Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform

Editor: Douglas A. Berman
Moritz College of Law

Sunday, May 29, 2022

"The Real War on Families – An Examination on American Child Welfare Law in the Shadow of Drug Prohibition"

As mentioned in a number of prior posts, the end of a busy semester becoming the start of summer means I am able to catch up on posting a lot of recently produced papers that are part of the on-going series of student papers supported by the Drug Enforcement and Policy Center.   The title of this post is the title of this paper authored by Karen Augenstein, a recent graduate of The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law.  Here is its abstract:

American law emphasizes the value of family whether that be through tax deductions on children or mandating child support.  However, when it comes to the War on Drugs, the importance of family seems to have been forgotten in favor of punishing those with substance abuse issues in the worst way possible: taking away their children.  Whether the intention of lawmakers or not, those who suffered the most tended to be minority and poor parents, the ones who struggled to have their voices heard.  Even today, America continues to punish victims of abuse by removing their children and imposing harsh, impossible requirements for reunification.

This paper is divided into three sections.  The first section examines the basis for child welfare in America, focusing primarily on three pieces of child welfare legislation that incorporated parental drug use into its mandates: Child Abuse Protection and Treatment Act of 1974, Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980, and the Adoption and Safe Families act of 1997.  The second section breaks down two areas of child welfare law: infants born testing positive for drugs and the explosion of the foster care system, and examine how drug laws, coupled with punitive, discriminatory action, broke apart families.  Finally, the third section recommends changes the American child welfare system could make in its approach to drug addicted parents, in an effort to reunify, rather than punish, parents who suffer from substance abuse issues.

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/marijuana_law/2022/05/the-real-war-on-families-an-examination-on-american-child-welfare-law-in-the-shadow-of-drug-prohibit.html

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Comments

So what is the parent do if DHS has come in and taking her children because the parent made a bad mistake during the pandemic I don't have a drug addiction other than marijuana but when I got really sick I love somebody put something in my laxative I didn't Know I was pregnant because I couldn't get medical attention and DHS just automatically toss me into this class of being a absolute druggie when my daughter was never exposed to any kind of environment that had to do with drugs in fact my daughter was an honor roll student she was excelling at sports I mean so much so she has six medals one trophy they took state tournament went to church she was confident and mentally stable and even being a teenage girl we had a great Bond and when DHS came my daughter started failing in her classes no longer goes to church she has three tattoos Shane and sports no more she called a suicide hotline so I had to get a therapist and a tutor and instead of reporting that DHS went and took it upon herself to state that they did this and they keep yelling out on a druggie I passed all my drug test when I went to ASAC but my test work passing with DHS and because I won't test for them even though I tested for the professionals and the test for coming out clean they terminated my rights to my baby and now the alienated me for my teenage daughter and they're trying to take her permanently too and I sit here drug free and nobody listens to me instead DHS decided they wanted to audit me because I was supplying food for my kids during the visits and my daughter where she was staying weekly I'd get her food and hygienic products because I'm still their mother you know I don't know what else to do I that's what I do I take care of my children well because I was doing so at first it was because they said that if my kids were still provided for I still qualify for food stamps but then when I prove that I was still providing for my kids now it's I volunteered to buy their food and they want me to pay back $6,000 a low income I'm losing my place which I've had for 9 years I've always paid my bills I've always taken care of my responsibilities they don't care so what am I supposed to do everyday that goes bye I worry my daughter's going to have taken too much she's just going to give up I don't even know where my son's at they terminated me DHS cost more trauma and more harm to my children than anybody could have ever done

Posted by: Christina Akers | Jun 3, 2022 12:06:37 PM

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