When religion dictates public policy: Judge orders lesbian mother to send child to foster care.

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When religion dictates public policy: Judge orders lesbian mother to send child to foster care.

Every theist I've spoken with seems to think that religion dictating that gays shouldn't get married doesn't affect them. They could have marriage rights as long as they were straight. Well, so much for that theory. Georgia passed a ban on gays getting married and they don't have a law that prevents them from adopting. However, a judge used this new law along with his personal view (likely surrounding his own religious views) that kids shouldn't have queer parents. Shame on every SOB who thinks keeping people from equal rights is okay so long as it goes along with their religion. There are 14 million kids in gay and lesbian homes...this is but one example of what they face when religion rules. If there's one thing that brings me to tears it's when people's hatred is masquerading as ignorant pseudo psychology and they throw kids in the middle of their righteous antics. The American Medical Association and the American Pediatric Association have time and time again done studies...it's obvious no one really cares if it goes against their religious beliefs. If religion didn't exist to demonize gays and lesbians (while calling it "love&quotEye-wink, this simply would not be occuring.  There is NO excuse for this. 


Georgia judge halts lesbian adoption
Wilkinson County jurist orders child taken from home, put in foster care
By RYAN LEE | Apr 11, 4:58 PM

 

Days away from her seventh birthday, a little girl named Emma Rose is currently trapped in Georgia’s foster care system, unable to reunite with the woman who has been her mother for almost a year — all because the mother is a lesbian.

 

The prospective adoptive mother, Elizabeth Hadaway, was also sentenced to 10 days in jail earlier this month by a Wilkinson County Superior Court judge who refused to grant the adoption in part because “the child will have a long-term exposure to the homosexual parent’s lifestyle.”

 

Wilkinson County is located about 133 miles southeast of Atlanta.

 

“I thought one of the first rules of being a judge was putting your owns morals or views or whatever aside — you’re supposed to be fair,” Hadaway said. “I didn’t think who I decided to sleep with at night would determine whether I was a good parent — I didn’t know that was even possible.

 

“I’m hurt and I’m let down, but I feel even worse for Emma,” added Hadaway, 28.

 

Hadaway first began trying to adopt Emma Rose last spring at the request of the young girl’s biological mother, Deborah Schultz, who is also a lesbian. According to court documents and an interview with Hadaway, Schultz informed Hadaway that she had fallen on tough times and asked Hadaway to take custody of her six-year-old daughter.

 

Hadaway traveled to Florida last May to pick up Emma Rose, and a month later she was granted legal custody of the child by Wilkinson County Superior Court Judge James Cline. A few months later, Hadaway underwent a mandatory home evaluation by a local adoption agency, where it came out that Hadaway was a lesbian and living with her partner of seven years.

 

“We were pretty open about it and the lady who did the home evaluation was fine with it,” said Hadaway, who noted that the home evaluation found her suitable to adopt Emma Rose.

 

During a November hearing to finalize the adoption, Hadaway said Wilkinson County Superior Court Judge John Lee Parrott was originally supportive and encouraging of the adoption he was preparing to grant; however, once Parrott skimmed the home evaluation report, Hadaway said the judge’s mood shifted, and he began “acting really disgusted.”

 

“He started flipping through the home evaluation … and his whole demeanor really changed at that point,” Hadaway said. “He took his glasses off, and he sat there and looked at the other side of the room, and he said, ‘Let me get this straight — you are in a homosexual relationship,’” Hadaway said of Parrott.

 

Hadaway admitted she was in a lesbian relationship, and Parrott said he needed to do research to determine if Georgia law allowed adoptions by gay parents, according to Hadaway. On Jan. 8, 2007, Parrott issued a ruling that denied Hadaway the right to adopt Emma Rose and ordered the young child be returned to her biological mother within 10 days.

 

Parrott did not respond to interview requests.

 

 

 

Family union

 

Parrott’s 16-page ruling is inundated with references to Hadaway’s homosexuality, and his belief that placing Emma Rose in a lesbian home is not in the best interest of the child.

 

Parrott conceded that Georgia law has no requirements relating to the sexual orientation of adoptive parents, but accused Hadaway of attempting to “subterfuge and sham” the court by applying as a single adoptive parent when she “seeks to accomplish an adoption by a de facto homosexual couple," according to a copy of the ruling provided to Southern Voice by Hadaway.

 

Parrott also argued that the constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage approved by Georgia voters in 2004 effectively prohibits adoptions by same-sex couples.

 

“[Hadaway] seeks to have her and her same-sex partner treated as a family union or unit, the same as a married couple for the purposes of adoption,” Parrott wrote. “Clearly, then, the unmarried homosexual union in this case would be getting a direct benefit of marriage under Georgia adoption law: the ability to adopt.”

 

Without the legal protections of divorce, Hadaway has no way to insure her lesbian partner will maintain financial responsibility if the couple breaks up, Parrott noted.

 

“If approved, the requested adoption would place the child in a markedly less secure legal environment than a child adopted by a legally married couple,” wrote Parrott.

 

But Hadaway contends that she alone is financially secure enough to raise Emma Rose, and that her partner’s income was included in the home evaluation because the report requires the listing of financial information for all adults in the household.

 

Parrott also ruled against placing Emma Rose with Hadaway because the young girl would be exposed to both homosexuality and discrimination.

 

“If the instant adoption is approved, inevitably the child will witness both directly and circumstantially the homosexual activity of [Hadaway] and her same-sex partner,” Parrott wrote. “There has been no study conducted … into the isolation and stigma that the child may face growing up in a small, rural town with two women, in whose care she was placed at the age of six, who openly engage in homosexual relationship.”

 

 

 

‘Deprived child'?

 

Parrott’s ruling ordered Emma Rose to be returned to Deborah Schultz within 10 days, or be declared a “deprived child” and turned over the Georgia Department of Family & Children Services. Hadaway and Shultz met at a truck stop in Jeffersonville, Ga., on Jan. 12, 2007, but Shultz refused to take Emma Rose back to Florida with her, instead reiterating her wish for Hadaway to raise the young girl.

 

Prior to Parrott’s Jan. 8 ruling, Hadaway left her longtime partner and moved to Bibb County, 70 miles south of Atlanta, which she considered more progressive and tolerant than Wilkinson County. After Shultz refused to regain custody of Emma Rose, Hadaway said she was encouraged by attorneys and DFCS workers to apply for an adoption in Bibb County Superior Court.

 

Upon discovering that Emma Rose remained in Hadaway’s custody, Parrott issued two more rulings: a Feb. 12 order to place Emma Rose in DFCS custody, and a March 23 ruling finding Hadaway and her attorney in criminal contempt for not following his order to transfer custody of the child. The two women were sentenced to 10 days in jail, or five days plus a $500 fine, but are currently appealing Parrott’s decision.

 

Citing a report by Alicia Gregory, a doctor hired by Wilkinson County DFCS to conduct an independent assessment of Emma Rose’s situation, Bibb County Superior Court Judge Tilman Self ruled March 30 that Hadaway be restored custody.

 

“Dr. Gregory concluded, and in fact was quite adamant, that Emma’s best interests would be served by returning Emma to [Hadaway’s] custody,” Self wrote. “Indeed, Dr. Gregory stated that Emma’s current foster placement was the worst possible scenario for Emma.”

 

But when Hadaway and Wilkinson County sheriff’s deputies attempted to retrieve Emma Rose from her foster family on April 3, they were rebuffed.

 

“The foster family would not turn her over to me,” Hadaway said. When the sheriff’s deputies informed the foster family that they had a Bibb County court order demanding Emma Rose be returned to Hadaway, the foster father allegedly called Parrott. The judge told the officer that he was not recognizing the Bibb County order, and if Hadaway wanted custody of Emma Rose she would have to re-apply in Wilkinson County.

 

“If anyone’s a pervert in this whole thing, it’s him — he’s sick,” Hadaway said of Parrott. “He’s mad because I’m gay, and he doesn’t want me to have custody.”

 

With Georgia law neither banning nor endorsing same-sex adoption explicitly, Parrott’s original order denying the adoption to Hadaway was within his authority, said Jim Outman, an adoption attorney in Atlanta.

 

But Hadaway is entitled to re-apply for an adoption if her circumstances change — such as moving to Bibb County — and Parrott’s efforts to prevent that have been “very extreme,” Outman said.

 

“If I petition [a judge] to do something and you deny my petition, that doesn’t invite you to become my enemy for life,” Outman said. “He’s carrying his beliefs beyond any case before him, and he’s saying he’s going to save this child from this lesbian woman.”

 

Hadaway’s new lawyer — Parrott prohibited her first attorney from continuing to represent Hadaway after he found them both in contempt — is filing a habeas corpus claim and a writ of mandamus with the Georgia Supreme Court in an attempt to get the Bibb County custody order enforced.

 

There is no timeline for when a ruling will be issued.

Flemming Rose: “When [christians] say you are not showing respect, I would say: you are not asking for my respect, you are asking for my submission….”


Roisin Dubh
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This is my favorite

This is my favorite part:

"Without the legal protections of divorce, Hadaway has no way to insure her lesbian partner will maintain financial responsibility if the couple breaks up, Parrott noted.

 

“If approved, the requested adoption would place the child in a markedly less secure legal environment than a child adopted by a legally married couple,” wrote Parrott."

And, because this country is ass-backwards, guess why they dont have the protection of divorce or a secure legal environment????

Ignorant prick.

 

"The powerful have always created false images of the weak."


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Roisin Dubh wrote: This is

Roisin Dubh wrote:

This is my favorite part:

"Without the legal protections of divorce, Hadaway has no way to insure her lesbian partner will maintain financial responsibility if the couple breaks up, Parrott noted.

 

“If approved, the requested adoption would place the child in a markedly less secure legal environment than a child adopted by a legally married couple,” wrote Parrott."

And, because this country is ass-backwards, guess why they dont have the protection of divorce or a secure legal environment????

Ignorant prick.

 

 

Exactly. I've seen several judges do this very thing over and over again. They say that because they don't have marriage rights that they can't possibly be doing the right thing but yet they still won't allow those same individuals to HAVE that right so that they CAN. It's like saying ha ha ha you can't have it so we have the right to do this to you!

Some days I really wish more people would ban together and just start a cultural revolution to put an end to this. I'm so tired of being tired of it. 

Flemming Rose: “When [christians] say you are not showing respect, I would say: you are not asking for my respect, you are asking for my submission….”


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This is EXACTLY why atheists

This is EXACTLY why atheists need to speak out and be "fundamentalist" or "extremist" as many like to falsly call us.  Here is a prime example of what happens when atheists and homosexuals just sit quietly with our hands on our laps as the theists "moderate" (read: scared) atheists want us to.

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thingy wrote: This is

thingy wrote:
This is EXACTLY why atheists need to speak out and be "fundamentalist" or "extremist" as many like to falsly call us. Here is a prime example of what happens when atheists and homosexuals just sit quietly with our hands on our laps as the theists "moderate" (read: scared) atheists want us to.

 It's not in my nature to be a boat rocker, but I agree.  Things have to change.

"The powerful have always created false images of the weak."


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Ugh.  File under "Why I'm

Ugh.  File under "Why I'm grumpy after reading the news."

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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In GEORGIA!? I'm

In GEORGIA!? I'm shocked!

The same state where you can get 10 years for consentual oral sex between a 17 and 15 year old.

 http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/eticket/story?page=wilson

 

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Hambydammit wrote: Ugh.

Hambydammit wrote:
Ugh. File under "Why I'm grumpy after reading the news."

Grumpy Kitty.

This grumpifies you, me and the rest of the rational thinkers out there.  


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stillmatic wrote: In

stillmatic wrote:

In GEORGIA!? I'm shocked!

The same state where you can get 10 years for consentual oral sex between a 17 and 15 year old.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/eticket/story?page=wilson

 

 Yeah. And the same one that okay'd Creationism in schools. When the ones with intellect become a minority it makes you wonder if it's time to get off of the island. 

Flemming Rose: “When [christians] say you are not showing respect, I would say: you are not asking for my respect, you are asking for my submission….”


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Some time recently, I heard

Some time recently, I heard someone say they were thinking of moving to England so that they could have more freedom from religion -- that England was a much more secular place, and that America has just gone so far down the theocracy road that it's not salvagable.

Oh the irony!

(Cobb county is right around the corner from me, by the way. Now all you guys can see the kind of nut jobs I am surrounded by!)

 {edit:  Oops... I don't know where Bibb county is... Cobb county is where they recently ruled that Creationism goes in the biology texts as a viable alternative.}

 

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Lynette1977

Lynette1977 wrote:
stillmatic wrote:

In GEORGIA!? I'm shocked!

The same state where you can get 10 years for consentual oral sex between a 17 and 15 year old.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/eticket/story?page=wilson

 

Yeah. And the same one that okay'd Creationism in schools. When the ones with intellect become a minority it makes you wonder if it's time to get off of the island.

Hey, they may have flim-flamed the public in Cobb County with the Intelligent Design crap, but as far as I know, recent rulings have put us back to Science only in the Science classroom.  I live in Cobb County, so stuff like this probably makes my neck hairs crawl more than most people here.

On the topic of the daughter, I think if anything is going to be traumatic for her, its going to be the legal system deciding to tear her away from the woman she calls mom.  And what will be the reason given to her?  Because that woman was different from the rest of us and this 2000 year old book says that she's a devil woman.  In the words that I feel Penn Jillet would speak about this...

 Judge John Lee Parrott, fuck you in the fucking neck!

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Now I remember why I get so

Now I remember why I get so pissed after reading the news. This is unacceptable. It makes me so angry that things like this happen in this country.  As an officer of the court, he is supposed to uphold the Constitution, not his religious beliefs. 

What can be done to stop this sort of thing?  I feel like it's getting worse rapidly. 

I feel so bad for the child, who probably has no idea why she was taken away.  So sad.

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What I really don't

What I really don't understand is that it sounds like the judge was about to grant the adoption when he thought Hadaway was single.

That invalidates his divorce argument.

That also invalidates his reasoning for using the same-sex marriage ban argument.

Poor little Emma Rose.  (What a lovely name!)  It actually sounds like her mother does not want her.  The woman who loves her and wants to take care of her is not being allowed to do that.  Then they stick her in the foster care system? 

Poor little Emma Rose.  My heart really breaks for her and Elizabeth Hadaway. 

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I'm thinking good old

I'm thinking good old fashioned protest outside of this Judge's offices.


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That judge should be thrown

That judge should be thrown off the bench.


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I joined this website just

I joined this website just so I could respond to this particular thread. If that offends anybody, I apologize. But I had to comment and tell you that I couldn't agree more!!! Elizabeth is my bestfriend and Emma calls me "aunt Tasha"...so to say that this case is near and dear to my heart would be an understatement. One thing I have to say about these articles is that they don't even BEGIN to touch on the bond that Emma and Elizabeth share. Seriously, it's like mini-me or something, LOL!!! There is no doubt in my mind that Emma has never had this kind of bond w/ anybody else in her life and will never have this kind of bond w/ anybody else again. There are all kinds of soulmates in this lifetime, not all of them romantic, and I know that these 2 were meant to be in each other's lives. I just wanted to thank you all for your supportive comments. It means a lot to Elizabeth and I'm sure it would to Emma, too, if she heard them. It is absolutely heartbreaking to see Emma ripped away from a loving, caring mother like Elizabeth simply b/c a judge has a problem w/ who she chooses to share her bed w/ at night. Shame on you, Judge Parrot!!! Know this, though...Emma WILL come home to her mommy and Elizabeth will fight to make sure that happens until she takes her last breath.

P.S. For those who were wondering where Bibb County is, it's about an hour South of Atlanta. It's where Macon is located.


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Welcome!! I am so glad you

Welcome!!

I am so glad you decided to join and give us a first hand perspective. This is truly a sad situation and I hope someone in your local area has initiated an investigation in this judge and his judgeship. 


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He shouldn't be allowed to

He shouldn't be allowed to be a dogcatcher, let alone a judge.


Lynette1977
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Why would it offend us?

Why would it offend us? We're on the side of reason and the crap that people like that judge pull pretty much unites everyone who sees the problem with the very nature of it's illogical reasoning. I think that much of the GLBT population is waking up and realizing that the only way to end this type of treatment is to get to the root of the problem: Religion.

Everyone is always trying to tell us to get over it, anti-gay laws don't really affect anyone anyway but it's just something like this that proves that it does indeed affect people. I will never understand what spawns people to be such hateful individuals on the basis of religion but from what I've learned it is more than likely due to their authoritarian nature to dominate and control based on their own opinion. I feel sorry for this little girl that first her birth mother doesn't want her and second that the woman who DOES want her can not simply because of a judge's personal religious views. When religion dictates law we really are no better than the countries we belittle for doing the very same thing with a different religion.

Tell Elizabeth to never give up. It's sad that Emma has to be one of the poster children for the damage of these stupid laws but we're all behind the fight. It often makes me wonder if we wouldn't better be suited to fight these anti-gay laws on the basis of religious discrimination. If you asked numerous psychologists, pediatricians and even the top named medical associations, they all have repetitively stated that there is absolutely nothing that shows a negative effect on children with gay parents, if anything, they are raised to be MORE stable than kids in straight families. 14 million kids have gay parents and a study in 1981 (Hoeffer) found that daughters of lesbians have a much higher self-esteem than those of straight women while sons were more caring and less aggressive. (Patterson, Charlotte J. 1992) found that kids with gay parents were no more likely than the rest of the population to be gay and (Rofes, E.E., 1983, Herdt, 1989) showed that gay kids are exposed to more people of the opposite sex than kids of straight parents.

The American Medical Association, the American Pediatric Association, the American Psychiatric Association and countless others have found no basis for denying gay and lesbian couples the right to legally marry and that creating a stable environment for children, regardless of how they are created and come together, is very important to the foundation and family financial security and well-being as well as for any couple’s well-being. Over 1,300 rights are denied to tax paying citizens who are gay and lesbian and in America and denying anyone equality on a matter of religious or reproductive principal is not just inhumane but unconstitutional to boot.

Which again is why I often have wondered that if science shows that this type of law really has no merit, what then is the real motive? Religious superiority acted out in laws, that's what. If religion is used to discriminate do we have a case? Isn't the government upholding Christian doctrine and forcing it on the people by creating such laws? I believe so.

Tell her to keep up the fight...it's only a matter of time.

Flemming Rose: “When [christians] say you are not showing respect, I would say: you are not asking for my respect, you are asking for my submission….”


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This is such a product of

This is such a product of the warped society we live in.  While on that subject, this is a news story on CNN today:

Quote:
Two brothers were locked up in a dog cage when their father used drugs and when they were being punished, and one had to wear a shock collar, authorities said.

The parents appeared briefly in court Thursday on charges of child endangerment and making or selling drugs in front of the children, ages 10 and 5.

Jessica Botzko, 28, and John Westover, 37, were arrested a day earlier, after the boys ran away from home and were found on a neighbor's porch.

The boys told officers that they had been abused and locked in a dog cage at their home, said police Capt. Ray Carroll. They also said their father put them in the cage when he was using drugs, according to Carroll.

Court documents say the 10-year-old boy was repeatedly shocked at the family's home through a remote-controlled collar meant as a training device for animals.

Police searched the family's mobile home and found it filled with garbage, Carroll said.

The couple's hearings were continued because neither had a lawyer and the parents remained in jail.

Another Ohio couple, Michael and Sharen Gravelle of Norwalk, were convicted in February of child abuse and endangerment for keeping some of their 11 special-needs adopted children in wire and wood enclosures.

I've seen child abuse like this first hand way too often.  It's a little nauseating that two people with the Time, Love and Committment to raise a child are rejected as parental figures because they hapen to be the same sex.  Meanwhile there are tens of thousands of the above cases happening right now (most unreported) in this country.  

Maybe, just maybe the sex of the parents has little to nothing to do w/ their ability to parent or provide a loving home.

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act."
George Orwell


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Ditto that. In Indiana

Ditto that. In Indiana alone there are more than 11,000 children without homes and they're trying to pass laws that keep gays and lesbians from fostering or adopting. I say if you're going to keep gays and lesbians from adopting you better line up the theists to do so, then, because as it stands there aren't enough families to do so or who are willing to do so. The GLBT population contributes greatly to this cause.

I find it repugnant that these people hyperfocus on bashing people and do so very little to actually remedy REAL problems. Such is the authoritarian personalities. I just finished reading Conservatives without Conscience...Bill Frist used to buy cats from humane societies, keep them as pets for a few days then take them into his lab to kill and disect them when he ran out of lab animals. These people are about as emotionless and shut off from human compassion as you can get so it becomes easier to see how they are capable of negatively affecting millions without batting an eye.

The reason they're doing nothing is because they simply do not care. They would rather take money from a peasant to feed a king and scam them into thinking that the money they took will come back to them threefold and meanwhile the kids starve. I just read a letter to the editor of our local paper where a father said his daughter died because she could not afford medical care to go to the doctor. (Or rather, didn't want to hassle her family with thousands of dollars in medical bills they could not pay). How sad that we put the value on humans in dollar amounts and votes. 

I could continue for this on hours. My point was, I wholeheartedly agree. 

Flemming Rose: “When [christians] say you are not showing respect, I would say: you are not asking for my respect, you are asking for my submission….”


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And as an adopted child I

And as an adopted child I can honestly say... It doesn't matter who adopts you as long as they take care of you.  I can't imagine if I had been forced back into my birth family because of something so stupid.  My birth mother abandoned my nine year old little sister and my fourteen year old brother and has since disappeared with a drug habit.  Adopted children, unwanted children, or just children of people who couldn't take care of them NEED LOVE.  We need to be taken care of.  We need to have SOMEONE who will hold us when we cry, teach us to tie our shoes, buy our first prom dress, not to mention clothe, feed, and educate us.  That's all it take, the willingness to take care of us.  There are too many unwanted children to say that one group of people cannot adopt.  Not to mention, in the case of a homosexual couple... what happens if the birth mother of the child gets sick or dies?  That child will go to foster care instead of going home with the other woman they call mother.  Same thing for men that want to adopt.  Why put a child through such difficulties just because you don't agree with their lifestyle???  I was lucky to find any adoptive parents that loved me, and they just happened to be straight.  Why say no to anyone willing to take care of a child???

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EMS Queen wrote: I joined

EMS Queen wrote:

I joined this website just so I could respond to this particular thread. If that offends anybody, I apologize. But I had to comment and tell you that I couldn't agree more!!! Elizabeth is my bestfriend and Emma calls me "aunt Tasha"...so to say that this case is near and dear to my heart would be an understatement. One thing I have to say about these articles is that they don't even BEGIN to touch on the bond that Emma and Elizabeth share. Seriously, it's like mini-me or something, LOL!!! There is no doubt in my mind that Emma has never had this kind of bond w/ anybody else in her life and will never have this kind of bond w/ anybody else again. There are all kinds of soulmates in this lifetime, not all of them romantic, and I know that these 2 were meant to be in each other's lives. I just wanted to thank you all for your supportive comments. It means a lot to Elizabeth and I'm sure it would to Emma, too, if she heard them. It is absolutely heartbreaking to see Emma ripped away from a loving, caring mother like Elizabeth simply b/c a judge has a problem w/ who she chooses to share her bed w/ at night. Shame on you, Judge Parrot!!! Know this, though...Emma WILL come home to her mommy and Elizabeth will fight to make sure that happens until she takes her last breath.

P.S. For those who were wondering where Bibb County is, it's about an hour South of Atlanta. It's where Macon is located.

Welcome EMS Queen!  Thank you for the personal touch on this story.

My heart breaks for everyone involved, especially little Emma.

We'd love to hear the status of the legal battle - and hopefully hear some good news.

Please extend our best wishes to Elizabeth and eventually, Emma.

{{hugs}} 

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Thank you all for the warm

Thank you all for the warm welcome. : ) Good to know that I didn't offend anybody. I just wasn't sure how I would be received seeing as I joined the site for maybe a *little* bit of a selfish reason. There was another court hearing yesterday (Wednesday...still yesterday to me b/c I just got home from work) but still no progress. Here's the article if you'd like to read it.

http://www.macon.com/198/story/33020.html

[MOD EDIT - fixed link to allow click-through] 


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EMS Queen wrote: Thank you

EMS Queen wrote:
Thank you all for the warm welcome. : ) Good to know that I didn't offend anybody. I just wasn't sure how I would be received seeing as I joined the site for maybe a *little* bit of a selfish reason. There was another court hearing yesterday (Wednesday...still yesterday to me b/c I just got home from work) but still no progress. Here's the article if you'd like to read it. [url=http://www.macon.com/198/story/33020.html]

 I would say that I don't think people realize how difficult is is for child involved.  But I don't think they care.  they let their own "moral" judgments dictate.  I am sorry to see any custody battles where a child is taken away from its family, but this is one of the saddest I've seen.  I can't imagine how hard this must be for Elizabeth.  And this is why religion shouldn't be mixed with government...

Ah, the pitter patter of tiny feet in huge combat boots.


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EMS Queen wrote: Thank you

EMS Queen wrote:
Thank you all for the warm welcome. : ) Good to know that I didn't offend anybody. I just wasn't sure how I would be received seeing as I joined the site for maybe a *little* bit of a selfish reason. There was another court hearing yesterday (Wednesday...still yesterday to me b/c I just got home from work) but still no progress. Here's the article if you'd like to read it. [url=http://www.macon.com/198/story/33020.html]

I'm not seeing this as a selfish reason to join.  If anything it gives us an opinion from someone close to the events.  I hope for Emma and Elizabeth that this gets resolved soon.  Let Elizabeth know that we're behind her on this.

I don't know if there's anything we can do to help, but if there is let us know. 

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EMS Queen wrote: Thank you

EMS Queen wrote:

Thank you all for the warm welcome. : ) Good to know that I didn't offend anybody. I just wasn't sure how I would be received seeing as I joined the site for maybe a *little* bit of a selfish reason. There was another court hearing yesterday (Wednesday...still yesterday to me b/c I just got home from work) but still no progress. Here's the article if you'd like to read it.

http://www.macon.com/198/story/33020.html

[MOD EDIT - fixed link to allow click-through]

EMS Queen, thanks for the link to the article.  I never can wrap my head around people that put their personal agenda before a child's welfare.  

I read the comments and was heartened to see only one very silly xian post ("Emma needs to be raised according to the bible" or some rot like that).   Apparently that person would rather have Emma be religious than happy, healthy and well-adjusted.

Please keep us posted. 

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EMS Queen wrote: I joined

EMS Queen wrote:

I joined this website just so I could respond to this particular thread. If that offends anybody, I apologize. But I had to comment and tell you that I couldn't agree more!!! Elizabeth is my bestfriend and Emma calls me "aunt Tasha"...so to say that this case is near and dear to my heart would be an understatement. One thing I have to say about these articles is that they don't even BEGIN to touch on the bond that Emma and Elizabeth share. Seriously, it's like mini-me or something, LOL!!! There is no doubt in my mind that Emma has never had this kind of bond w/ anybody else in her life and will never have this kind of bond w/ anybody else again. There are all kinds of soulmates in this lifetime, not all of them romantic, and I know that these 2 were meant to be in each other's lives. I just wanted to thank you all for your supportive comments. It means a lot to Elizabeth and I'm sure it would to Emma, too, if she heard them. It is absolutely heartbreaking to see Emma ripped away from a loving, caring mother like Elizabeth simply b/c a judge has a problem w/ who she chooses to share her bed w/ at night. Shame on you, Judge Parrot!!! Know this, though...Emma WILL come home to her mommy and Elizabeth will fight to make sure that happens until she takes her last breath.

P.S. For those who were wondering where Bibb County is, it's about an hour South of Atlanta. It's where Macon is located.

 

Welcome to RRS, I posted this story on a couple other websites I frequent. I don't have much to add appart from good luck.


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Good news, folks...today

Good news, folks...today Emma was returned to the home where she belongs. I am officially the 3rd happiest girl in the world right now!!! Laughing


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Greatest happy dance in the

Greatest happy dance in the world!  My hopes for humanity are restored.  I'm glad to see that when logical heads take over, the system works and justice prevails.

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That's cool.

That's cool.

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EMS Queen wrote: Good news,

EMS Queen wrote:
Good news, folks...today Emma was returned to the home where she belongs. I am officially the 3rd happiest girl in the world right now!!! Laughing

 

That is WONDERFUL!!!!! I'm so happy for her! When you get more details, PLEASE let us know!!!! 

Flemming Rose: “When [christians] say you are not showing respect, I would say: you are not asking for my respect, you are asking for my submission….”


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EMS Queen wrote: Good news,

EMS Queen wrote:
Good news, folks...today Emma was returned to the home where she belongs. I am officially the 3rd happiest girl in the world right now!!! Laughing

Awesome, GREAT FOR EMMA, and MOMMY and everyone else emotionally involved. YAY! 


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Good that asshat Judge's

Good that asshat Judge's decision didn't stand.


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EMS Queen wrote: Good news,

EMS Queen wrote:
Good news, folks...today Emma was returned to the home where she belongs. I am officially the 3rd happiest girl in the world right now!!! Laughing

I can't believe I'm just finding this post!

I'm so so SO happy for everyone involved. 

I hope little Emma hasn't been too traumatized by the whole thing.  At the very least, she's got to know that her mommy loves her more than anything in the world and won't stop fighting for her no matter what happens.  She definitely knows she is loved very much.

Please convey our regards and well wishes.

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Here's the updated story

Here's the updated story that appeared in our local paper. Emma is doing very well at home w/ her mom.

Woman, child reunited after custody battle over sexual orientation

By Tim Sturrock - tsturrock@macontel.com

A Macon woman who lost custody of a 7-year-old girl three months ago because of her relationship with another woman was reunited with that child, the American Civil Liberties Union said.

"It took a long road and a lot of legal proceedings to bring this family back together, and now they are hoping to focus on their family and not the court proceedings," said Gerry Weber, legal director of the ACLU of Georgia.

Elizabeth Hadaway, 28, was originally awarded custody of the child, Emma Rose, in June 2006 with Emma's biological mother's consent, according to court documents.

But in February, Wilkinson County Superior Court Judge John Lee Parrott denied her adoption of the child and vacated a previous custody order in part because Hadaway was living with a woman. He wrote that he was trying to protect Emma from the likely stigma of living with lesbians and that if she stayed with Hadaway, Emma would witness lesbian activities that could adversely affect her.

Hadaway was ordered to give Emma back to her biological mother, who had already given her up. Eventually, the child was given to a foster family in Wilkinson County.

In early April, Bibb County Superior Court Judge Tripp Self restored legal custody to Hadaway, who by this time was single and living in Bibb County, but the order was not followed. Hadaway has said that Wilkinson County sheriff's deputies told her she could not take Emma because of orders from Parrott.

Weber said a deprivation proceeding was dismissed in juvenile court last week and that Hadaway and Emma were reunited Friday. Weber would not comment on details of the deprivation hearing, which normally determines what should become of children who are believed to be deprived somehow.

Hadaway intends to try to adopt Emma once again, he said.

Hadaway isn't commenting directly to the media at this time, Weber said.

"I think she's just a little overwhelmed by all of it right now," he said.

But according to an ACLU news release, Hadaway stated. "I'm grateful to (the Department of Children and Family Services) for recognizing that Emma's biological mother always had her best interests at heart in wanting her to live with me."

Hadaway said this month she planned to take time off as a paramedic when Emma was returned to her.

"Emma and I missed each other so much while we were separated, and I hope she can put this painful experience behind her quickly," she said in a news release.

Emma has "severe abandonment issues" and other problems that were worsening while she lived with a foster family in Wilkinson County, and it was in her best interest to return to Hadaway, Self wrote in his April order, based on testimony from a psychologist.

In the time Hadaway and Emma were separated, Emma was having nightmares and acting out, court documents state. A psychologist told Self that Emma's foster placement was the "worst possible scenario" for her given her need for individualized attention, according to court documents.

Emma had never been to school, but she learned to read and do arithmetic under Hadaway's care. Hadaway was a capable mother, giving the "specialized attention" a child with a "life-long history of trauma" needs, a psychologist found, according to court documents.


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Justice has been served...

Justice has been served... mostly. Judge Parrott losing his job would make it complete. How dare he use his bigoted, religious ideas as a factor in the rule of law.

I'm so glad that Emma has been returned to Elizabeth. Hopefully the memories of this awful time will fade quickly and she'll be the happy, carefree little girl she should be at her age. Please let them know how happy a bunch of strangers are that they've been reunited.  Smiling

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Thanks for the update, EMS

Thanks for the update, EMS Queen.

Please keep us in the loop about the adoption.

And, of course, please send lots and lots of virtual hugs to Elizabeth and Emma Rose.

{{{{{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}}}} 

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I'm so glad to hear the

I'm so glad to hear the child was finally returned an that bigoted asswipe got his order overturned.  But I'm a little confused about the original issue. 

Quote:
Hadaway first began trying to adopt Emma Rose last spring at the request of the young girl’s biological mother, Deborah Schultz, who is also a lesbian

If the judge had such a problem with this child living with a lesbian, why did he want the child returned to her lesbian biological mother, one who didn't want her to begin with?  Either why she would be having a lesbian mother, so why on earth would he want her to be with the one who didn't want her?  This judge is just a dumbass.


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WOOT!!!

WOOT!!!