How the State Wants to Own YOUR Child and Why Disabled Parents Should be Concerned
The Scottish government has for the last few years been trying to take rights away from Scottish parents and make their children wards of the state through a 'named person scheme', whereby every child born in Scotland is assigned a named guardian of the state - for example, a midwife, health visitor or teacher - to oversee their welfare and report any concerns to social services. This idea is being marketed as a way to prevent child abuse and help families.
Named Person Scheme Makes Children Ward of the State
However, the reality is that every child born will have a guardian that is not a parent and that that guardians job under the scheme is to find and report concerns about the parent, giving them more power than parents. In effect, the child becomes a ward of the state. It is the responsibility of parents to provide guardianship to their children and raise them in their family unit until they reach a minimum age of 16. The government attempting to give these rights to non-family, government representatives takes away rights from the parents and violates the right to privacy and a family life. The named person will be able to compile notes on the child and his family and share them with other professionals. Doctors will also be able to share medical concerns about him, in a move that completely breaches patient confidentiality. There is also no limit to what can be reported on and as this 'named person' will be assigned to the child until he reaches 18, families will have no right to a private life until that time.
University Academic Reported by 'Named Person'
Mr Smith - a father in Scotland - was part of the pilot scheme and was reported to child protective services by his child's 'named person' because he didn't know how to get him to stop sucking his thumb. The note on the report was
"Mr Smith feels it is impossible to stop his youngest son from sucking his thumb as he needs it for comfort. Did not appear to take advice on board fully.”
What followed was two years of harrassment as the named person developed a detailed 60 page report on everything he was supposed to have done wrong, from not changing a nappy quickly enough to dried snot marks on a child's face - giving the false impression that he was a neglectful father. Smith, an academic at a respected university and parent of two sons, was not allowed to challenge any of the allegations or remove them from record and did not even know about the existance of the record until a custody dispute after the break up of his marriage. They had been compiling it in secret.
" I felt angry and powerless when I saw these notes made of very trivial things and constant surveillance of small things that are part of everyday parenting – a total lack of respect and confidence in the parents," he said.
Troubling questions have been raised about the scheme, such as:
Will individual parenting style be considered? What determines 'good' parenting?
What happens if the 'named person' disagrees with the parenting style of the parent?
What if a disgruntled child uses the 'named person' in order to disobey parental rules?
Disabled Parents and Minority Families May be Targeted
Christian families may be considered to be 'fanatical' by a 'named person'. Those who wish to home school or use a private school may also face investigation as well as parents who seek a second opinion from a doctor or who wish to refuse a medical intervention they don't think is necessary.
Minority groups such as those who choose to live in non-traditional housing like boats or caravans, same sex families and ALL disabled parents could be targetted by such a scheme. Disabled parents already face widespread discrimination due to the over-riding society view that we are somehow 'impaired' and therefore we cannot be good parents. Disability, instead of being seen as merely part of a person, is seen as a problem in need of remedying. This is why 80% of intellectually disabled parents have their children removed, why 15% of physically disabled parents face attempts by child protective services to have their children removed and why 13% of physically disabled parents say they encountered prejudism in family courts after divorce. There is a high chance, then, that the 'named person' would hold the same prejudisms even if they think they don't.
Government History of Ugenics Against Disabled People
Government has an appalling track record when it comes to disabled person's rights. They have a long history of eugenics. Anyone who had epilepsy, a speech disorder or any other kind of disability was forcibly detained and sterilized without consent right up until the 1970's because it was assumed they were too stupid to have children and the powers that be didn't want stupid people contaminating the gene pool. Even after this practice was mostly abandoned, eugenics policies continued, such as denying food stamps to disadvantaged women if they didn't agree to permanent contraception.
In the 21st century, judges have ruled that disabled people are too stupid to have sex and social services even gate crashed a wedding to stop a disabled woman getting married because they thought she was too stupid to get married and found a family. There are still isolated rulings ordering sterilization without consent of disabled people. There's no legal limit on abortion of disabled fetuses - it is legally allowed to kill a term unborn child if that child has a medical condition. In fact, medical professionals are debating whether it should be legal to murder a newborn baby just because it is born disabled. Social services regularly take children from sick or disabled parents and place them in what they believe is a more desirable family set up - a form of eugenics.
In a recent case, UK social services took the newborn baby of an Indian immigrant woman because she was living in crowded conditions and she got a low score on an IQ test that was administered with the aid of an interpreter, as English was not her first language, a practice that is not supposed to be done as it makes the IQ results inaccurate.
Social services planned to adopt her child out by force but were stopped by the court because no assessments had been done to see if she could actually mother her child. In the end, she was allowed to keep her baby, with the judge making a stark warning to social workers:
'Intervention by the family courts must be proportionate and not become social engineering by turning away from leaving or reuniting children with their imperfect but adequate birth parents in favour of idealised alternatives.'
Supreme Court Vetoes 'Totalitarian' Scheme but That's Not the End of It
In this climate, Scottish disabled parents should be very afraid of a 'named person' for their child. The scheme was supposed to be made law this month (August) but, thank Heavens, the Supreme Court vetoed it and issued an injunction to stop it, saying that it violated human rights. They accused the Scottish government of trying to take control of the family. They wrote:
' The first thing that a totalitarian regime tries to do is to get at the children, to distance them from the subversive, varied influences of their families, and indoctrinate them in their rulers’ view of the world. Within limits, families must be left to bring up their children in their own way."
Nicola Sturgeon, head of the SNP, has vowed ignore the court ruling and push ahead with the plan anyway - a plan which could be implemented in the rest of the UK if authorities deem it successful. The Supreme Court say that the idea of a 'named person' is still a good idea but would have to be radically changed to protect individual rights before it is introduced, so disabled parents across the UK shouldn't relax just yet.
It is vitally important that a disabled parenting section is added to the Equality Act 2010 before any 'named person' legislation is passed, or the numbers of us that lose our children to the state will only increase.