"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." ~ Benjamin Franklin

Judge Orders Addict to Stop Having Kids

>> Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Link to article

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (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 Dec. 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."

The New York Civil Liberties Union says that procreation is a fundamental right. This woman has 7 children, none of whom sha can care for. Which means the state of New York is caring for them.

In my mind this isn't a bad thing. She hasn't been ordered to be sterilized. She can still have children- heaven forbid. What happened to "the best interest of the child"? You know these children will be in foster care until they turn 18. Then they will be turned out with their belongings is garbage bags. Only extraordinary children have a chance.

This woman wasn't caring for her children. Each child had a different father. The mother used cocaine during at least 3 of her pregnancies- enough to cause the children to be born addicted. And, I'm just making an assumption here, but I bet the mother was collecting welfare.

Personally I think she should be sterilized. Articles like this piss me off. If the government has to step in to care for your children because you won't then they have every right to tell you to stop having them.

I can't imagine any greater blessing than my daughter. Everything I do now affects her. And you can bet she is the first consideration for everything I do.

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