Thieves of children

7 years old, seriously ill, another child forcibly removed from his mother and taken to a foster home. In the name of equal 'bigenitoriality' and law 54 on shared custody, which makes children suffer and diminishes the maternal role. But mother and father are not equivalent. That law must be changed
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On the night of 26-27 July, just after St Anne's Day, the patron saint of mothers and pregnant women, in VIterbo another child was taken by his mother and forcibly brought to the family home. He is 7 years old and a special child -suffers from a severe neurological disease- and his mother took care of him. But protective mothers are judged symbiotic, 'blamed' for parental alienation syndromemisogynistic and unscientific instrument for carrying out removals ordered to protect the right to bigenitoriality of the fathers.

A lot of effort has been put into convincing women that since 2006 a unfortunate law was creating irreversible damage to children. La law 54in particular in the first paragraph of the first article concerning bigenitoriality and shared custody, was the because of the reintroduction and legitimation of the father's potestative principle.

Born of a misunderstanding equal ideological graft in a framework of great inequalities between men and women, the law was wanted above all by separated fathers. which aimed at direct child support. The subsequent Pillon was nothing more than the reinforcement of Law 54 in order to obtain thedepriving the mother of the responsibility for the upbringing and economic management of the children.

Law 54 introduced the abstract principle of equality of custody by ignoring the natural relationships of children. Bigenitoriality has been pursued even against their will and implemented through theuse of public force even in cases where the mother has reported family violence.

 It is a phenomenon that has widespread throughout Europe. Mothers are forcibly placed by their fathers on a judicial course with theaccusation of hindering 'bigenitoriality'. They are assessed for their parental capacity, observed by educators, investigated by psychologists as to their suitability. Their responsibility and fear for the safety of their children are medicalised and criminalised. But mothers continue to resist because they know that parental responsibility can be shared, but not relationships.

The figures of mother and father are not equivalent. 

We know the community of professionals who poisoned the wells with theinvention of the malevolent mother. They have built a professional power in the service of deconstruction of the maternal, have been the enforcement arm of the law to the extent that some professionals have had to conflict with the scientific community over protocols that guarantee women and children. But it is only palliative care.

The constraints imposed by Law 54 are inescapable. Law 54 does not tell us what elements identify parenthood in contexts marked by differences; does not provide for the child to be heard, it objectifies children, field of power exercises without consideration of their needs for growth, continuity of ties and life contexts, without attaching any value to the specificity of the maternal bond. It does not provide exceptions for contexts marked by violence. The law has presided over the idea that a 'however father', with an ongoing criminal trial for mistreatment, is entitled to his share of the children's property. And so the spiral envelops fragile nuclei until it destroys them.

In addition to the human costs, there are the economic costs of defence: consultations, lawyers, appeals, travel, combating impoverishment because if you have no income you are not adequate to raise a child. Listening to mother victims is a descent into a circle of hell. The tragic dimension sweeps away all distinctions on European regulatory frameworks or abstract equalitarian legitimations.

Ladri di bambini
The door forced open to take the child from Viterbo

Like fugitive criminals, like hunted animals, mothers and children are dragged and separated. Doors torn off, children grabbed amidst screams, men forced to impose an inhuman legitimacy.

Women will not give up until politics initiates a process of revision of law 54. We have just asked the Prefects and we ask all those who are horrified to see children taken even from hospitals.

There are women who have not seen their children for 10 yearswho have four in foster homes or in temporary foster care, women who have been resisting for eight years, women who know that their child is in the care of a violent person. They ask inspectors in the courts, revision of the law, intervention by professional bodies.

The struggle of the mothers is the tragic unforeseen that opened our eyes to the current forms of female segregation and discrimination. A red thread links the identity attack on the sexed body, the propaganda of the uterus for rent, prostitution, professional precariousness, the end of the welfare system. The young mothers are the daughters of an attempt at redemption based on an rigged match: had to give up materially and symbolically their generative body. If we reopened this game, we would be a good step forward for the children and also for the demand for cohesion that was blown up by the pandemic.

The withdrawals must stop and the children must go home.

No commission: the rarefied times of politics will never be compatible with the current torment inflicted on children.

Maria Esposito Siotto


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