Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Dangers of Parental Visitation

There's a story in the news today that a father killed his son and then himself while on a supervised visit in Manchester, NH. These stories make me sad because I can relate all too well. The courts mandate these visits with crazy, violent parents and then everyone wonders how something could have possibly gone wrong. It's just mind boggling sometimes.

Before Christopher's birth mother lost all parental rights, I used to have to take Christopher to supervised visits at the DCF office near her house. This was three hours away from our house and obviously a strain for both Christopher and myself. There was six hours in a car plus the stress and confusion of dealing with a parental visit. Never fun on a good day.

I had asked if we could move these visits to an office closer to us but his social worker said no. She was concerned about her safety.  Apparently mom was violent and she didn't know what the mom would do so all visits required an armed guard in the room. The mother's social worker actually had a protective order in place because she had been attacked by the mother. And this is someone I had to bring my child to on a monthly basis? Sigh.

The social workers never worried about Christopher's safety, only their own. However Christopher's social worker did tell me to be careful as well and warned me to stay clear of any place where we might run into his family members. So after the visits, instead of stopping for dinner, we would high tail it back onto the highway and out of town back home.

Thankfully nothing physical ever happened during Christopher's visits but the threat of violence was always there. I think it's crazy that I even had to bring him to visits with such an unstable person. But lucky for us, she lost parental rights soon thereafter and we've never seen her since.

As for the little boy in Manchester, NH, may you rest in peace Joshua Savyon. I hope you are in a better place.

To read more about this story, please click here.

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