Sunday, May 9, 2010
ADOPTION IS THE MINISTRY PLAN / Part 185 / For Love and For Justice / Zabeth and Paul Bayne/
On Friday May 7th I posted THE CHILDREN ARE THE AWARD in which I stated there are good people on both sides of this case. I believe that to be true. So I don't get it. I try to understand what drives MCFD/Fraser Region's motivation.
All the social workers across this province who have been conflicted with management over treatment of parents or been dismayed by lack of resources with which to help families, will recognize what is happening in the Bayne case. The management and social workers of the MCFD/Fraser Region are taking this family down the road to dissolution as a family and reconstitution as two new entities, maybe more. According to the plan, Paul and Zabeth will be childless. The children will become members in a new family. Perhaps the youngest child, the daughter, will be placed in yet another family. But why? Would MCFD/Fraser return the children if Paul and Zabeth admitted that one or both of them had injured their youngest child? Is that what it takes? How Draconian! How legalistic! Like a Kafkaesque fantasy, an unrealistic terror! Don't tell me for a moment that the Baynes brought this on themselves. An empathetic, effective, equipped social working team could have resolved this for the benefit of this entire family keeping them together and still satisfying the MCFD mandate.
This is what Section 50 of the 'Child, Family and community Services Act' says about the effect of a continuing custody order. When the Court makes an order placing the children in the continuing custody of a director, the director then becomes the sole guardian of the persons of those children and the director may consent to the adoption of these children.
Then in the BC Adoption Act, Section 13 (3) tells us that the only consents required are the director's consent and the child's consent, the latter being dispensed when the children are as young as the Bayne children are. The purpose of the Adoption Act is “to provide for new and permanent family ties through adoption, giving paramount consideration in every respect to the child's best interests.” Give the Bayne children back to Zabeth and Paul and that will be tantamount to a new and permanent home because the children have been kept in a temporary state for so long by the Ministry. The best interests of the child are defined by the following points of Section 3 which says that “All relevant factors must be considered in determining the child's best interests, including for example: (a) the child's safety; (b) the child's physical and emotional needs and level of development; (c) the importance of continuity in the child's care; (d) the importance to the child's development of having a positive relationship with a parent and a secure place as a member of a family; (e) the quality of the relationship the child has with a birth parent or other individual and the effect of maintaining that relationship; (f) the child's cultural, racial, linguistic and religious heritage; (g) the child's views; (h) the effect on the child if there is delay in making a decision."
How relevant are any of these factors when the Ministry has ignored almost every one of them for the 2.5 years that it has held the children in temporary arrangements outside the home and care of the child's own parents? The only factor to which MCFD gave attention for all this time was the safety of the children and that misapplied concern became the driving factor for all of this harassment, hardship and heartache that has burdened these three children for most of their lives. This heart-rending separation did not keep the children safe in every sense. They have been damaged. They are scarred. They will not be better for this.
AND THIS IS MOTHER'S DAY.
Paul and Zabeth are thankful that they have been given two hours today to spend with their children. They will treasure these 120 minutes. Recently they were even told that they may resume taking a few photographs of the children by which to remember them in between visits.
Let's pray that the offensive plan never becomes realized by the Ministry, for the childrens' sakes and for their parents' sakes.