UPDATE: The mother has been charged with 1st degree murder of the three children. Her lawyer will, no doubt, plead insanity and my bet is that she is out in, say 3.5 years.
Three more children died in Quebec, last weekend; add this to our tragic statistics. It appears that the mother lost custody but was awarded visitation under the supervision of the Maternal grandmother. Oh sure, that makes all kinds of sense. It seems Grandmama went out and left mother/children unsupervised, in defiance of a court order. The 3 children died.
Our court system and our social care system is broken, nobody is trying to fix it and children are dying. The courts and social protection bodies are woefully, dangerously, archaic in their overview of what is and what is not logical. As a result, women are granted custody, granted visitation simply on the basis of the act of birth. An act governed by nature and not the individual. Muscle contractions that push a baby down the canal, to the awaiting world, is not proof positive that this woman could be called a “mother”. A breeder? Sure, why not? But a mother? No.
Whether our court system and the social protection networks want to admit it or not; it is a fact. A womb and a vagina does not mean you are fit to be a mother. It does not mean that the woman is capable of parenting. The same holds true for a man, simply because there is a twig and berries, doesn’t mean that the possessor of said accoutrements is fit or able to be a father.
I’m a parent – 3 boys. Let me tell you something, it is – without doubt – the most difficult job in the world. You are on duty 24/7 and simply because they hit some magical age of majority doesn’t mean your job is over. Ask my mother – she’s in her early eighties and she still worries about my brother and myself. I’m 54 and brother is 51. I’m the same, mine are 32, 31 and 26. Not a day goes by when I don’t worry about my Horsemen of the Apocalypse and their father.
Giving birth was the easy part, the real tests come later….
We need more centers for supervised visits – under the supervision of competent individuals, not a maternal grandmother, for pity’s sake. We need a courts and child protection bodies that put the child ahead of the parental “rights” which really, are simply ownership rights, not that far removed from when women and children were chattel. We need child protection bodies trained, PROPERLY, trained to discern whether or not a child is in danger. A drug abuser is a danger to a child. An alcoholic, is a danger to a child. A mentally ill mother or father, IS a danger to a child. We have thousands of children out there, in deplorable situations. They are left there because, “Gee whiz – it’s better to leave the family unit intact.” No, no – it is not better. Not in our communities, not in aboriginal communities, not in any community – if a child is at risk – then THAT should be the one, the only priority of any court system, of any youth protection system.
Anecdote for you: years ago, I was awarded foster care of a baby. He was 13 months old. The social care body didn’t do a background check on me. Didn’t even bother calling my family, certainly did’t speak to any neighbours; I could have been a serial killer and they wouldn’t have known. I could have been bat shit crazy and they wouldn’t have known. Instead, they awarded custody of this little guy to me – anything was better than where he was, let me tell you. A foster home with no visit by a social worker in 6 months.
The protection of our children should be paramount but apparently, in Quebec, it is far more important to spend money on inspectors to measure the size of French vs English on a sign, than it is to allot money to protect our children.