Let me tell you a sad story….
Letitia Plummer is a dentist in Texas that is now running for 22nd congressional district seat in Texas.
Upon first glance, one would say she is obviously successful in her endeavors. However, her child has been being legally stolen from her.
Yes, LEGALLY stolen.
No amount of success is worth that tragedy.
Due to loopholes in the family law system, the father of her child enjoys all the rights to their child.
Plummer and her ex-husband had a surrogate pregnancy. Unfortunately for Plummer, her husband was a criminal lawyer and insisted on doing all the paper work for this different method of having a child. He ended up excluding her from important documents that gave her legal right to their child.
From my understanding, this means that in the eyes of the law, the child is not technically Plummer’s despite being the biological mother.
Plummer has tried to change her situation and has fought legally to obtain rights to her son. However, she was unsuccessful in doing so.
The good news is that she has worked to change the laws to prevent this situation from occurring in the future. For this, I greatly admire her. She will be helping others that are unfortunate enough to experience her same situation.
Here is an AMA she did on reddit.
She has shown that a normal person can still make a change for the better.
However, I don’t think that we should stop here.
The family law system is an incredibly broken system that is easily abused, and I believe that it needs to be completely re-evaluated.
From child support to custody decisions, all of it needs to be reviewed.
The current system claims to focus on the “best interest” of the child. However, I don’t believe that this is actually occurring.
If this was the case, both parents should be evaluated to determine who the best fit would be to hold domiciliary decisions. This should go hand in hand with having split equal time for the child between parents. Contingent on a healthy mental state of the parents along with a few other factors such as work schedules.
I don’t understand why mental evaluations are not the standard already. It’s no secret that mental illnesses are rampant in our society. According to National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), roughly 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness within a year.
The likelihood of a mental illness being present in either parent is probably much higher when you also factor in the stressors that typically come with separation of a spouse and from one’s children. It’s an incredibly hard process to go through that creates a lot of cognitive dissonance.
Determining biological parents and award them legal rights automatically via a DNA test is the first step to creating a better family law system for everyone.
I believe that mandated mental evaluations are the second step to creating a family law system that takes the child’s best interest into account.
Without first taking these two steps, how can the courts say they know what the best interest of the child?
I have a lot of other ideas that I think would benefit family court a lot more than the current system used. However, I am not a lawyer. I’m sure there are some definitive issues with the gears that are constantly turning in my head about how to fix this stuff.
Regardless, I won’t let that stop me from at least trying. If the wonderful Ms. Plummer can do it, then why can’t I?