Padres y Madres Separados

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BBC announces psycho-definition of 'natural' parenthood

Just caught a snatch of the most incredible Orwell-speak on the BBC Radio 4 QuestionTime programme, a near consensus on the total abrogation of parental rights.

The panel accepted without demur the premise that judges should be able to allocate custody to the "natural" or "psychological" parent in a case between a biological and a non-biological mother in a lesbian couple

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Go figure - the English courts, in a recent case held by Lord Thorpe of the appeal court, appears to have redefined the word "natural". However the last word was left to a member of the panel who said that that families need fathers.

So the chair asked why?

The answer cut the rest dead. The speaker's father had died when he was ten. He knew he needed his father, because he missed him when he was gone.

But previously four panellists had outlined, as in Holland, a concept of "social parenthood" which was effectively to be laid down or 'designated' by judges, in cases where it was in dispute. John Gummer, a former Tory environment minister, started complaining very directly about parents who kept on demanding their rights as opposed to taking on their responsibilities and remembering that it is the children's interests which matter.

I think Mr Gummer should be told that parents with parental responsibility represent their children's interests - they speak on behalf of their children and their families. The rest of the panel should be informed that the reason most parents fight so hard for their parental rights is in order to be able to exercise their parental responsibilities, to the benefit of their children.

The commitment to their children shown by parents without rights can be extraordinary. What does Mr Gummer have to say about that - is he satisfied with the success of this policy?

Julian Fitzgerald
Leeds, UK