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Judge orders drug addict to stop having children

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Judge orders drug addict to stop having children

Old 01-05-05, 11:12 AM
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Judge orders drug addict to stop having children

http://www.cnn.com/2005/LAW/01/05/ch....ap/index.html

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ROCHESTER, New York (AP) -- A Family Court judge who last year stirred debate about parental responsibilities ordered a second drug-addicted woman to have no more children until she proves she can look after the seven she already has.

The 31-year-old mother, identified in court papers only as Judgette W., lost custody of her children, ranging in age from eight months to 12 years, in child-neglect hearings dating back to 2000. Six are in foster care at state expense and one lives with an aunt.

The youngest child and two others tested positive for cocaine at birth and all seven "were removed from her care and custody because she could not and did not take care of them," Judge Marilyn O'Connor said in a December 22 decision made public Tuesday.

"Because every child born deserves a mother and a father, or at the very least a mother or a father, this court is once again taking this unusual step of ordering this biological mother to conceive no more children until she reclaims her children from foster care or other caretakers," O'Connor wrote.

In a similar ruling last March, O'Connor ordered a drug-addicted, homeless mother of four to refrain from bearing children until she won back care of her children. The decision, the first of its kind in New York, is being appealed.

Wisconsin and Ohio have upheld similar rulings involving "deadbeat dads" who failed to pay child support. But in other states, judges have turned back attempts to interfere with a person's right to procreate.

O'Connor said she was not forcing contraception or sterilization on the mother, who had children with seven different men, nor requiring her to get an abortion should she become pregnant. But she warned that the woman could be jailed for contempt if she has another child.

The New York Civil Liberties Union maintained that the opinion cannot be enforced because it "tramples on a fundamental right -- the right to procreate."

"There is no question the circumstances of this case are deeply troubling," said the group's executive director, Donna Lieberman. "But ordering a woman under threat of jail not to have any more babies ... puts the court squarely in the bedroom. And that's no place for the government."
Old 01-05-05, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by General Zod
The New York Civil Liberties Union maintained that the opinion cannot be enforced because it "tramples on a fundamental right -- the right to procreate."
I'm not sure that is a right. You'd have to go to some lengths to argue that one, methinks.
Old 01-05-05, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by General Zod
"There is no question the circumstances of this case are deeply troubling," said the group's executive director, Donna Lieberman. "But ordering a woman under threat of jail not to have any more babies ... puts the court squarely in the bedroom. And that's no place for the government."
I wonder what Ms. Lieberman's solution would be.

The bedroom is no place for the government. But having to care for these children has got to be someone's responsibility and in this country, it is the government's when she neglects them, is it not?

Last edited by nevermind; 01-05-05 at 11:34 AM.
Old 01-05-05, 12:01 PM
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That is not promoting a "culture of life."
Old 01-05-05, 12:51 PM
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This was front page headline news today. I love rochester
Old 01-05-05, 01:36 PM
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The court has no authority to issue that order. Nobody will enforce it, and the city will get sued, and the taxpayers will lose money. What the court is doing is tantamount to murder. Why doesn't the court just kill the 7 she has? It is the same thing by telling her that number 8 is not allowed. What if the court issued the order a year ago and number 7 never was born??

And since when is having money a prerequisite to having children? I know people who were born dirt poor who have made more of their lives than children born to wealthy. There is something to be said about having nothing and learning the value of a dollar versus being some fat cat.

And if she is guilty of neglect, there are laws on the books to take care of that problem. She should be prosecuted under appropriate laws. This judge must think he has legislative powers by creating his own custom solutions.
Old 01-05-05, 01:41 PM
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Doogie:
Where are you getting that it's because she's poor?

ordered a ... drug-addicted woman
...
The youngest child and two others tested positive for cocaine at birth
...
all seven "were removed from her care and custody because she could not and did not take care of them,"
And so forth. Her financial status isn't mentioned. She may be poor, but mainly she's a crack head.

And anyway, I fully disagree with your analysis that it's tantamount to murder. Mainly, it's obviously for protection of future children. Note this bit:
O'Connor said she was not forcing contraception or sterilization on the mother, who had children with seven different men, nor requiring her to get an abortion should she become pregnant. But she warned that the woman could be jailed for contempt if she has another child.
So if the woman has another child, it gives them a reason to lock the woman up and provide help to the child. It's not really preventing her from having a child, it's mainly providing for the child's care in the event she does have one, as well as providing incentive to the mother to not create children which will just end up being a burden on the state.

Futhermore, your murder argument is more than a bit stupid. Does using protection make a person a murderer?

Last edited by Otto; 01-05-05 at 01:46 PM.
Old 01-05-05, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Otto
Doogie:
Where are you getting that it's because she's poor?

The article talks about dads who fail to pay child support being prevented from having kids. And it talks about her being able to take care of kids. I read that as the court looking at how much money she makes. If she was psycho but rich, this would be a non issue.
Old 01-05-05, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Otto

Futhermore, your murder argument is more than a bit stupid. Does using protection make a person a murderer?
There is a differance between a person not wanting to have a kid and the state telling them they can't.
Old 01-05-05, 01:52 PM
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I have to agree with Otto here. If you have to have a certain level of intelligence to operate a vehicle, the same should apply to having children. Some people need their right to procreate taken away- whether it be they don't know how to care for a child, don't want to care for a child, or want more government assistance in caring for another child, or several other valid reasons. This can apply to the rich and the poor. At the time if/when the problem is resolved they should be allowed to procreate again.
Old 01-05-05, 01:52 PM
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I am certainly one that doesn't know the full extent of what can be upheld in court, but I think that this is a good attempt by the judge. Obviously, the woman doesn't care about her children. For lack of a better word, I would label them as 'mistakes'. If she had whipped out 7 children from 1 or 2 fathers, it might be different. Now, there are 7 children who will probably never see their mother OR father.

I don't think that the court should be able to tell me what I can and can't do in my bedroom, but for the most part they don't. Extreme situations call for extreme measures.

I also don't see how this is murder, in any way. If stopping someone from creating a child is murder, than I (and many, many other people) do that quite often. Condoms, Depo, the pill, and other forms of birth control. Unfortunately, this will probably just lead her to abortions, and not 'safe' sex.
Old 01-05-05, 01:54 PM
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My feeling are that she should be steralized. She has demonstrated that she makes poor choices and is not a fit mother. If she should ever decide to be a responsible person again, she's got 7 kids to take care of.

Her antics in the bedroom are costing the state money and are going to have to raise her kids for her. It's an unfair burden to place on the state, and I think the state has every right to protect itself from having to shell out more money so that she can live a life of irresponsibility.

I make an assumption that she's poor and she only had 7 kids so she can collect more welfare cash to spend on cocaine. She obviously doesn't care about them.
Old 01-05-05, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by beencrazier
I have to agree with Otto here. If you have to have a certain level of intelligence to operate a vehicle, the same should apply to having children. Some people need their right to procreate taken away- whether it be they don't know how to care for a child, don't want to care for a child, or want more government assistance in caring for another child, or several other valid reasons. This can apply to the rich and the poor. At the time if/when the problem is resolved they should be allowed to procreate again.
What makes you think the child needs a smart/intelligent parent? Many kids are smarter than their parents. I would rather be born to a drug addict parent and be given a chance to make my own life than to be forbidden from life.

There is a more logical scientific argument to be made as well. People who are more prone to drug addictions are that way for genetic reasons. And just because drug addiction is one outward expression of various genes, that does not mean it is the only expression. These people provide genes to the gene pool others might not have. Maybe that drinking gene in concert with another gene is what makes for an Einstien. Who knows what that kid will be.

And most people who have come from alcoholic homes are very aware of the dangers of alcohol or drugs and avoid it.
Old 01-05-05, 02:05 PM
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Let me elaborate. A child needs a parent who knows when to buy food and when to buy drugs. A child needs a parent who doesn't leave them alone all night, comes home high and with a different boyfriend/girlfriend.

And most people who come from homes where there are drugs do not avoid it. I didn't, and neither did a lot of my friends. In fact I'm sure statistics would prove differently.
Old 01-05-05, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by beencrazier
Let me elaborate. A child needs a parent who knows when to buy food and when to buy drugs. A child needs a parent who doesn't leave them alone all night, comes home high and with a different boyfriend/girlfriend.

And most people who come from homes where there are drugs do not avoid it. I didn't, and neither did a lot of my friends. In fact I'm sure statistics would prove differently.
Are you saying it would have been better to not have been born because your parents did drugs than to make your own choices?
Old 01-05-05, 02:16 PM
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I think there is a difference between being born to someone who is addicted while taking care of them, and being born to someone who is addicted and not. I know a few people who grew up in 'faulty' households, but were still taken care of well. One in particular grew into a beautiful, intelligent person who respected herself enough to avoid the things her parents were into.
In this woman's case, she isn't being a mother to her children. These children haven't even been adopted to loving families. I've never been in one myself, but from what I understand they aren't fun.

This doesn't seem to be a case of stopping her from having more children that could become great people. It seems to be that they are trying to keep her from having mroe children that could be living a personal hell for 18 years until they are on their own.

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