Thursday, March 18, 2010

Part 140 / EXPLANATION & RATIONALE / For Love and For Justice / Zabeth and Paul Bayne

Today I have removed yesterday’s post 139 which drew attention to a website, the content of which did not live up to the intended purposes. I was speaking to the confounding phenomenon of similar issues that characterize child protection programs throughout the English speaking world of former colonialized nations. In commenting on my post, one writer pointed out numerous inadequacies to the site that purportedly was a Family Law Resource Community dedicated toward helping and supporting families to establish and solidify their personal dealings and directions within the Family Court System World Wide. The writer cited enough reasons that I chose to disassociate the site from my blog. We will make the point in other ways.

I have been a lifelong writer and when I began this particular blog it was a commentary upon diverse areas of current interest. Concentrating upon the grieving community of families impacted by MCFD treatment was not my original design. In September of 2009 I learned about Paul’s and Zabeth’s heartache. Their loss of family is almost as old as their youngest child. My curiosity was fixated immediately because years earlier I was the officiating clergyman for their wedding ceremony. Life choices moved us out of one another’s lives until that news broke upon me. I was compelled to know more. How could they find themselves in a dilemma this appalling and more importantly, how could they extricate themselves?

Like perhaps 95% of the B.C. population I have had no knowledge of the Ministry of Children and Family Development or of child protection. I have never had personal involvement with such services or until this past autumn known anyone who did. In hindsight it seems peculiar to me that in forty years of pastoral work and dealing with people’s lives and concerns there was never a family in my sphere of work that had an MCFD or child welfare association. MCFD’s need of re-examination is unknown by the vast majority of people and they will not care until they are faced with it either personally or through public awareness.

The more that I learned about the Baynes, the more convinced I was that I should do what I could, that was to write about them. The more that I learned about the system of child protection that interrupted the Bayne family, the more informed I became that theirs was not an isolated case of misunderstanding or confusion or even medical misdiagnosis. Some systemic weaknesses in our government funded child protection efforts were removing and keeping children from parents for far too long and sometimes for unwarranted reasons. As I learned, I wrote and this little read blog began to pick up readers on both sides of the Bayne predicament.

My thematic focus in upcoming posts will continue to be the Baynes’ recovery attempt. They have been without custody of their children for 2.5 years. That may not be unprecedented but it is nonetheless inexcusable because Paul and Zabeth are the kind of parents who will provide a loving, nurturing and safe home for their birth children. Their determination and their personal efforts to right a wrong may become a precedent however, when it evokes concern among journalists, readers, advocates, politicians and legislators.

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