But what if the people you actually need to protect them from are the people who know them?
What if you blogged about life with your child - what they enjoyed doing, how you chose to bring them up, the fact that you chose not to eat meat, and how you thought the school system had failed your autistic child? What if you blogged about your aspirations to take your child on the journey of a lifetime - to buy an RV, hit the road and take your child on an incredible life changing, educational journey, where they would learn more then they ever would sat in a classroom? What if your ex partner and his family - who lived thousands of miles away and you didn't see, didn't agree with how you chose to bring up your child? What if someone chose to use your blog against you? What if they reported you to CPS (Social services), and used your blog and the record you had created of your life with your child, to try and prove to CPS that you were an unfit mother? All this, because you chose to homeschool your autistic son who didn't fit into the school system, you brought your son up as a vegetarian, and you were planning to take him on the road to see what else life had to offer because you couldn't afford the apartment you were renting as his Dad had stopped paying child-support, and you had quit work to look after him.
This is what happened to Ani Lacey (@aniknits) who is now blogging under her new blog "Bring Nick Home" after she was censored and advised to delete her old blog to prevent it being used against her. In the USA - the land of the declaration that promises "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" for all, Ani had her 5 yr old autistic son stolen away from her in the middle of the night just for wanting more out of life for her son.
On the 29th of May, police and family services in North Carolina, USA came to Ani's house in the early hours, and removed her son from her care as they had received phone calls from the child's grandparents and father, who haven't seen the child in years, complaining that Ani was intending on taking her child on the road. They didn't agree with her home schooling, vegetarian, socialist, non-conformist lifestyle. There was no evidence of abuse, neglect, or mis-treatment. He was removed purely on the basis of hearsay from family members thousands of miles away. Ani was mistreated, handcuffed and suffered a fractured wrist purely because she was seen to be a trouble maker for requiring a warrant for CPS to enter her home.
I am shocked that in 2012, this kind of injustice is still alive and well in the USA and throughout the world. If you do not conform to what society deems as "the norm", you are labelled as a trouble maker and an incapable parent, who must have her child removed from her care.
I have experienced this kind of injustice in my family. I have had family members removed from their family by social services on the basis of hearsay, misjudgment and error. I know that there are people, who if they found my blog, could use it against me in spite. I know what Ani has experienced, but I cannot for one second imagine what she is going through and how she feels. Yesterday I wished I could just get 5 minutes peace from my kids, and felt immediately guilty knowing that Ani does not have that luxury. Last night I kissed my children whilst they were asleep, and I cried, knowing that Ani was not able to do the same to her son. Removing a child from their innocent parents is one of the cruelest things one human can do to another. I cannot imagine the pain Ani is going through, and I admire her courage, strength and determination in what must be such an awful time for her.
Please sign this petition which is petitioning for Nick to be returned back to his mother - where he belongs. Each time someone signs, an email is sent to the Director of Youth and Family Services. Please share with others and encourage them to sign the petition.
Also, please remember Ani, and her son Nick in your thoughts and prayers, and pray that this little boy will be returned to his Mom soon.