Comprehensive answers to these questions and subsequent actions will best ensure that children are safe and well cared for regardless of their parents capacity or particular situation.

  44. November 14, 2008 at 18:47

    @ Selena,

    The state is already involved in an adverse way. They enable parents who would normally not be able to support and raise children to do it anyway. This is what happens when you offer welfare and other social programs to people who are allowed to conceive while on them. Remove yourself from this illusion of the utopia we have built here in the west, and instead, consider the only rules that are hard truths. The laws of the jungle. If we lived in a situation where there was no government to give us aid when we couldn’t fend for ourselves, then we and our children would cease to exist. Granting things like welfare and child tax credits work only to encourage growth at the least educated and poorest sector of our society.

    So if the government would just stop their involvement in the parental enabling, it would go a long way to adverting the situation described.

  45. November 14, 2008 at 18:48

    @ Mandie,

    There is a difference between those who can be a doctor, and those who are doctors. There is a difference between those who have the ability and those who have the ability and the knowledge. I am a rather old father by today’s standards. People my whole life have told me that “you are going to make such a great father.” However, I was with my wife for 9 years before we started. It had to do with being responsible. It had rto do with being financially stable.

    The statement, “you will never be financially ready to be a parent.” Ranks up there with “Buying a home is an investment” as far as the great lies people in our society tells us. If you do not have resources to get your family through reasonably expected crisis (unemployment, accidents, disasters) then you should have a child.

    There are lots of ways to correct these problems. Creating environments where one parent can stay home. Not encouraging shallow consumerism. Forcing people on government assistance plans to remain sterile until they have the ability to get off of it are some suggestion. There are a million.

    “Extinction”? There are twice, that is right twice, as many people on earth today as there was when JFK was inaugurated. That trend is way off from extinction.

  46. 47 archibald in oregon
    November 14, 2008 at 18:49

    @ Steve

    I totally agree, nothing worse than twisted humans thinking that they can fix their personality disfunction by having children. This also holds true for people who are too selfish to give up their bad habits, (ie. smoking, alchohol, drugs, etc.),for the duration of their pregnancy. Anyone who willfully handicaps their childs ability to function in this world is not the person who should be raising it………

  47. November 14, 2008 at 19:00

    @ Gary & Selena,

    Agreed. Whereas, parents begin in their roles as amateurs, there is certainly something to be said for teaching parenting skill in a formal environment. It would, of course, be interesting to see whether courses on how to be a child are also included in those situations. They are both interconnected and dependent on the other for full completion (?). Both rich and poor people need to learn how to properly care for and protect their children. Everybody’s happy when that happens!

  48. 49 Steve
    November 14, 2008 at 19:08

    You’d think in a nation with socialized healthcare the medical authorities would have said something, as the taxpayer is paying to treat the injuries the family caused the child. That would have been money to treat people who did not have completely avoidable/preventable issues. So the taxpayer as well had to pay the price for horrible families, let alone the killing of the child.

  49. 50 Ryan in the US
    November 14, 2008 at 19:11

    I can’t believe that the state or society knows when and when not to take a child in all cases. I lived in Riverside California and read many stories of children taken from their parents and placed with foster parents who killed them. Then other stories where a child is left with parents who kill them. Really a bad county all around for family law.

  50. 51 selena in Canada
    November 14, 2008 at 19:14


    it should be licensed just like just about everything else is regulated and licensed.

    And when I (as the medical officer who certifies you as being capable) don’t sign a paper to give you a license, do you have any recourse?

  51. 52 Steve
    November 14, 2008 at 19:18

    @ Selena

    Well, if you’re not fit to have children, then no, but you’re free to challenge the determination that you’re not fit. There is due process. Or do we want lots of seriously mentally ill people and abusive parents and abused children?Some people really are too sick to procreate, but right now, we consider it a fundamental right for people to procreate. That needs to change

  52. 53 John in Salem
    November 14, 2008 at 19:22

    Quite the solution you’ve got there. Withhold welfare and aid to the needy and they and their children will “cease to exist”.
    You might want to think that through a little more.

  53. 54 Jennifer
    November 14, 2008 at 19:34

    Re:Why is parenthood even considered a “right”? it should be licensed just like just about everything else is regulated and licensed.

    I think it should be a person’s right to have children if they choose to. However, I think that alot of abuse and neglect could be prevented if people were made to be more accountable for their actions; take parenting classes before they have children and made to show they can provide for their children financially and emotionally before they have them.

  54. 55 Anon in US
    November 14, 2008 at 19:35

    I was raised in a middle-class, religious family, and was sexually abused by my father for years, who then committed suicide. I told no one at the time. When, years later, I confessed (yes, as though I was the guilty one) to a relative and a friend of the family, they said that they had always suspected, but they, the adults, did nothing, leaving me, the child, to deal with the situation.

    If you suspect something is wrong, please always push a little farther, ask a question, look again. I know investigations can go wrong, but children deserve the protection of their entire community, and parents need to know that everyone is looking over their shoulders.

    From my perspective, diverting resources from protecting children in eminent harm to punishing parents for a child’s obesity (which, after all, is a reversible condition) seems ludicrous, nearly criminal.

  55. November 14, 2008 at 19:38

    I work for an international anti-poverty organisation that works to support families living in poverty to have the means to live together as a family. Poverty is one of the biggest causes of families becoming separated. Whether it be children in rural Africa feeling that they have become a burden on their family and moving to the city to join other family members and ending on the streets. Or in the North, poor families judged as inadequate parents due to the lack of opportunity they have received in their own childhood and adulthood as a result of poverty. The result: parents seen as neglectful and over-worked and pressurised social workers seeking care orders, which, 99 times out of a hundred, a judge will support. Unless we invest in providing parents the world over with the material and practical support necessary, children will continue to be suffer unnecessary and unjust hardship be being separated from their parents.

  56. 57 Lauren
    November 14, 2008 at 19:42

    @ steve and dwight

    Eugenics: a science that deals with the improvement (as by control of human mating) of hereditary qualities of a race or breed

    I do believe the Nazis did extensive research into this “scientific” field in an attempt to weed out the “undesirables”.

    There are plenty of well-to-do people with no history of mental illness who go home and smack their kids around at night. How will controlling the procreation of those with apparent flaws protect the children of those without?

  57. 58 Steve
    November 14, 2008 at 19:44

    I’m hearing the responses on air to the suggestion parenting should be a licensed, is that is’ a “right” or “i should be able to do what I want”. This is just based on entitlement. You have no RIGHT to have children more than I have a right to smoke pot. Because you feel entitled to something doesn’t mean you havea a right to do it.

    People really need to get over themselves.

  58. 59 Claire
    November 14, 2008 at 19:45

    I was abused, physically and emotionally, by my mother who suffers from schizophrenia. While I was taken into foster care several times I was always returned to her. I wish someone would have asked me if I wanted to go back with her or not, my answer would have been NO! It wasn’t until I was 16 years old I took matters into my own hands and left home to live with a family from my church.

  59. 60 Ryan in the US
    November 14, 2008 at 19:46

    License to have a child? The government issues drivers licenses and look at how many car accidents there are. The state can not be assumed to be always right. Some people are good some are bad. In what way are you going to possibly make this judgment? Based on criminal background? On some aptitude test? There is no way on earth to know what’s in a persons heart or what type of parent they will be

  60. 61 selena in Canada
    November 14, 2008 at 19:49

    I do believe the Nazis did extensive research into this “scientific” field in an attempt to weed out the “undesirables”.

    Yes, isn’t it funny that Steve would want to follow the Nazis?

  61. 62 jamily5
    November 14, 2008 at 19:49

    You have some good points.
    Going back to that kind of society, however, would require a shift and change in typical societal views.
    1. It would take more effort and time on society: Neighbors etc would be serving as an extended family unit
    2. this view might be seen as “socialist,” because parents would not be readily saying: “It’s my child and I can raise it how I please.” Help from neighbors and friends also means that we take in account their views. Child care, in itself needs to be defined.
    What one person calls “care,” is not what another person calls “care.”
    I know children who have gone from bad to worst when they were removed from their homes.
    I have known personally children who have been removed for very minor infractions: on the part of the parent.
    the problem is that it “is” at the discretion of the case work or CPS social worker.
    Think about it: if Steve and I were both social workers, we would still have different views (maybe) of what is neglect and what is harmful behavior.
    There are parents who foster unhealthy eating,
    support unhealthy sexual relationships before the child is emotionally read for such a relationship,
    allow their children to smoke,
    support their drinking as “experimental” as long as they use alcohol “responsibly,”
    reject and actively discourage their religious explorations,
    allow them to quit school at the age of 16,
    allow them to fly by themselves at an early age,
    give them a cell phone when they reach double digits,
    support their viewing of R rated movies and songs with sexual and/or violent content,
    … …
    We all have different opinions on these issues.
    Remember the woman who was on the BBC after she allowed her child to find his own way home. He had to ride the subway and had no cell phone, etc.
    some would call that endangerment!

  62. 63 archibald in oregon
    November 14, 2008 at 19:50


    Why does someone always have to bring up the Nazis? This is about messed up people (rich or poor) not being able to adequately care for a child, due to their own personal disfunction…..Bottom line, those who cannot afford to care for a child, either mentally, physically or financially, should NOT have one. There is no rational reason other than ego and/or stupidity………

  63. 64 Thea Winter - Indianapolis IN, USA
    November 14, 2008 at 19:50

    Any government should not have the right into human reproduction. Look at how many unborn are killed in China. Many parents are morning the loss of their one child in China because of the earthquakes.

    Just because a child is not well behaved is not a reason to have them taken away. Take a look at Ty (Extreme Makeover). His mother was a single mom and Ty was misbehaving in school. He was hyperactive and between his mom working with him and redirecting his creativity we have a man who has helped many people. If he was taken away there is no telling what would have happened.

  64. November 14, 2008 at 19:51


    This is not my “solution” this is the reality. These problems will exist if we insist upon anti Darwinist, unsustainable approaches. Or we will become the bastion of hunger and disease like other places in the world where procreation is continued practice in spite of the lack of resources for support. The only difference is that there would be no US to send itself aid. I know this sounds a bit cold and cruel, such is life. You are not mentally fit to have a child when you are receiving welfare. Stop this practice and reality will solve the problem. The other approach is to accept a certain percentage of children will end up in abusive and just heinous situations. Some of those children will leave the situation better for it. other will grow up to be abusive serial killers. Still others will grow up to join gangs and kill innocent bystanders.

    We have to grasped the magnitude of the full impact of everything we do. Could you imagine the population in Africa if all of the sudden everybody who wanted aid just got the free pass on life? If they had the ability to drink, eat, and copulate at their hearts content?

  65. 66 John in Salem
    November 14, 2008 at 19:57

    Talking about requiring a license to procreate is simply a cop-out to avoid taking personal responsibility for what is wrong with your society.

  66. 67 Steve
    November 14, 2008 at 20:00


    The nazis also drank water and ate food. I’m just like them! Hitler hated smoking, so all of you anti smoking people are just like hitler!

    In reality, if you need a license to fish, why on earth wouldn’t you need a license to procreate? can anyone explain this to me other than some entitlement based answer?

  67. 68 jamily5
    November 14, 2008 at 20:02

    Mental illness does not corelate to bad parenting.

  68. 69 Lauren
    November 14, 2008 at 20:03

    OK, so I could have mentioned the fact that the US also did research into eugenics with the same intent.

    The bottom line is that what dwight and steve were stating is that government s establish criteria for who should have kids and who shouldn’t and forcably intervine. This isn’t a black and white issue. You can’t say the poor can’t have kids until they’re not poor; that the physically handicapped can’t have kids because they might not be able to run after them. You have no idea what type of parent they’ll be so you have no business denying them the oppertunity to have kids based on cookie cutter molds.

  69. 70 selena in Canada
    November 14, 2008 at 20:05

    People bring up the Nazi because the Nazis believed they knew what was right and wrong.

    They didn’t!

    Jamily says that if he and Steve were to decide what was good and bad parenting they would have differing views. My views would more than likely differ from their views.

    Would is going to be that wise person who sorts all that out?

    Steve thinks he is wise enough to do that? If he doesn’t, who does he think is wise enough?

  70. 71 John in Scotland
    November 14, 2008 at 20:11

    Whats happening in our communities ? Social services over stretched …high unemployment ( set to get higher)…youth knifings …growing gun culture…and parents killing their children .

    Something is WRONG big style . Could it have anything to do with the wealth divide ?…..the fact that in Britain we are becoming more of a third world country as employment goes elsewhere . Our culture is changing ..we seem to be devaluing community and family. Is this a reflection of our TV and film culture where violence and indifference to others is the subliminal message of what it is to be ”someone ”.


    Nazis are …messed up people…and sadly perhaps not their fault …..but their still going to have to be STAMPED on.

  71. November 14, 2008 at 20:14


    “God” it seems has made the same scientific studies. In order for us to get to this evolutionary point, realities dealt harsh penalties to those who could not provide for their children. If an invasive species enters a waterway, eventually it consumes the ecology.

    From the moment you are pregnant the government should be able to ask you, Who are the care takers going to be, how are you going to pay for the birth and day to day care? Are you mentally fit? If you choose not to answer these questions then you should be refused help from those you wish to just TAKE it from.

    Look, if you are “well to do” and you “smack your children around”, then there is nothing a social service can do about it. However, nobody will dispute that better education and better resources decrease the chances of a child becoming a dysfunctional society member. In the end I do not care how you raise your child as long as he doesn’t end up shooting me at a gas station during a hold up or frauding me out of millions of dollars with some stock scam.

    Unfortunately, humans seem to have only an “on” switch. The only thing in the past that has reduced population is disease and/ or natural catastrophe. Anybody got a better idea to convince people not to have children they can not afford, I am open for it. But requiring people who are on welfare programs to take contraceptives seems to be a valid and capitalist inroad. You live in a democracy. You have rights and freedoms. However, welfare is your acceptance that you can not do it without the help of the government, and by extension with out the charity of the community at large. Nothing comes for free. To get welfare, you are going to have to give up your right to have children, do drugs, and choose residences. If you want these rights back, get off welfare.

  72. November 14, 2008 at 20:21

    This is one of those problems that i could argue many facets from it. Do I think that the poor are disadvantaged, yes. Do I think that there are plenty of people out there who work hard, make all the right choices, are responsible, and would make great parents, but are still poor? Yes. That is a problem that needs addressed. We need wage reformed and reassess what we consider “fair” in this society. Do I think that legislators should set a goal of making it more encouraging to have only one parent working? yes! But, under the constraints at hand, too many people who are incapable of raising children are having them.

  73. 74 archibald in oregon
    November 14, 2008 at 20:40

    “The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance – it is the illusion of knowledge.”- Daniel J. Boorstin

    That said, I still take issue with people oversimplifying the arguments of others and just taking the easy route by equating any fixed opinions with Naziism. I do not think that there is an adequate way to determine ones ability to raise a child, but, it stands to reason that if that person has little self awareness tand have not put thought into the true responsibility of the endeavour, then they should refrain for the greater good…..

  74. 75 Jennifer
    November 14, 2008 at 20:41

    @ Lauren

    Didn’t the nazi’s want everyone to have blonde hair and blue eyes? That’s different from setting up a system that would ensure children were not brought into the world unless they could be cared for. I think if people had to be more accountable and meet certain requirements they might be much more responsible capable parents. However, no way should the government be able to judge or say you aren’t rich enough to have a baby. Of course you have no way of knowing if a parent is going to be a good parent but if you provide some criteria and make requirements it’ll create a system where people learn responsibility.

    Mental illness does correlate to bad parenting along with many other factors including parent’s age, maturity level, substance abuse, home environment. All of these should be considered. A parent who has postpartum depression, schizophrenia, or another illness is not in the best mindset for themselves. How are they in the best mindset to care for a baby?

  75. 76 Lauren
    November 14, 2008 at 20:41

    @ steve

    “In reality, if you need a license to fish, why on earth wouldn’t you need a license to procreate? can anyone explain this to me other than some entitlement based answer?”

    yeah, it could have something to do with the fact that giving birth to a human being is NOT THE SAME THING AS FISHING ON THE LAKE WITH YOUR BUDDIES!

    A fish is not a human. People don’t eat their kids because they taste good. Women don’t carry a kid around for 9 mths then indure hours of labor because its “birthing season” and they need a vacation.

  76. 77 jamily5
    November 14, 2008 at 20:47

    We can make laws, we can talk and talk:
    but until “we” as individuals and “we” collectively make decisions that demonstrate that children are first, then, we will still have this problem. There are no qualifications and very little pay for those who care for children. Unless, of course, you are a private “nanny,” and who has the money to pay those prices?
    In the name of independence, we allow our children to do more and more at earlier and earlier ages. Until we put a value on our children, it is unlikely to change.

  77. November 14, 2008 at 20:48

    Could you please shorten your comments to not much more than the window in which you write. Thank you, Moderator.

    Until the courts are opened up and the Social Work are held accountable for their actions the feelings towards Social Workers will never be change.
    The Laws are never followed. If for example the child was subject to an inquiry why are the immediate family not advised or included for any type of assesment as a Kinship Carer. The child is normally in care before the extended family know anything.
    Social Workers commit perjury every day, as they are covered by Statute if proven wrong.
    Nobody welcomes Social Workers involvement but they are needed as Child abuse cases have not dropped.
    Back in 1973 after a brutal child abuse case that resulted in her murder, that had been reported to SW 30 times. The injquiry that followed identified 3 issues.
    Mainly the lack of communication between agencies. Since then and over 100 child abuse resulting in murder there has been over 70 inquiries where over half added this as an issue to be addressed. 33 years later we are still been force fed this an excuse for yet another Child abuse murder.
    The Social Work should resort back to what they were – Social Care.
    Young Social Workers find themselves involved in cases like this. If there was even a hint of abuse in my opinion it should then be immediatley handed to a Child Protection Worker who should take the case over. If this worker, who has not only had the relevant training but also have more life experience, thinks there is a possibility of abuse, they should contact the Police without delay.
    Most abuse cases end up in the courts anyways but this takes the onus from Social Work and gives it to the Police.
    I realise there are CP teams including Police etc who meet regularly to discuss abuse issues. There have been two cases including the Victoria Climbie case where intimidation scared away the Social Work, if the just stated regulations were in place, this child would still be alive.
    Lastly, all agencies address child abuse issues and pick up the peices after the fact. They have never addressed the root causes. Of course there will be Mental Health issues that will never be forseen but there are underlying issues that remain unaddressed.
    With an increase of 104% in cruelty and abuse cases since 1999
    An increase of Indency cases of 69%
    And an increase of 370% of child abduction cases.
    These stats clearly not only show that abuse cases are not reducing but the increase in abduction cases are staggering.
    That opens the can of worms of children been taken for nothing, there are thousands of on-going cases of exactly that. It is my belief that if the Social Work were returned to experience levels these figures would read differently.

    I will not go into this issue as I have been involved in exactly such a case.
    A social worker hinted at me having MCBP and despite having 3 children and 2 grandkids within 7 mths a young worker had my foster child taken and placed elsewhere. This being after almost 2 years of working with CPO, passing all relevant checks etc. I have no recourse as I cannot raise any charges on her report. So the appeal process does not work. Especially when the Authority have put a block on my DP documents.

    When the government begin to listen to such parents and organisations such as
    cgfap,mothersforjustice,John Hemming we will not address the misscarriages of Justice and move forward.

    Rest in piece Baby P, no-one can hurt you now.

  78. 79 Syed Hasan Turab
    November 14, 2008 at 20:54

    After Industrial REvolution & WW careless behaviour been observed about the kids specially in working mother’s, because of work & less time for loved ones.
    This is our self created problem & may be resolved 99% from our own devotional attitute with our family & loved ones. If we think Law enfocement authorities are the subsititute of parents this is totally wrong, no doubt we are bound to live in society with rules regulayion’s & laws.
    Keeping kids away from parents & try to punish the parent’s by way of taken away kids create emotional issues & lead us towards sick society.

  79. 80 Lauren
    November 14, 2008 at 21:09


    “The only thing in the past that has reduced population is disease and/ or natural catastrophe.”

    You forgot genocide.

    I’m sorry, but I have a real problem with taking away the rights of the poor in order for them to receive aid. Where does that mentality end? You have to convert to my religion in order to receive charity?
    As a person, I would like to think that my free will and reason have elevated me beyond the primitive “survival of the fittest” mentality and into the realm of compassion and charity for others without demanding that they lessen themselves in order to receive it.

    Oh and if you get the chance, maybe take a look at the Universal Declaration of Human Rights- even though it consists of mostly anti- Darwinist views.

  80. 81 Venessa
    November 14, 2008 at 21:09

    “However, welfare is your acceptance that you can not do it without the help of the government, and by extension with out the charity of the community at large. Nothing comes for free. To get welfare, you are going to have to give up your right to have children, do drugs, and choose residences. If you want these rights back, get off welfare.”

    Dwight ~ I couldn’t agree with you more on this. Anyone requiring assistance should meet some very logical and basic requirement. After all it is the tax dollars from those of us who can afford to live paying for them to live as well. The system as it is now encourages poor mothers to have more children for a larger check. I have seen this plenty and it disgusts me.

  81. 82 Jennifer
    November 14, 2008 at 22:03

    Who knows where my last post went. But I’ll be brief on this in case that was the issue…..There IS a correlation between mental illness and child abuse or neglect just like there is one for instances where there is substance abuse, domestic violence, or other issues occurring in the home. All of these factors influence the way the family dynamics and impact any

    If a parent is not well enough to care for themselves how are they capable of caring for a baby? I can just imagine a woman who told me that she was the devil’s daughter and in the next few minutes tell me that she was God being a parent capable of keeping a baby safe.

    Re: I’m sorry, but I have a real problem with taking away the rights of the poor in order for them to receive aid.

    I have a real problem with seeing parents using their children as objects to put out their cigarettes on, biting them, starving them, failing to protect them, and hearing stupid excuses to explain away what they did. There is nothing that compares to seeing that abuse firsthand in real life and having to hear stupid cover up lies. I will say that sure; everyone has the right to have children BUT there should be responsibility and accountability as well. As for licensing, why not if it would help stop children from being abused or neglected?

  82. November 14, 2008 at 22:41

    How can this happen to a child?? In particular after 60 visits, there surely must have been clear evidence of abuse. If parents are this unfit and warped, they should not be allowed to rear kids. If an animal is mistreated, the RSPCA steps in and the animal is rescued most of the time in Britain and in the States. The law is an ass in this case and in many cases and that is why capital punishment isn’t a bad thing, jail is too good for these people, they should be submitted for medical research if they are that deranged. Legislation has to be passed to protect children in Britain and there should be a big lobby about this, so that politicians stop talking and fighting about ‘when to intervene between parents and children when cases of abuse occur and start acting for the good of the child. Lie detectors and other ways of finding out if children are abused should be imposed on parents who are suspected of abuse and action taken immediately. Or is this too simple to
    think about amongst the status quo? The world has gone mad there is no rationality anymore, so what can we expect anyway??

  83. 84 Roberto
    November 15, 2008 at 01:28

    RE “” it’s mother “”

    ——- Babies are not “its” except to unfeeling, uncaring, inhumane people.

    Babies are dependent humans deserving of the best care and consideration we can provide within a family structure. The child was a “he” or a “she,” not an “it.”

    “Its” belong in the “place” or “thing” designation of grammar, not the “person” side.

  84. November 15, 2008 at 02:28


    The problem is that we have too long not wanted to not give up our rights while we failed miserably. Tell me one occasion where that works. We are in the financial crisis right now because we felt it was the right of the people who couldn’t afford a mortgage to own a house, a car, and a credit card. We find it quite acceptable to pollute the world and then we expect that it will have no affect on global climate. We expect cheap goods, but we don’t want to hear about the people who struggle to make them. Everything in the western capitalist culture is based around ignoring reality.

    Asking the poor to give up their rights? What are they asking me to give up. 25% of my paycheck goes to taxes. That is 10 hours our of a 40 hour work week I could be spending with my daughter. I am not. I am putting in my dues to make this society better for all involved. The 22 yr old mother with her 3rd child by the 4th father (don’t ask me how it happens. I am sure I saw it on Maury Polvich.),what does she have to give. What lessons are we teaching her? What lessons are we teaching her kids? Life is a delicate balance. Tell me one thing in life that you can think of where you got it with out giving something up? You want to have less abused and sometimes dead children? Define the risk factors that most commonly lead to their demise, and cut them out. Drug use, financially disadvantaged parents, children of war vet, overcrowded schools, or whatever your favorite cause. Either stop people with risk factors from having children, or accept that this is an unsolvable problem under the current domographics and lets move on.

    Adding one note, I would say by taking the right to have kids and do drugs away from the poor, you are actually doing them more good then harm. Imagine a house full of cats. Is it more “humane” to let them infest and stave to death, or is it better to euthanize them?

  85. 86 Sandra Patricia, Colombia
    November 15, 2008 at 05:00

    Hello everyone! 🙂

    What a terrible mother was she! How is this possible human beings can go that far! We’re talking about an indefense baby that can not defend himself… How can some people be that cruel and treat children in that way… That’s completely disgusting, and it just shows how humanity is going backwards!!!

    In Colombia we had a similar situation: A 11-month old baby was taken away from his mother in September in a little town. One week of campaign around the country to bring him back home, and his parents appeared on the media asking for their baby… The poor mother was desperate and completely brokenhearted. Then it was proved (and he confesed) that his father ordered his kidnapping: It was disappointing and disgusting! One week later after being grabbed, the baby was found dead. The worst thing is that penalisation for children murderers and rappers here in Colombia is not as radical as it should be, so it’s expected that his evil father and his accomplices will be set free in les that 15 years…

    More information here: http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/americas/news/article_1434493.php

    Is it necessary to do something when the situation reaches these tragical extremes? Children defense should be the priority, so in case of suspect parents should be controlled and supervised! Even parents who make their children work (as beggars or prostitutes) instead of being educated should be punished severily and, therefore, their children should be taken away inmediatly – before tragedy comes, as in the case of baby P. Justice in Colombia is not efficient for that 😦 .

    I’m really sorry for baby P. and all the abused children, women and other people in the world, and I pray Jehovah to finish with all this insanity soon… Weird news makes me feel angry…

    Hugs from Colombia.

  86. 87 rick
    November 15, 2008 at 10:25

    Perhaps the answer lies in education. A compulsory course in child rearing before kids are old enough to have their own kids.
    We learn enough crap in high school that we will never ever use, so how about something a litle more practical.

  87. November 15, 2008 at 13:57


    I think that is a great idea, but that brings up questions. Who is going to pay for it? By whose standards are we going to “teach” the new parents? I personally don’t believe corporal punishment, spanking, or “smacking” is an acceptable form of discipline. I have years and volumes of studies and data to back up my point of view. However, right here we could spark a debate that people who boast, “I turned out fine and i got spanked.” So which discipline perspective does this “compulsory course in child rearing”.

    Again, we are our own worst enemies. The course would get stripped down and become as about as effective as abstinence only on sex education. We demand compromise without concessions.

  88. 89 steve
    November 15, 2008 at 14:32

    Here’s a good example where the child should be taken away, at least from the mother. But given her taste in men, I would presume the father isn’t much better.

    She absolutely should be sterilized. Do you think it’s a fundamental right for someone this stupid to have children?

    Perhaps when her children murder your children you may think differently.


    Some people should absolutely be sterilized. her and the defendant.

  89. 90 Shakhoor Rehman
    November 15, 2008 at 16:45

    The world is in a mess. Neither children or parents can be insulated from it. Obviously, when someone, children or adult ,is a defenceless victim of this mess then protection should be given. Most often that protection is not granted eg Congo. Whether its a baby in Brixton or an adult in the Congo when protection is not provided then the mess is to blame. Until the mess is cleaned up then more of the same will happen. Cleaner needed.

  90. 91 MeanMachine
    November 16, 2008 at 05:07

    For whatever reason my posted comment the day the program aired is not posted. Too bad. Of course I thought it was important. Perhaps it was too long. In this regard I will be brief.

    There is no way any government can control human reproduction. There is no reasonable system anyone can put in place which would protect all children. There are degrees of abuse. Some immediately visible. Other remain invisible. Some abuse is physical. Others psychological/emotional. Whatever system put in place will generate certain levels of specific types of abuse. Some will become public. Some may become public. Some will remain out of the public eye. The most effective child protection system is open families in which a range of caring people and responsible people have ongoing and consistent contact with all members of the family, but especially the children. Neither the Social Service agencies or government can be a sufficient child protection force. Society through local communities and extended family are the only most effective child protection entities. Government will always be in the business of playing catch up. Every adult who has knowledge of the abuse of a child and/or who has ongoing contact or relationship with a family/child has a moral obligation to act in the best interest of children. We are each individually and collectively responsible and guilty.

  91. 92 selena in Canada
    November 16, 2008 at 16:46


    Well said!

    With respect to long posts, you may find an answer on the Contributor’s Charter:


  92. 93 Christina Barrett
    November 16, 2008 at 17:28

    Best Interests of the Child was also the slogan used by Hitler, as the SS went around removing “undesirables” in their attempt to create a Super Race on Earth.

    One child on leaving Corporate Care said to remind everyone of this.

    “Care is the one place, where you can legally abuse a child and get paid for it.”

    I know many “looked after children” who are by no means looked after- by being given to known mentally ill foster carers, tortured, drugged, raped, used in porn, and prostituted out for 6 years, and nothing done.

    You might think social services did not know that the foster carer was a psychopath on drugs and a professional prostitute herself- But they did know, and even Documented all of it, and yet did nothing.

    Even the oldest got a solicitor of his own and begged the judge to get his siblings out- all documented and ready for all to view- but nothing done.

    Now, finally the children were removed from the placement, but the social worker was ripped apart for doing what was right, so I am really confused, as to what is actually going on inside the system.

    Is it an experiment in trauma? and observe how children handle it?

    Is it the money?

    Is it the access paedophiles etc have to innocent children, that no one wants to speak of.?

    All I know is, that all the children who were wrongfully removed in this case, have been seriously abused and now suffer mental problems.

    But, not one of them has been offered help in healing, as everyone shies away.

    Also, the present social workers have no idea of the children’s past abuse in their care.- that seems odd to me.

    These children all ran away several times, and kept running home to their mother over and over, proving they were loved there, but no one was listening.

    Now the children have NO TRUST in any so called do gooder from the state- and hold deep anger in their souls over what happened to them in care.

    One child even asked the Lord Justices to listen to her and her siblings.

    NO, these men could not be bothered to give her 10 mins of their time, but shunned her, because she was from a poor family financially- but the LOVE in that home today is an inspiration for all of us on Earth, and I wish all people could see it , feel it, and take their gift of love with them to others.

  93. 94 Mary from Nigeria(Naija)
    November 17, 2008 at 09:52

    I think if cases of persistent child abuse are established, children should be taken from their parents.

  94. 95 troops grandma
    November 29, 2008 at 08:05

    I think children need to be removed whenever their physical, emotional, or mental well being is not being met. I recently made one of the hardest decisions of my life and went to children services to file a complaint against my own child for hurting my grand baby. I knew it would turn our whole world upside down and that she could go to jail. But my grand baby is only 9 months old and his safety has to come first above and beyond anything else. I love my daughter with all my heart but shes an adult and when she made the choice to hurt him she gave up the right to parent him.

  95. 96 Rowena F
    November 30, 2008 at 17:04

    How dare you assume that all parents with mental illness are unfit to care for their children. How dare you imply that people who can’t afford or whose partners have left should not be allowed to have children. I have a son who was the result of a rape, yet I love him dearly, I was only 17 when I got raped, a stupid kid still, yet I got off my backside and looked after my child. I also have severe depression but that does not mean I neglect my son, it does not mean I abuse him. I was abused myself a a child and taken away from my parents, I suffered self harm as a teenager and got in trouble with the law but that does not make me a bad person, I was upset, depressed and screwed up, but you should see my son, he is happy, intelligent, he gets every opportunity to do things, I love him to bits, he is a well adjusted boy and I have never even so much as raised my voice to him, he is such an obedient, sunny natured, beautiful child. Now you tell me, my middle class parents who had half a million quid in the bank and good jobs in caring roles beat the crap out of me every day of my life until I was so miserable I wanted to die, yet I still have love in my heart for my little baby boy. Now tell me people like me should not have kids. HYPOCRITES, self righteous middle class ****heads. I suppose you think that everyone who is unemployed or poor or ill or disabled whould be marched to gas chambers and killed. The trouble is that america is a uncivilised toilet and nobody who is in an unfortunate situation has any rights, any voice, or any consideration and even would be left to die in your country because of no insurance etc I have heard it too many times. I would rather live in a dog kennel than in America, you have no idea what you are talking about. Some people are dealt a bad hand, does that mean they should be publicly humiliated and publicly flogged every day of their lives and made to pay for their mistakes or their parents shortcomings. What kind of country leaves children to die because the parents can’t afford insurance. The UK is becoming like America, what is so good about the yanks. I am not proud to be british any more. It is becoming like a nazi regime where the lower classes have no rights. You would think that these morons in power would learn, but they are too stupid to see it. If you stamp hard enough, and long enough, people will fight. I am not a pussy who will lie down and take this ****, I will fight and I am not the only one. There are people in this country who exercise their human rights when they don’t deserve them, they can maim and kill their children and still have human rights yet someone like me is stripped of them because of my social standing. I hope all you morons are happy, because it is me today, you tomorrow.

  96. 97 pauline
    January 7, 2009 at 17:52

    how right you are Rowena. these people on this site who look down their long noses at others less privileged are the most sanctimonious, self righteous people I’ve ever encountered.

    who but someone who has seen the worst can best shield their child from the same! I can’t reiterate this enough… those of us who have gone through the slummy stuff have the compassion needed to raise a child with unconditional love, and that includes war veterans, mentally ill people (by the way most mental illness is a recessive gene), the poor (as someone once said, if you are poor, the only ones who will help you are those who are poor; the rich will give you nothing and I have found this to be true). I have seen personally and firsthand the most love coming from the most disadvantaged, the rich stealing from and taking advantage of those who have less. God will sort all this stuff out, even in this world.

    Bravo Rowena!

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