“‘Elian II,’ the sequel we hoped never to see, is what fathers’ groups are calling a Miami case that once again highlights our confusion about paternal rights in child custody battles…“The principle is…Does the biological father, assuming he is fit, have a right to his own child? The answer should seem obvious: Not yes, but hell yes…“Projecting our own values, it’s easy to imagine that [the five-year-old girl at the center of the custody battle] would be materially better off in America. We’d all prefer to live among prosperity in a free country than in relative poverty under a communist dictatorship.
“But that’s not the point. We don’t disenfranchise parents or deny children their natural parents, assuming they’re fit, based on politics, income or material goods…[the girl]…should have been put on a plane back to Cuba as soon as her mother was determined unfit.
“[The girl] had a father then. She has one now.”
I mentioned the other day that I had contacted syndicated columnist Kathleen Parker of the Washington Post Writers Group about the Elian II case, and that she expressed interest. Today Parker, who is published in over 300 newspapers each week, came out with an article on the case in which she endorsed embattled Cuban father Rafael Izquierdo in his struggle to get his five-year-old daughter out of foster care so he can return home with her.
This week I partnered with Dr. Ned Holstein and Fathers & Families in a campaign to protest this injustice. Thousands of you have answered our call to action, the campaign has been covered by the Associated Press and many others, and Florida DCF has opened a dialogue with us. To learn more or to join our campaign, click here.
Parker is concerned about the decline of fatherhood, and was one of the most articulate defenders of Juan Miguel Gonzalez during the original Elian Gonzalez case in 1999/2000. Her new column is Elian II: The Sequel (10/19/07).