Montana Couple Loses Custody of Child: A Surprising Reason

This family drama unfolding in Glasgow, Montana, gets to the heart of two of the most hot-button issues confronting American society today: Parental rights and transgender rights with regard to minors.  It is yet another heartbreaking legal battle in which the state and medical personnel are insistent that they have the final say on what constitutes child endangerment, and parents who believe they have both a God-given and a solid legal right to raise their own children as they deem best.  After all, parental rights over minor children has been a foundational bedrock and guiding principle of every national, religious, cultural and moral expression in human history.  Only in Marxist and other totalitarian states, or in fringe religious cults, have children found themselves in the precarious position of becoming wards of the state or a cult leader.

News stories like this one continue to grip the nation because they speak to larger questions.  America as a whole is grappling with this fundamental question in various settings such as schools and, now, even in the sanctity of the home itself.  We are asking, “What is in the best interests of the child when it comes to gender identity?”  It gets even more complicated in child-custody cases, bitter divorces, minors in foster care, biological parents vs. step-parents, or any blend of these.  Who has the final say on our own offspring?  Do parents have final jurisdiction over their children’s affairs and making decisions that are in their best welfare as it has been for time immortal?  Or is it school administrators, teachers and psychologists?  What about hospital administrators and doctors?  Or is it judges, lawyers, child-welfare advocates and court-appointed therapists?  Is it the state where the family resides?  And where does this all lead us as a nation?

Until we grapple with these questions, children who suffer from bullying at school, self-identity, depression, a sense of hopelessness - or other forms of mental anguish and abuse - are ripe for those who seek their harm.  So the issue never gets settled or fully adjudicated.  Each case is dealt with on its own, and the slow creep towards total government oversight and control of children moves onward, further damaging the mental health and wellbeing of more children and families.

Post by Rebecca Clark

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