In Edinburgh yesterday, the Scottish Parliament passed the “Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill” by a vote of 103-0 with 15 abstentions. This legislation, which is specifically intended to fulfill Scotland’s perceived obligations under the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), includes a provision to assign a specific government worker to every child at birth. These “named persons” will be charged with safeguarding each child’s welfare and with representing the state to the family. Giving a state actor, in place of or alongside parents, responsibility for children is a drastic measure usually reserved for cases of child abuse or neglect — but Scotland has deemed it necessary to guarantee the “best interests” of every child as called for in the CRC.
There is no doubt Scotland’s provision will be praised by the CRC Committee and held up to the rest of the world as an exemplary implementation of the treaty. Nor will it take long for other nations, hungry for the approval of these UN “experts,” to follow in Scotland’s shoes.
Surely such a thing could never happen in America, though. Boston and Edinburgh are separated by 3,000 miles of Atlantic Ocean (and a bit of Scottish soil) – a daunting stretch of ocean which many of our forebears courageously traversed to secure for themselves and their posterity the freedom to raise their families in liberty.
What’s more, our Supreme Court once held that “The statist notion that governmental power should supersede parental authority in all cases because some parents abuse or neglect children is repugnant to American tradition.” Parham v. J.R., 442 U.S. 584 (1979)
Unfortunately, we are not in that America anymore. One need look no further than the latest headlines to find parents right here in America having their decisions overruled without cause by government workers.
Watch Steve Eastman’s video from June 9, 2013