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Family advocates concerned ‘children’s rights’ could bring new government intrusion

On Nov. 10, Irish voters passed a referendum which functionally abdicated their parental rights to the state.  In Children’s referendum passed amid low turnout, The Irish Times reports passage of the children’s referendum by 57.4 percent to 42.6 percent.

Describing the constitutional amendment as looking “at a number of areas of children’s rights including adoption, protection, State intervention in neglect cases and giving children a say in their own protection proceedings,” the article quotes a statement from Taoiseach Enda Kenny in which he says passing the amendment “will help make childhood a good, secure and loving space for all our children,” and additionally “give hope, reassurance and confidence to parents, foster parents and vulnerable children.”

The election took place despite a Nov. 8 Supreme Court ruling which said “the information campaign run by the Government – in booklets and on its website – was one-sided, in favour of the Yes campaign.”  Opposition groups called for postponement of the election:

A group of five Independent TDs says it should be postponed for a few months.

One of those TDs, Shane Ross, said that this referendum is now tainted and should be deferred.

“It’s absolutely imperative that this referendum is passed, it’s also imperative that it’s seen to be fair to both sides, and that Irish democracy is working fairly,” he said.

“If the Government seem to be abusing its position, all future referendums are therefor compromised as well.”

Nonetheless, the election went forward.  Of more than 3.1 million people eligible to vote, only 1,066, 239 votes were cast representing 33.5 percent of eligible voters.

What’s really at stake?  LifeNews.com, a news agency devoted to reporting on issues affecting the pro-life community, characterized the referendum as making “kids state property” and further explained:

On November 10th 2012, Irish citizens will vote on a referendum aimed at amending the Constitution in regard to the role of the State towards children. The implications of the wording of the amendment are subtle and difficult to perceive for a non-expert. Though the change in the proposed wording can be seen as minor, its effects are potentially considerable. It is nothing less than a philosophical shift on the understanding of the society: whereas the State or the Family is the primary protector of children.

Alliance of Parents against the State and other pro-family advocates share concerns of the United Nation influence in this effort.

The government knows best when it comes to your children.

This is what the Irish government is telling citizens, who will vote on a referendum Saturday to determine if they will forfeit their parental rights to government officials — on a nationwide scale.

But this is not your usual referendum. And when severe government intrusion comes into play internationally, the United Nations is usually not far from the scene. In fact, the “child rights” amendment being voted upon is the brainchild of the Constitutional Review Group — an organization that structured the treaty to emulate the highly controversial U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which Ireland ratified 20 years ago.

Under the proposed amendment, the government would be given the power to take children away from their parents and put them up for adoption “where the best interest of the child so require.” Even more unbelievable than this is that it will not be mandatory for government officials to show any proof of parental unfitness before such seizures.

So why would voters approve the referendum this weekend and put the government well on its way to push families into forced adoptions when they believe they are acting in the so-called “best interests of the child?” An aggressive state campaign for such “protective” measures and little media coverage could be all the government needs to ram this through. And this intrusion of power is not something that would happen only on exceptional circumstances; this measure will be used in “all proceedings.”

With enough votes, Ireland could give the term “nanny state” a whole new meaning.

And these concerns aren’t confined just to Ireland.  American pro-family groups anticipate a new emboldening of internationalists to attempt expanding this agenda:

“The election results are going to require us to engage in both offensive and defensive tactics to preserve parental rights,” says Parentalrights.org president Michael P. Farris. “There is absolutely no doubt that the internationalists are going to push extremely hard for ratification of a whole series of treaties that will dramatically reorder the relationship between parents and children.”

The ease with which growing numbers of Americans are seemingly willing to abdicate rights to government is mind-boggling.  Perceived “free” stuff – be it in the form of health care, disability payments, food and housing subsidies or even more benign-sounding goodies like Obama Phones – diminishes freedom.  Acceptance of “free” stuff causes a reduction of liberty, of choice, of the ability to control one’s own life.  And freedom once given up isn’t easy to regain.  Relinquishing basic rights and responsibilities falls similarly – be it for yourself personally or for others like children entrusted to your care.

With that, might this Irish referendum be a forewarning for Americans?  And if Americans continue giving up more freedom and life controls, how might such a referendum play out?  One has to wonder.

Lou Ann Anderson is an advocate working to create awareness regarding the Texas probate system and its surrounding culture. She is the Online Producer at www.EstateofDenial.com, a Policy Advisor with Americans for Prosperity – Texas and a Director of Women on the Wall. Lou Ann may be contacted at info@EstateofDenial.com.

Lou Ann Anderson

Lou Ann Anderson is an information activist. As a contributor at Raging Elephants Radio and Examiner Austin, she writes and speaks on a variety of public policy topics. Lou Ann is the creator and online producer at Estate of Denial®, a website that addresses probate abuse via wills, trusts, guardianships and powers of attorney as well as other taxpayer advocacy issues.

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