Will they come for you next?
August 29, 2000 7:06 PM   Subscribe

Will they come for you next? Warning to all parents:, THEY are watching you....
posted by brent (9 comments total)
Good. THEY being the state's "Children, Youth and Families Department", which I assume has certain responsibilities towards, um, children, youths and families.
posted by holgate at 10:30 PM on August 29, 2000

They being the government which should have extremely limited rights to remove a child from his or her home without something concrete to show that the child needs that extreme level of intervention. This little girl has a medical disorder. It would be far more appropriate to examine that first before acting -- there's no evidence here that this child is in immediate danger.

It is galling when there are so many examples of cases in which protective agencies have failed to save children who were in immediate danger, cases where children have been returned to their abusers only to die at their hands, cases where children have been left in the custody of the person accused of killing one of their siblings!

Should a 3 year old weigh that much? Clearly not. But unless you can show that her parents are doing something that caused it, yanking her from her home preemptorily is just unfair to the family and hugely destructive and horrifying to the child. Government agencies should NOT have that kind of power.
posted by Dreama at 11:07 PM on August 29, 2000

Dreama, you don't know the whole story. (Neither do I.) They didn't release everything they knew about the case; for all you know there's been serious child abuse going on in that family in addition to the child being morbidly obese.

By the way, even if the parents are not causing it, if they're refusing medical treatment to reduce it, that would be sufficient reason to remove her from their care. There's long court precedent on that subject.

But the fact remains that you are making your judgement based on incomplete information. There may have been more going on than you know, and if you fully understood what was happening you might find yourself approving the removal.

For instance, you don't know of any "evidence here that this child is in immediate danger" but that doesn't mean there isn't any. She may well actually be in immediate danger and they just didn't bother telling the reporters about it because they're trying to protect the child's privacy.

I don't know if removing the child was correct, because I don't have sufficient knowledge of the case to make a valid judgement. Frankly, neither do you.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 11:35 PM on August 29, 2000

I have no evidence that the child is in immediate danger, but I have no evidence that any agency bothered to research that fact before they yanked her out of her home, either. That's my objection. That will continue to be my objection. Children's services nationwide are a joke; so long as they continue acts like these then stonewall on providing reasonable information under the veil of "privacy" they will continue to gain nothing but a jaundiced eye of disrespect from me.
posted by Dreama at 11:51 PM on August 29, 2000

Well, Dreama... as long as you don't vote, I say bully for you. If you vote, then heaven help us. This "I can judge you from a thousand miles away because I saw you on TV" mentality is an embarrassment... there are too many issues right in your own back yard -- no matter where you live -- that need your attention, dreama.

But if you insist on making long-distance decisions, you should know that it is fairly standard proceedure to remove children from a (potentially) dangerous environment while the investigation plays out.
posted by silusGROK at 7:17 AM on August 30, 2000

I read about this story a few days ago from a couple sources. It clearly stated that the child had received extensive medical care and that the doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong with her. No mention of overeating--and if it were the case I can't imagine it would have been left out of the article since the doctor had room to comment.

I would like very much to know more details, but from this superficial reading, it does seem that Child Protective Services were acting on erroneous assumptions about obesity, and may have taken unwarranted action.

The NAAFA site appears to be down so I can't check--but I imagine they will be following this quite closely and will have good information.
posted by frykitty at 8:34 AM on August 30, 2000

Note that in addition to being severely overweight, this girl is also very abnormally tall for her age. I'm at a loss to figure out what sort of "withheld medical care" or "child abuse" has caused that. In practically every actual case of child abuse or neglect leading to govertment intervention that gains media attention, the reporters manage to obtain details on why the childsnatching was done. Not this time. Hmm.
posted by aaron at 4:49 PM on August 30, 2000

The state Children, Youth and Families Department took Anamarie after a doctor said the child’s condition was life-threatening.

Mr. Den Beste is correct, we don't have all the information. There are many reasons the girl might have been removed from her home. Possibly her parents have taken her to doctors but are balking at committing her to a hospital stay. Possibly they have been under-feeding her to try to reduce her size. For all we know they stick a bicycle pump into her mouth and pump her up every morning-- we don't have the information to pass judgement.

The parents claim that the child services people didn't bother to investigate them-- but we don't know if that's true. The parents are a little biased, don't you think? Possibly all their friends and family WERE contacted and interviewed, but aren't telling the girl's parents that because they testified against them. It's an awkward situation. I've seen something like this play out, and practically everyone on the family side was lying at some point or another. I'm not saying this family is lying-- I'm saying that you can't take their word as fact, because they have a vested interest in making it seem like the child was wrongly taken away from them.

Saying they were wrong to take the girl away from her family is like claiming you know for sure who killed Jon-Benet Ramsey: you may have read all about it, but you have no way to know the truth.
posted by wiremommy at 5:14 PM on August 30, 2000

P.S. Anyone remember Small Sacrifices, the Ann Rule book about Diane Downs? Downs shot her three children, killing one, crippling the two survivors. It took over a year for police to gather enough evidence to arrest her. During that year, the two surviving children lived at a foster home. Over the course of the year, many upstanding citizens demanded that the children should be returned to Downs, claiming that if the State didn't have enough evidence to arrest her, then she should get her children back! In the end, it was the testimony of Downs' oldest daughter Christie that led to her conviction: Christie stated plainly in court that Downs shot her, her brother, and her sister. Do you think those opinionated citizens still believed Downs should have had her children back after the shooting?
posted by wiremommy at 5:23 PM on August 30, 2000

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