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July 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Launching today, the National Association of Parents, Inc. is a nonprofit, public service organization dedicated to serving the parent-child relationship by providing free legal services to parents fighting to protect their rights, by bringing strategic litigation and by advocating for legislative and policy reforms. Representing all parents – married and unmarried couples, single mothers and single fathers of all ages and backgrounds –
the National Association of Parents supports the Constitutional freedom of parents to raise their children as they deem appropriate, of course, so long as they are not harming them. Family law expert and practicing attorney
David DeLugas is the founder and executive director of the National Association of Parents.
"While we appreciate the communal support in raising a child that comes from 'the village', we must never undermine the right of the parents to determine how to raise their children. The United States Constitution recognizes parents' rights and we see an important need for vigilance in protecting these rights in the courts and legislatures across the
USA, as well as in public life," said National Association for Parents founder
David DeLugas. He goes on, "with all the mothers' groups and fathers' groups and groups relying upon particular partisan leanings or religious doctrines, there was a need for a group that would unify mothers and fathers, married and unmarried, to push back against government and its laws, rules and policies, judges, attorneys and others who, even when there is no harm being done to a child, claim that they know better than a child's own parents how that child should be raised."
DeLugas shares a recent news story that underlies the formation of the National Association of Parents: five month-old
Sammy Nikolayev lives in
Sacramento, California with his mother and father. After treatment for flu symptoms, Sammy was admitted to the ICU of a local hospital where doctors recommended heart surgery. Sammy's parents wanted a second opinion, but the doctors refused to discharge him. His parents took their baby to another nearby hospital and the doctors there determined that Sammy was clinically safe to go home and reported this to the police who appeared after being contacted by the first hospital's doctors. One physician wrote in the medical record, "I do not have concern for the safety of the child at home with his parents." The policeman there was satisfied, too. The next day, however, Child Protective Services arrived at their home with police and, without a warrant, forcibly took Sammy from his parents even refusing to tell the distraught parents where they were taking Sammy!
DeLugas offers another example of the infringement of parental rights that takes place in court: in a custody case, a trial judge can reject the parenting plan
upon which the parents have agreed even if nothing in the parents' plan is harmful to the child. If, in the judge's subjective opinion, the parenting plan does not serve the "best interests" (whatever that may mean to the individual judge) of the child, a judge can impose the judge's parenting plan on the parents. Laws that give judges such discretionary authority actually encourage battles between parents to the detriment of the children whose welfare and happiness the laws claim to protect and to the financial benefit of the family law attorneys, guardians ad litems and judges (who get campaign contributions from them).
www.parentsusa.org for more information and to apply for help from The National Association of Parents. As a member-supported nonprofit organization, all legal support and services are provided free of charge.