Day 148 in the sequel leading up to the Founding Fathers March is committed to Martha Walsh-Hood, a Family Court Judge in Syracuse, New York. Martha recently participated in National Adoption Day with highway banners and taxpayer advertising designed to find homes for foster children. Certainly an admirable cause, it was unfortunately masked by a court process, administered by the same judge, which produced the very products that Martha was seeking to sell to an unsuspecting public.
Our purpose is to expose the propaganda of America’s “child business” as one Family Court put it. This propaganda is plainly seen in the parenting disputes manufactured by lawyers and judges (former divorce lawyers). These disputes produce federal incentive grants, child support interest revenues and all kinds of fees based on the number of “custodial” and “non-custodial” parents mass produced in these domestic relations courts. They also produce the kind of products, foster children, which the public is asked to shop for on Black Friday.
I have described this as the “custodial institution of childrearing”, a collection of laws which keeps otherwise cooperating parents engaged in bitter disputes over “custody” and “support” awards. If these disputes can be perpetuated long enough, parents will resort to lucrative tactics for lawyers, even false charges, which can then lead to “unfit” behavior and the state’s placement of more children in foster care. It is, very simply, an underhanded exploitation of a rule of nature. Lawyers know that parents will do anything to keep their children from an enemy (the other parent) created by state law.
These custody and support awards are mandated even among self sustaining maternal and paternal family units which have no need for them. Unequal parenting laws are inherently unjust, based on a time when moms stayed at home, and for these reasons parents return to court time and again duped into believing that this is where justice can be found. In reality, it is a multi-billion dollar child industry they are facing, one that is engaged in profits and political patronage. It is the ultimate gold mine in which parents are targeted as unwitting employers and facilitators.
Reform is long overdue, however, even progressive judges are quickly overturned while like minded parenting advocates (like me) are suppressed. See for example Webster v Ryan, 729 NYS 2d 315 (Albany Family Court, 2001) where a veteran judge found that custody and visitation have “outlived their usefulness”. He was reversed only months later. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out why this is happening. In the end, parents and children suffer while the state takes over childrearing until it has more victims than it can handle.
As a result, New York’s judicial branch of government, known as the Unified Court System, is sponsoring “Adoption Day”. In so doing, it has violated the most basic tenets of our Constitution and reason for its existence. The judicial branch is required to maintain independence from outside activity so that its neutrality might not be compromised by events which later come before it. Judicial canons of ethics further require judges to avoid even “an appearance of impropriety” in these outside activities.
Recently this court system brought action in its own courts against the people of New York for pay raises, scheduled now to acclimate from $136,000 to over $170,000 annually in a state which is $10 billion in debt, see i.e. Chief Judge v Governor, 65 AD 3d 898 (AD 1, 2009). People like Martha Walsh-Hood know that the more controversy which can be created between parents in “her” court, the more resources that can be made available to pay for all this.
The Parenting Rights Institute would like to see a good home for all foster children. But we must first reform the system which is adding to their numbers. On our Thanksgiving Day post, and prior ones dedicated to the “Child” and “Purple Heart Soldier” (Days 155, 153 and 149), you can gain a better understanding of this epidemic which is causing vast injury to the productivity, moral fiber and health care capacities of an entire nation. Let’s all join together in a reform effort to end Martha’s shopping sprees.
November 25, 2011 Dr. Leon R. Koziol, J.D.
Syracuse, New York Parenting Rights Institute