Do unaccountable government agents own your children? The evidence demonstrates that politicians and other government agents do believe that they own you and your children and that they are willing to use any amount of force necessary to assert that claim. They graciously allow parents to have limited custody of their children (and to pay for their housing, food, healthcare, and education), but that custody could be limited or terminated by the government with the snap of a finger. Governments tell all new parents that this is the arrangement. Even in the ‘live free or die’ State, this is sadly the case. We addressed this issue from the perspective of compulsory attendance laws for government schools (indoctrination centers) in a prior article. This article will focus on newly born babies.
Less than a week after filing the application for a birth certificate for our baby, my wife and I received a letter from the New Hampshire State Government. The letter essentially asserted that our baby boy is property of the State. The fact that my wife and I are both advanced healthcare providers with a combined two decades of experience in emergency medicine and ample experience with infants is hardly relevant. It should go without saying that we know how to care for our child. It’s the presumption of guilt that I find dystopian. According to natural rights and the Constitution, all parents must be presumed 100% innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. When the government assumes that a) all parents are inherently unqualified, b) the government owns all children and c) the geniuses who work for the government are substantially more capable caretakers of children than their biological parents, it is an insult to all parents of children in our supposedly free state. That government employees are less likely1 to actually have biological children than civilians makes this violation of due process even more ironic.
This letter was sent by Amanda Merrill, a nurse who seems to run the State government’s ‘Newborn Screening Program’. It seems that Amanda is not a law enforcement officer, which implies that she did not conduct an investigation, gather evidence of a specific crime, attain probable cause, apply to a judge, and receive a legal warrant before sending me that creepy letter. Also in the envelope was a brochure about newborn screening that mentioned testing for hearing, metabolic disorders, and a multitude of other potential health conditions. The whole package neglected to specify which tests I was required by law to conduct on my baby. This could be due to purposeful ambiguity or due to the government’s assumption that all births occur in hospitals, and that hospital staff conducts these standard tests on all babies with little to no communication informing the parents or asking for their consent. The letter claims that I can refuse the tests by writing to the government by mail, essentially acquiescing to their superiority and ownership of my child. Of course, the government could reject my application for an exemption or it could simply file it under ‘potentially abusive parents’ in their office. Why should I have to ask the government for permission in writing for the right to raise my own baby without government interference? Why am I presumed to be a bad parent by virtue of having a baby? Shouldn’t I be presumed to be a good parent? Yes, I find this accusation personally insulting.
The brochure did mention that the tests were likely completed in the hospital without the parents even being aware. Is it wrong for me to wonder whether it’s appropriate for this Amanda lady to be intruding on my life with the force of government (an inherently violent threat) without any due process, any evidence of a crime, any accountability (cops who lie to judges to obtain warrants are technically supposed to be punished, but nurse Amanda likely has no such accountability), and without even knowing anything about me?
On the most fundamental level, government agents only have the authority that is delegated to them by the people. The government can do things that people can do, but it cannot do things people cannot do. I can dispose of my trash, because it is my property. Therefore, I can delegate that authority to the government. But I cannot murder or rob my neighbor, and I cannot use force to tell them how to raise their children. Therefore, I cannot delegate the authority to do those things to the government. So…how did Amanda get the authority to tell me how to raise my child? Who gave them that power? I sure as hell didn’t.
If the government has the authority to ensure that all adults and children remain in perfect health no matter the cost to liberty, I have a few more logical proposals that should be passed into law immediately:
- All persons should be required to submit to blood tests and STD checks before getting married and before conceiving a baby. Persons with STDs are at much higher risk of health issues, and their babies could suffer very dangerous consequences if untreated.
- The government should evaluate all parents in order to determine whether they would make good parents before they should be allowed to become pregnant.
- Women with a BMI that is too high or too low (obese or skinny) are at increased risk of severe disease, medical emergencies, and acute injuries, all of which could harm their gestating baby. Additionally, abnormal BMI is associated with much higher morbidity and mortality for babies. Therefore, it is logical for the government to require pregnant women to maintain a healthy BMI by any means necessary, including mandatory exercise, strict control of nutrition, forced surgery, or other methods.
We need to get out ahead of the right-wing insurrectionists who believe that the government should just let parents raise their children however they desire. In fact, reliable sources have informed The Liberty Block that a group of New Hampshire legislators are considering this or substantially similar legislation:
AN ACT prohibiting government agents from harassing parents absent probable cause based on strong evidence that a violent crime has been committed by the parent.
SECTION 1. PURPOSE
The purpose of this act is to protect the liberty, privacy, and autonomy of parents in raising their children, by limiting the circumstances under which state and local government agents can intervene in family matters. If no probable cause of a crime exists, the state should not engage in correspondence with parents. If probable cause of a crime exists, law enforcement should arrest the parent accused of the crime.
SECTION 2. PROHIBITION ON CORRESPONDENCE
(a) No state or local government agency or official shall engage in any correspondence with parents in regard to their children, or tell them how to raise their children, unless there is probable cause to believe the parents committed a violent crime of abuse against their child.
(b) The prohibition in subsection (a) shall not apply to correspondence or communication between parents and state or local government agencies or officials that is initiated by the parents of their own volition without any coercion.
(c) For the purposes of this act, “government agent” means any person who works or volunteers for any government in any capacity, including but not limited to law enforcement officers, DCYF employees, prosecutors, judges, legislators, and town officials.
SECTION 3. PENALTIES
(a) Any state or local government agent who violates the prohibition in section 2(a) of this act shall be subject to a fine of $5,000 to $10,000 and termination of employment, and may be liable for any damages or costs incurred by the parents as a result of such violation.
(b) Any parent who is subjected to prohibited correspondence or communication by a state or local government agent in violation of section 2(a) of this act may bring a civil action against the agency or agent for injunctive relief, declaratory relief, and any damages or costs incurred as a result of such violation. Any penalty or fine imposed on the government agent in a civil or criminal case shall be paid by the individual agent of the government and shall not be paid by the governmental agency, department, or any other taxpayer-funded or government-related entity.
SECTION 4. EFFECTIVE DATE
This act shall take effect 30 days after its passage.
1 Noonan, M. C., & Corcoran, M. (2010). The fertility of female American teachers, 1960-2000. Social Science Quarterly, 91(5), 1164-1182. DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-6237.2010.00741.x
Vikat, A., Speder, Z., Beets, G., Billari, F. C., Bühler, C., Desesquelles, A., … & Zeman, K. (2018). Generations and gender survey (GGS): Towards a better understanding of relationships and processes in the life course. Demographic Research, 39, 1663-1718. DOI: 10.4054/DemRes.2018.39.53
This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Liberty Block or any of its members. We welcome all forms of serious feedback and debate.