"A former client fought a custody battle after his infant child became permanently brain-damaged when his mother crashed their car while driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Though Leving successfully won his client temporary custody, the judge ruled the wife would regain full custody after completing rehabilitation."Sometimes I just have to ask, what planet are these people on? This one paragraph speaks volumes. I take it from an article about trying to preserve fatherhood in the face of a world gone completely stark, raving mad.
Consider: we have a mom, who, drunk and stoned, goes out driving with her child in the car. Inevitably, she has an accident and permanently damages the child. Permanently BRAIN damages the child. She takes her own child and through idiocy and irresponsibility turns him or her into something else, something less, something to be pitied, cared for, probably, for the rest of his or her life.
What does the judge do? Tells her she's a naughty girl and to go and stand in the corner for a while, then she can come back and have the kid. The corner, of course, is rehab. What is dad's role? Oh, he can look after the brat while mom's in rehab, that is, after all, pretty much all he's good for. Then, having spent a fortune and God knows how much stress in court getting that right, he has to hand his kid back to the woman who all but killed it and go back to "visiting" when and if the court and mom will let him.
Is there more to this story? I damned well hope so. But the one paragraph is all we've got and it speaks volumes for the respect we have for fathers. Think of his state of mind as he cares for the child, dreading the day that mom gets out of rehab. Imagine how he must feel as he hands his damaged child over to the woman who did the harm. Think about those Friday and Saturday nights when he doesn't have visitation (that loathsome word!), is she out partying? Where's the kid? Will there be a late night phone call from an emergency room?
Will there be more to this story? Undoubtedly. Think of the kid, growing up with unknown handicaps, sooner or later perhaps to realize that mom's the reason for those handicaps. Dad wanted him or her, but the court said no, you have to go back to your mom, who did this to you, and might do it again. She was already a drunk and a drug addict, now she has a special needs kid to deal with, how likely is she to stay on any wagon? How helpless is the child, how helpless will he or she be as an adult?
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