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restoration of parental rights

Comment 17th July 2010

Parental rights have been gradually eroded, effectively shackling parents whereas parental responsibilities have been increased.  Thanks to the Gilleck Competancy, a parent no longer has the right to know if their 14 year old child accesses health care, has an abortion, is having sex and being provided with free condoms etc.

To put things into perspective, my hypothetical  14 year old daughter could tell her youth worker that she sometimes has unprotected sex with her 17 year old boyfriend.  I would not be told about this.  She could then get pregnant and because she is scared and young she could rush into an abortion without really thinking things through.  Again I would not be told about this.  Abortions are traumatic experiences for anyone to go through, yet alone a child without any support; say the experience traumatised her and she also felt guilty because she believes she's murdered her baby, it would be quite understandable if she went off the rails a bit.  She could tell a teacher or a youthworker that  she was really upset about the experience and didn't know how to handle it and that she was scared to tell me incase she got into trouble and again I would never be told.  Add some bullying from cruel people at school who found out about what happens and she'll soon start to play truant.  At this point I'll get into trouble for not ensuring my daughter is attending School.  Obviously a heated discussion about her 'nicking off' is bound to follow as I, unaware of what she is going through, am a bit annoyed about her behaviour.  This will only make the situation worse for her and reinforce her belief that I'll get mad if she tells me so she'll clam up and the  parent/daughter relationship will get worse.  More nicking off would follow, along with some underage drinking and I'd be completely at a loss of what is going on with my daughter and how to communicate with her, when she just seems to be a different person to my sweet little girl.  Before long I'd be up in court facing prosecution for not ensuring my daughter attends school or because she has committed some crime and the parents are always to blame.  However my hands where tied, I wasn't given important pieces of information which could have drastically altered the outcome.  I could have intervened before she even got pregnant or if it was to late for that I could have supported her and got her the help she needed.  It is only natural for teenages to withhold things from their parents, but it doesn't make it the right course of action and the law shouldn't condone it.

 

There was a case a little while back where a 15/16 year old girl died of a heart attack because her school did not inform her parents that she had been ill all day with chest pains as she 'didn't want to worry them'.  The School's hands were tied as legally they cannot inform the parents if the child says no.  However had they been allowed to, the parents would have known their was a problem and insisted on getting medical attention which could have saved her life.

Why does this matter?

The law currently takes away a parents rights at the whim of teenagers who are not known for their wisdom.  This also takes away what could be really important information from parents which could be used to improve their  parenting, yet other laws will penalize parents if they child does something wrong as the parenting skills are blamed. 


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