Tuesday, July 27, 2004

BBC NEWS | Americas | Boy wins 'divorce' from father

A happy ending? I suppose on the basic level, for Patrick Holland, it is.

On a more legalistic level, I was admittedly very curious on how it would have played out if his ex-father has contested for his parental rights. This is especially so when (see yesterday's blog link for the background to this case) it seems that the 'social services people said it was the law'.

Admittedly, I'm no lawyer and all the family law stuff I learned from Judging Amy but if a parent is negligent to the child, the state can remove the his/her parental rights and the child to a foster home at its discretion. As such, why should this case be different? I acknowledge that by law, a child under ten is not considered to be able to express him/herself and as logic would dictate, by the conclusion of the trial, Patrick would still be under ten (unless the trial had dragged on for more than two years). Even so, surely he might have made some move to protest and his legal guardians could have aided in this respect. And why oh why didn't the Massachusetts Department of Correction step in earlier and recommand that the parental rights not be conceeded in the first place?

Paul? Hui Fen? Any answers?


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