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Most people don't know, but years ago I published an aricle on the termination of parental rights. The legal standard of proof for terminating parental rights is very high -- somewhere above the preponderance of the evidence and the criminal standard of beyond a reasonable doubt. It is called "clear and convincing evidence." This is as it should be. As far as I know, teaching children Nazi propaganda is not anywhere in the realm of legally acceptable reasons for termination.

However, there is a concern when the consequences of naming your kid "Adolph Hitler" is that he gets shunned by the community -- the bakery wouldn't provide him with a birthday cake with his name on it. Even this is not enough in my book. After all, kids gets shunned for being from gay, Jewish, Morman families.

When I first heard this I wondered if the parents liked Hitler so much why didn't the father have the courage to go before a judge and get his own name changed to Adolph Hitler? Or even the mother?!

Sorry, the example I will give is simply absurd, but what do you think it should be done if the name of the child was 'Kill Me'? Or maybe 'Killer'?

While these parents are clearly idiots, they have do not meet the standard for taking children. If so, there should be a lot of muslim children being taken from their families if we follow this logic.

Great Post!

As a former NJ DYFS employee, I REALLY feel bad for these children. Here is a situation where both the parents and the state believe that they are correct in their respective evaluations of their cases. As odd as it may seem, in most CPS cases, many parents acknowledge that there was some wrongdoing due to drug abuse, neglect, physical abuse, etc. that gave rise to the investigation.

Mario Rizzo: Does your article speak to the initial removal. Termination of Parental Rights is the culmination of a series of onerous, and emotionally-exhausting "Fact-Finding" court appearances for both children and parents. So while the standards for termination of parental rights are high, the standards for the initial removal are nothing more than "gut-feeling." And believe me, the initial removal "hurts everyone the most!"

In Germany today, you cannot chose names that the state considers inappropriate.
For example, here in the USA the name McKenzie can be assigned to either gender. In Germany, it would be ruled only a name fitting for a male and you would be prohibited from naming your daughter McKenzie.
As for the NJ neo Nazis, they are simply moronic white trash and should be totally ignored. They are receiving exactly what they intended and that is media attention.
They were featured in local papers months ago and, of course, this only encouraged them. They soon will be on TV as our compliant - and stupid - media, ever willing to be manipulated, gives them copious publicity.

Brian,

No, the standard is not for an initial removal. I wrote about the 1982 Supreme Court case, Santosky v. Kramer, which concerned "permanent neglect" and the final termination of parental rights. A lot of misery can be caused before that point.

Mario

While the parent's views are evidence of some type of problem fitting into what we understand as normal society (progressive, non-violent, etc), I find it odd that so many people jump to a unique cause for this:

"As for the NJ neo Nazis, they are simply moronic white trash..."

"...these parents are clearly idiots..."

Buchanan and Tullock said it as well as any I have read: "we assume that men's interests will differ for reasons other than those of ignorance."

Having said that, this quote is simply a modeling assumption by no means does it exclude the possibility of real ignorance, but that evidence should be given clearly if ignorance is going to be stated as a conclusion, as the sole cause.

It is a far more interesting world that understands the difference between systematic perversion and stupidity. If all deviance is going to be measured and "trimmed" at one standard deviation, for example, we quickly unravel society to true chaos. I believe this type of social norming was captured most eloquently by the poem written by Martin Niemöller.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/36/Martin_Niemoeller.jpg

Niemöller's sentiment is echoed in the courage of this post as well as in landmark cases such as the ACLU vs. the village of Skokie.

We may bitterly disagree, but laws exist for more than making our neighbors choose our standards for their lives.

I went to school with two sisters, the one's middle name was "war eagle" and the younger actually was called "tiger." (an homage to Auburn University)

Somehow I am reminded of this when I re-read the post.

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