' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: Unalienable rights of parents

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Unalienable rights of parents

“The right of parents to direct the upbringing of their children is among the ‘unalienable rights’ with which the Declaration of Independence proclaims all men … are endowed by their creator.” Justice Anton Scalia

A powerful statement given legal authority in a series of  Supreme Court decisions holding that the United States Constitution protects “the fundamental liberty interest of natural parents in the care, custody, and management of their child.”

Nonetheless, states treat these basic of rights as expendable, allowing mothers to sign irrevocable consents to adoption within minutes of birth, or, even worse, to sign consents before birth with only a short revocation time. Fathers have even less protection. Unless they can navigate complicated legal procedures before the birth of their child, they may not even have the opportunity to contest the adoption. Once children are adopted, most states deny them the right to know who their natural parents are.

On this Fourth of July, as we enjoy our hot dogs and beer and fireworks, let’s dedicate ourselves to repealing these unjust laws.


  1. Too many people are involved in the upbringing of children today. The parents, doing the best they can, are often interfered with by societies watchdogs. The woman that gives up her child to adoption, the father that rarely gets options, these are some of the greatest victims. We pretend, in this nation, to help the weak and protect them. In reality, we feed on them. We allow money and personal power to become the watchwords for "adoption" and allow those that would believe they are helping, but who are, without a doubt, nothing but lackeys to the powerful rich, control where and when a parent is allowed to parent on their own terms.

    Sadly, people give up their rights as if they don't really know what is wrong.... what they are giving up. That includes the right to parent as the parent sees fit.

  2. A very powerful statement indeed.

    I hope to see just that in my lifetime; unjust and cruel laws repealed in favor of family preservation and mothers, fathers, families and their children not being needlessly separated via adoptions that in so many cases should have never happened.

  3. Unalienable rights are pretty much ignored when adoption enters the picture. Feeding the adoption industry creates commerce and business. Rights of a baby or child should be foremost and that is to be raised by one's own family.
    The best interest of a child is NOT adoption it's staying with family. Spend my tax dollars on helping moms and babies
    instead of helping people adopt. I don't want one penny given to adoption foreign or domestic adoption.

    Let us remember the rights that we were endowed with by being born American citizens. Each day we lose a little of
    those rights due to others rights being so much more important adopter rights. Are they in the constitution oh yeah after they take rights away from mom they get the parental rights bestowed upon them.

  4. The media, religious righters, politicians, teachers, doctors, lawyers, priests, nuns. . . EVERYBODY thinks that the adoption of children by strange infertile people is a good & noble act!

    Here is one of my goals or THE GOAL: The way the slicksters have made it shameful to birth and parent while single, I want to turn that shame right back on them. I want to make it just as shameful to take [adopt} someone else's child! Let's put the shame right back on family-separators so they won't DARE touch another child that doesn't belong to them! I am well aware that THE MEDIA WON'T LET US IN; but we can find a way.

    I want adoption of children in the U.S.A. obliterated in my Lifetime! We can do it but we need to be armed with information. Let's get educated first, then worry about the money with which to accomplish our goal of oblieration later. I think First Mother Forum is a good forum for education!

    It's insulting to keep sending out the message that a family is too stupid to incorporate a new family member into its tribe, i.e., a young single mother doesn't stay single forever. She's not dead after birth!

    Where do these haughty family separators- entrepreneurs get their arrogance!? The separating of families is an INCESTUOUS chess game: ". . .Ok, we'll take this kid from here, and put that kid over there, and you give us your kid, your family is too stupid to incorporate your child into your tribe. Don't try to fight us! We're stronger than you! And older! You want the best for your child? Don't be selfish? You don't deserve your child. You have sinned, my child . . . ."

    I think it's as simple as the bullies preying on the vulnerable. Family separators [entrepreneurs] have found a market in which to make big bucks and the vulnerable are just simply too busy trying to survive to pay attention to or recognize predators that want their kids.

    I knew that the U.S. Constitution protected the unalienable right of married & SINGLE parents to raise their children. I just didn't know the specifics, and always have been wondering where I could get this info. Thanks for providing this info, Jane, it's a great start for me. I'll be studying this post because I need to be completely armed when I take on the family-separators!

    I love The Law! Please tell us more when you get the inkling!

    I'm learning so much about single dads and their plight to raise their own kids, too.

  5. A mom from Vancouver, British Columbia, asked a friend on Facebook why the "First Mother Forum" name has the breeder term in it.

    My friend explained, "It's probably so Americans will know what the site is about since everybody in America uses the breeder term so casually and callously."

    I mean, most people don't even know that the breeder term is offensive to anybody. I see now what it means to be a true minority - nobody knows anything about you, and nobody wants to know anything about you!

  6. The number of people who find our blog doubled after I added "Birth Mother" to the name. I will use is just as the NAACP uses "colored people."

  7. Great Lorraine, I figured that's why you use the breeder name. You explained it even better than I did. That's so interesting about the NAACP! I'm going to pass that info on! I love learning new things!

  8. I know it's not how you meant this to come across Jane but it also reads like a sure argument FOR the right to give kids up for adoption. Jumped out at me right away.

    "The rights of parents to direct the upbringing of their children..." and "the fundamental liberty interest of natural parents in the care, custody and management of their child".

  9. Interesting. What did he write this about? I have been reading the courts opinion re the video games rulling (http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/10pdf/08-1448.pdf) of June 27th and... well with this other opinion that you quoted it would appear that if parents want laws to protect children they are going to get it put to a vote (and the only ones that can vote will be parents).
    Apparently "State rules" don't apply if they violate the Constitution... hummm

  10. Hey Campbell!

    Campbell said in her previous comment, ". . . that's a sure argument FOR the right to give kids up for adoption . . . it jumped out at me right away."

    That phraseology jumped out at me, too, BUT, here's the deal:

    * Our Constitution guarantees all married & SINGLE parents the unalienable right to parent their children.


    * In the 20th century OUR DINGBAT, CHEAP, SOCIETY proclaimed that this right does not apply to SINGLE MOTHERS!

    All single mothers were absolutely commanded to give up their illegitimate children for adoption by worthy, married, couples who followed the societal rules. You see, your neighbors wanted the single mother punished! She wasn't going to get the Gift (the child) and we (infertile people) don't get any. "Hey, we're good and she's a sinful slut! She had sex outside of the sacrament of marriage!"

    See? Our society - your cheap neighbors - even had a SPECIAL legal word for you "guys." ILLEGITIMATE! That means our illustrious U.S.A. said, AND SAYS, that you didn't, and DON'T, count!

    Please don't be mad at me! I didn't say it, your cheap neighbors call you that, and worse.

    Personally, I call my child, A GIFT!

  11. Given Scalia's reputation as an arch conservative and friend of the Religious Right, I would not be so quick to quote him to endorse family preservation or anti-adoption.

    It is more likely this statement had to do with the rights of parents to do anything they want with their children, short of blatantly illegal abuse, than anything at all to do with adoption. In fact I would venture to guess that Mr. Anti-abortion Scalia would say that adoptive parents have the same rights to do anything they want to with their children.

    Quotes taken out of context can sometimes have nothing to do with the subject they seem to address.

  12. Maureen Dowd on Justice Scalia:
    "He's so Old School, he's Old Testament, misty over the era when military institutes did not have to accept women, when elite schools did not have to make special efforts with blacks, when a gay couple in their own bedroom could be clapped in irons, when women were packed off to Our Lady of Perpetual Abstinence Home for Unwed Mothers."

  13. @Campbell - I don't see how the statement you quoted supports adoption. Adoption completely oblierates a natural parent's ability to direct the upbringing of the child. How can one direct the upbringing of a child if all parental rights are terminated via an adoption?

    Also, regarding "the fundamental liberty interest of natural parents in the care, custody and management of their child"....natural parents have zero rights to any of those things once an adoption occurs.

  14. Our readers are correct that once natural parents consent to adoption, the adoptive parents assume the constitutional right to direct the care of their children.

    My point is that states should do much more to protect the constitutional right of natural parents to direct the care of their children.

    Contrast the treatment of mothers with the treatment of defendants in criminal cases. A judge will not accept a guilty plea unless the judge is convinced that the defendant knowingly waived his constitutional right to trial by jury.

  15. Lorraine, I had to smile when reading what you wrote about using "birth mother" to find yours' and Jane's outstanding site. (Mean that in a good way). I found this site by typing in "first mother" on my search engine. But I was familiar with the term, having used it for quite some time to define myself within the world of adoption. Most folks though, including a lot of us, don't know what "first mother" connotes itself to.

    In fact, in the midst of a family "discussion" (rolling eyes) over abortion, someone asked me why I kept referring to Martha Washington. "What the heck does SHE have to do with it?" they said. (True story.)

    Sigh.......nothing changes.

  16. Jane Karr:

    I head to read your comment about Martha Washington a few times before I understood...:0

    At least most of us who come here are trying to educate the great unwashed public--including our relatives.

  17. Jane Carr, that is so funny....I got the Martha Washington reference right away, because that is what I thought when I heard the term "first mother". Not Martha specifically but that it was somehow connected to "first lady."
    A conversation with people in general goes much smoother without have to introduce and insist on a whole new vocabulary.

    It does not really matter what word any of us use as long as we don't tell others what word they can or cannot use or make a huge deal of it. We have much more important issues to work together on:-)


    1. JANE KARR: I haven't had a REAL laugh in quite awhile! Your Martha Washington anecdote is too funny! Truth truly is funnier than fiction!

    2. ANONYMOUS: I found Maureen Dowd's synopsis of the honorable and misty-eyed Justice Scalia very clever. The way she worded it is funny!

    Thanks for sharing those entertaining and educational anecdotes!

  19. Why do courts always discuss the rights of parents but never the rights of children? We need a Bill of Rights for children that says
    "All children have the right to know their origins, to be loved and supported as human beings and citizens until they become adults."

    We always seem to discuss adoption from the standpoint of what's best for the adults.



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