n 21st Century America many believe all our Civil Rights have been recognized. To mention a few: freedom of speech and religion, personal liberty, equal treatment for women and people of color. All foundations of a healthy society. But what about the security of family, the right of parents to raise and nurture their own children?
When my son Domenic was born I'd never thought about Family Rights. I had a two-parent family. None of my friends had been in a custody battle. I assumed I'd be able to share the same love and attention on my son as my parents did with me. The painful experience of a divorce taught me that I was very wrong.
I discovered, as have many parents, that if my relationship with my child is challenged by a former spouse or even a social worker, my child and I have no right to family. A trial may occur, but there will be no jury of my peers. A lone judge will decide what's in the "best interest" of my child. This could include limited or no contact with a loving parent for an entire childhood.
I've come to believe we have a Civil Right to be presumed FIT & EQUAL parents to our children, unless you are convicted in a criminal court of being a demonstrated threat to your kids. Good, average, and poor parents are all FIT & EQUAL parents.
Why? Because one foundation of morality is the supremacy of individual conscience - what many know as "let your conscience be your guide." What more natural obligation does any parent have than to care for their own kids? To be present in their lives in the many roles that only a parent can fill.