When One Surrogate Mom is Better Than Two Parents in Orange County

According to one political group's reasoning during a recent anti-gay campaign, “[Heterosexual] marriage protects children's physical and mental health, providing them with a deep measure of emotional and financial security.”

Try to explain that to Heather, 12, William, 9, and 7-year-old Donnie, who was born with methamphetamine in his blood.

These Orange County children have a married mother and father, but government officials decided it was in the best interests of the kids to permanently remove them from that family and–oh, my, will the world come to an end?–allow them to be raised by one woman.

What kind of family created these children? The kids' mother, Rachel, is a methamphetamine, marijuana and alcohol addict. She continued to consume meth during at least one of her pregnancies even though she knew it was incredibly harmful to her offspring. She also didn't bother with any prenatal care. Her fitness as a mother was further colored by a habit of severely beating all of her children, according to court records. Their father, Wayne, is a violent, convicted felon. He's not been able to suppress his own sexual desires for his daughter, acts her mother observed but did not report to law enforcement authorities. In full view of the kids, he punched, strangled and threatened their mother's life, according to court records. Time and again, this couple communicated with each other by yelling and breaking things. Interviewed by county officials, the kids told of their troubled lives and terrible nightmares. Over Rachel's objections, Orange County Juvenile Court authorities eventually ordered the children placed with their maternal grandmother. But Rachel claimed that the kids secretly wanted to live with her. She also claimed that her mother had inappropriately blocked visitations. This week, a California Court of Appeal based in Santa Ana considered Rachel's appeal. The justices found no evidence to support the mother's position. Indeed, they stated there is overwhelming evidence that the kids want to be raised by their grandmother and that the new environment is "loving." (In December, all of the kids refused a social worker's attempt to facilitate a monitored visit with their mother. They said they feared their mother would try to keep them.) The appellate court determined that there was "no error" by removing the kids from their parents and placing them with their grandmother. (All of the names are pseudonyms.) --R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly

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