There is nothing more joyous in this world than creating and raising a life, and it is inevitably one of the more rewarding things that an individual can do within their own existence. However, there are instances where circumstances can make the raising of a child extremely fraught and emotional for all parties involved, and the way in such a situation is handled can have a long standing and potentially divisive effect on an infants upbringing. These circumstances ask many ideological questions about parenting and the morality of raising children, especially in the case where one parent is stricken or absent from the family home.
This week, a Californian judge ruled that a mother who had been severely disabled during child birth should be granted visitation rights to her three young children. This ruling was the result of a protracted legal battle between the woman’s husband and her parents, with the husband requesting that she be denied visitation rights on the basis that she was unable to communicate or interact with her children, or participate in any decision making processes regarding their upbringing. The husband, who had been granted sole custody of the children during the process, has maintained his view point and feels that any visitation will be detrimental to their development.
The Rights of a Responsible Guardian
The case has generated much discussion, with the subsequent ruling considered to be precedent setting in situations of this type. Essentially, and judgement has been passed which does it’s bests to satisfy all of the parties involved, without losing sight of the emotional and physical needs of the children. This factor, above any other, must be considered as the most significant in any such circumstances, as it is ultimately the welfare of vulnerable infants that must be elevated above those of responsible adults.
In this instance, it is fair to say that both the children’s father and their grandparents have been acting in the interests of the children for the duration of the court case. However, it should be understood that each party has only considered the interests of the children from their own subjective viewpoint, which has lead to decisions and actions that have served to create further anxiety and disruption to their development. This is not necessarily a criticism, but an inevitable aspect of individual human nature.
As the presiding guardian, the father was fighting his case based on an instinctive urge to protect his children from emotional hardship, but his unintentionally narrow and subjective thinking may have caused them greater distress. While it is always the legal right of a guardian to make decisions on behalf of and for their children, the rights of others and immediate family must not be discarded in the process. After all, it is a broad and thriving successful family unit rather than anyone individual who helps to raise a balanced and rounded child.
The Anomalies of Parenthood
It is one of the anomalies of parenthood that guardians who spend their day to day existence elevating the needs of their children above their own, can suddenly become insular and subjective when disputes emerge over their custody after a separation. This is often an emotive response to betrayal or the emotion distress caused by a separation, or simply be an enforced return to the natural instincts of self preservation, but either way specific circumstances can contrive to pervert logical and well considered thought processes.
Regardless of what has transgressed between parents, these events should not impart their consequence on to any children or vulnerable infants. All that is significant to young infants is that they are loved and protected from any potential emotional hardship, and so a consistent effort must be made to maintain the equilibrium of care and stability in terms of their parental influences. This is even more relevant in this specific instance, as though the mother is severely brain damaged and currently unable to communicate through anything other than blinks or eye movements, she has done nothing to harm her offspring and therefore does not deserve to be removed from her child’s life.
Though the father and others may claim that she is unable foster any positive effect on her children, this view does not take into account that the mere presence of her in their lives is in itself beneficial. Not only this, but it ignores the accepted and intuitive bond that exists between a mother and her children, and the potential emotional damage that may develop in later life for the infant if they are unnecessarily denied access. While the role of a single parent is difficult and the father in this case undoubtedly wants to move on as an individual, this should never be at the expense of the potential for a mother and child relationship.
A Correct Decision and Precedent
This situation may be rare in society, but it does reflect many of the behavioral traits and thought processes that are displayed between parents during a normal separation. Just as in a typical case of custody dispute and access arrangement, a compromise must be made to suit the inherent benefits of the children in question, and also one that removes any remnants of subjective thinking or opinion. Undoubtedly the correct decision and precedent has been set in this instance, as it affords a young father legal custody of his children while ensuring that their stricken mother remains a significant and omnipresent influence in their lives.