In the last hearing, the judge declared his intentions to take the child away from the mother-and give full custody to the father. The mother has never been accused of neglect, of abuse, of not caring or providing for her child.
The only reason for taking the child away was that the judge formed an opinion, based on no evidence that she was “not cooperating” with the father. The father accused her of being hostile, and of not showing him how to care for the baby.
When you think of mothers “keeping” their children away from fathers, you probably have an image of a doting father, trying to care for and support his child, but kept away by a spiteful woman.
The following emails and audio clips show the opposite.
In the email exchange the mother tries to set up a visit between the father and an active 8 month old. The father by his own choice, had not seen the child since birth. He wants to meet in Starbucks from 7-9pm. The mother tries to ask him to come to her home to see the baby so that they can play and he can learn to care for her.
When, a month later, the mother brought the baby to 2 hour court ordered visitations once a week, she tried to set up an environment , as best she could, given the father’s insistence on visits in restaurants, for the father could learn to interact with his child (remember he’d not come to see the baby for the first 9 months of her life). She followed the court orders closely as she’d been advised to do. The baby’s father, however, refused to learn to take care of the baby’s basic needs and instead used the visits to continue to emotionally abuse the mother.
On this visit, the father created a scene by refusing to come into the restaurant, where he had asked for the visit to take place. You hear the mother’s friend trying to reason with him as well.
Later, when the baby predictably fusses during the enforced 2 hour restaurant visit, the mother’s friend tries to advise the father how to interact with a small child. To no avail.
On another visit, the mother set up a second table for herself and a friend, but the father would not take the child, so she is standing at the father’s table holding the baby while the father plays cartoons on his tablet.–thus not interacting with the child at all.
Eventually, the mother goes to the car (while her friend holds the child) and gets the carseat so that the child can sit in the carseat and watch cartoons, as the father insists she do. Remember, this is a 9 month old child – a bit young for cartoons.
M: “I think her diaper needs changing, do you want to do it? You can do it in the carseat.”
F: “I don’t have a problem with changing her diaper. But I don’t know if she’s gonna want me to do that.”
M: “Alright, I’ll do it.”
He refused to change diapers during any of the visits.
Several visits later, he still refuses to care for the baby. He’s combative with the mother, and at the end of this clip he expects to be recognized as the superior caregiver, giving instructions to the mother, but not doing anything himself, not interacting with the child.
Child is sleeping in the carseat. She wakes up and begins to fuss.
M: Why don’t you try distracting her, comforting her
F: Why not trying to be a mother to your screaming child?
A: Why don’t you try being a father to her?
F: Since I took you to court so I could be I think I’m doing a damn good job so far.
M: What? [to child] Aww, baby….
As the visits progressed, the father developed a pattern of telling the mother to sit with the child in her lap and then petting the child, ending with his hand on the mother’s breast or thigh. He repeatedly ignored her request for boundaries.
He continued to not change diapers or comfort the child when she was crying. Although the mother showed him repeatedly how she comforts, calms , and plays with the child, he still refused to try it for himself.
The mother watched his behavior get progressively worse, until the episode captured in the video, where he uses profanity and swings the child around like a rag doll.
How should this mother “cooperate” with the father? By sitting and letting herself be abused, as was shown in earlier blog posts? By letting her ex boyfriend grope her under the guise of touching a child he has placed in her lap?
The court orders her to expose the child to an abuser, let him take her away to another state with no supervision,and stand by silently as the child returns from visits with matted and sticky hair, rashes she has never had before, and a dirty, long unchanged diaper, after she has been potty trained. She returns terrified of the father she has been with. She is non-verbal and cannot explain why she is frightened. If the father treats the child in public as he does in the video, how will he treat her in private, with no one watching? If there are no bruises on her body, does it matter how much emotional bruising she has suffered?
The court threatens the mother with jail and taking the baby away from her if she speaks up or refuses to put her child into this situation. That’s what the court says.
Do you believe the court’s order is the way to stop emotional and physical child abuse? If you think the court is wrong, help bring a change, not just for this child, but for all the others too. Sign this petition.