04 Jul Independence Day
We wish everyone a joyful Independence Day. Historically, we celebrate our independence from Great Britain. Outwardly, we acknowledge the efforts of our forefathers when they proclaimed their independence by saying “We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Families often celebrate Independence Day by hosting or attending a picnic or barbecue; many take advantage of the day off and, in some instances, a long weekend to gather with relatives or friends.
Unfortunately, there are children who are deprived of their constitutional right and the freedom to be involved with one side of their family’s life. The #1 reason a child’s has limited or not relationship with one of their parents and extended family is not because of the parents being unfit or has abandoned their parental responsibilities as betrayed in the media and government funded organizations. It’s because the unstable legal system of our state does not always recognize a child’s need to be nurtured by both parents and family law court orders that diminish or exclude parenting time with one of their parents. While there is still gender bias against men (85% of fathers are non-custodial parents), many people are not aware that the remaining 15% of slanted custody resolutions are women who want to spend more time with their children. In addition, the legal system needs to respond with as much urgency and force to restricted access and parenting-time interference (parental alienation) as they do with failure to pay child support.
According to research, children thrive with the active involvement of each fit parent. Aside from abuse, neglect and abandonment, our state’s current policies must be structured to maximize the opportunity of every child to receive the social, emotional, intellectual, physical, moral and spiritual development from each of their parents and extended family member.
ALFRA supports the relationship of all children and fit parents. No fit parent should be held back from having a meaningful relationship with the children they helped create and support.
To promote safer communities and schools, we must aggressively and on purpose seek public policies using evidence based data that promotes and preserves the parent-child relationship equality across the state. Learn more about the 2019 proposed legislation to put children first in Alabama.