I have met and heard the tragic stories of many parents. PA is a function, by and large, of a custodial ex-partner, although some alienation can start while the couple is still together.

This blog is a story of experiences and observations of dysfunctional Family Law (FLAW), an arena pitting parent against parent, with children as the prize. Due to the gender bias in Family Law, that I have observed, this Blog has evolved from a focus solely on PA to one of the broader Family/Children's Rights area and the impact of Feminist mythology on Canadian Jurisprudence and the Divorce Industry.

Monday, April 20, 2009

ACFC ~ Two items of Interest on Shared Parenting in two Countries

LogoHome Banner
blue bar - stationery

Learn More Join Donate

This newsletter contains two items of interest.

Oregon Shared Parenting Bill Hearing

Just in...Tomorrow the House Judiciary Committee will be hearing HB 3402 for Shared Parenting in Oregon. The hearing is at the Oregon State Capitol Room 357 beginning at noon. Please attend and show your support. The proposed law defines joint legal and physical custody as presumptively in the best interest of the child. The bill declares relocation not in the child's best interest and penalizes parents for access interference. Click here to read the bill.

Canadian Member of Parliament Conducts Equal Shared Parenting Poll

MP Maurice Vellacott sent this announcement late last week. Thanks to our friends and counterparts at the Canadian Equal Parenting Council for supplying the poll numbers. Click here for the poll. It's obvious the public 'gets it' when it comes to Shared Parenting. Our task is to turn these sentiments into reality.

Maurice Vellacott, MP Saskatoon-Wanuskewin

Vellacott releases results of new equal shared parenting poll

For Immediate Release April 16, 2009

OTTAWA Member of Parliament Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon-Wanuskewin) today announced the results of a new poll on Equal Parenting after divorce.

"The results indicate that four out of five Canadians (80 percent) continue to support equal shared parenting after divorce with almost no difference by gender, region, age group, or party affiliation," said Maurice Vellacott. “This poll was commissioned in conjunction with the work I've been doing to advance Equal Parenting through Private Member's Motions and Bills,” Vellacott added.

The results are nearly identical to a survey conducted in 2007, and are part of a long term trend indicating continuing high levels of support for equal parenting.

Conducted by Nanos Research during March, 2009, the question asked survey participants was: “Do you strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose or strongly oppose federal and provincial legislation to create a presumption of equal parenting in child custody cases?" The statistical margin of accuracy is 3%, 19 times out of 20.

Last year Vellacott tabled Private Members Motion M-483 on Equal Parenting to gauge parliamentary support and received 17 Conservative and Liberal seconders to his motion.

"The response I received to this motion has encouraged me to proceed with the poll and the drafting of a Private Member’s Bill in this session with a view to garnering all-party support for Equal Parenting, Vellacott said.

Poll results indicate that supporters of all Parties in the House of Commons are united in their support for Equal Parenting, ranging from a low of 76 percent for NDP voters to a high of 83 percent for the Bloc.

Recalling the popular support for the 1998 “For the Sake of the Children” report, Mr. Vellacott noted that there has historically been broad political support across party lines. Canadians have long called for this; and countries such as Australia, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, and many US states have proceeded along these lines.

Mr. Vellacott has been working with members of the extended divorce community to develop amendments to the Divorce Act. "The divorce community are the real experts in this field as they have first-hand experience with the strengths and weaknesses of the current legislation," he said. “The proposed amendments won’t solve all problems, but they will certainly address a major point of contention in divorce," he advised.

Equal Parenting calls for continuation of parental rights, and obligations with joint legal responsibility and joint physical custody, with the presumption that equal parenting time is the best interest of the child.


You may recall last July Parade Magazine polled readers asking: "Should Divorced Dads Have Equal Time with Their Kids?" See the results here.

These and other examples demonstrate Shared Parenting is the next family law reform.


Mike McCormick, Exec. Dir. ACFC

Your Washington DC based Shared Parenting and family law reform organization. Please support these efforts with a contribution by clicking here.

Parental Alienation Day P R O C L A M A T I O N Sault Ste. Marie, ON

The Editor, The Sault Star 145 Old Garden River Rd. Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6A 5M5

The City of Sault Ste. Marie has proclaimed April 25, 2009 as the 4th Annual Parental Alienation Day as shown below. This year 15 countries are participating as well as cities and states within these countries. Parental Alienation (PA) can cause children emotional problems ranging from mild trauma to severe psychological tribulations. Pamela Richardson, a Canadian mother, authored the book "A Kidnapped Mind", detailing her ordeal and the subsequent suicide of her son Dash. More recently a mother in Toronto killed her 18 month old toddler son, Jayden Bernard, to prevent the father from seeing him. This is the most extreme kind of PA possible.

PA is prevalent in our community with past court cases in the public record involving it and current activity before the Family Court where it has been used against target parents to get a "leg up" in custody battles. Family Courts in Canada are starting to recognize the seriousness of the manipulation of young children and are reversing custody as a result.

I have discussed this emotional abuse of children with the Algoma Children's Aid Society (ACAS) over the past 4 years and they can do little to combat it. They cannot see the psychic bruising and it is outside of their current protective mandate. The Family Preservation Program operated by the ACAS does do its best with highly motivated dedicated staff.

With awareness we can educate to create understanding and through understanding legislative changes can be made to create environments reducing the conflict which creates this behaviour. One of the first must be changes to the divorce act making shared and equal parenting a rebuttable presumption for fit parents. Those who daily supervise or provide mental health services for children will be better equipped to recognize why children exhibit certain responses.


WHEREAS Parents in high conflict situations may intentionally or otherwise cause children to suffer from Parental Alienation; and

WHEREAS Some of the behaviours of Parental Alienation include speaking negatively about a parent to or before a child and interfering with parental communication and time together; and

WHEREAS These destructive behaviours can interfere with a loving parent and child bond, depriving children of their right to love and be loved by both parents; and

WHEREAS These behaviours can be confusing, frightening and create a sense of insecurity well into adulthood; and

WHEREAS Awareness, education and understanding, play an important role in stopping the effects of Parental Alienation:

NOW THEREFORE, I, Brian Hayes, by virtue of the power vested in me as Acting Mayor of the City of Sault Ste. Marie, do hereby proclaim and pronounce April 25, 2009 "PARENTAL ALIENATION AWARENESS DAY" in the City of Sault Ste. Marie.