By Terri LaPoint, Real News Spark
September 15, 2019

Families Matter. Children deserve to have a relationship with both parents. American families are being separated, by family courts and Child Protective Services. Defund ASFA and Title IV-D. Stop medical kidnapping. Stop destroying families. Our children are not for sale.

These are just a few of the messages that numerous family rights groups brought to Washington DC last week in a concert, rally, and many meetings with legislators and legislative aides. They are many groups, representing millions of Americans, but the basic message is the same – our children matter, and they need their families.

On Sunday, September 8, there was an all-day concert under the banner of “4 the Children” with Robert Slaven. “Joyce the Voice” Catalano and Ed Elliot organized the schedule for the day. Musicians entertained, pouring their hearts out in song, while advocates talked to passers-by about the injustices they see happening to families in family courts.

On Monday, 4 the Children and Francesca Amato of Punished for Protecting sponsored a group of speakers for an Educational Panel at Congress to talk about the ways that Child Protective Services and family courts are tearing families apart.

Panel speakers were:

  • Dr. Carlos Rivera – retired pediatrician and family advocate
  • Chris Marks – Native American parental rights political activist
  • Francesca Amato – Author of “Punished 4 Protecting”
  • David Jose – researcher of law and Bible
  • Terri LaPoint – former lead investigative journalist for

It was an incredible honor to speak on behalf of families at 1300 Longworth House Office Building – a beautiful Congressional hearing room with a stunning view of our nation’s Capitol Building.

Francesca Amato secured the meeting months ago, but was told that it would be in the Rayburn Building. A congressional aide at Longworth showed us in his notebook that it was scheduled for months to be in a hearing room in Longworth. It was a miscommunication that didn’t reach the Educational Panel Speakers until shortly before the meeting.

Despite this, our voices were heard and continue to be heard by legislators and by legislative aides, and the event is on the record at Congress. It was truly a historic day for families – a day that I will never forget. We the People are being heard.

Watch the Educational Panel presentation at 1300 Longworth House Office Building here:

Throughout the week, many advocates in this group and other family rights groups who were present in DC walked the halls of Congress, meeting with many Representatives, Senators, and legislative aides, speaking on behalf of hundreds of thousands of Americans whose lives have been torn apart by Child Protective Services and Family Courts.

Grandmother Kathleen Arthur brought together advocates, parents, and grandparents to meet with legislators throughout the week about reforming child welfare, specifically requesting that Congress defund the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 (ASFA) and Title IV-D.

Some of the people in DC speaking out for families include:

  • Attorney Connie Reguli – founder of the Family Forward Project, a grassroots group of more than 14,000 people.
  • Mark Ludwig – Executive Director of Americans for Equal Shared Parenting
  • Kyle Paskewitz – Family Court Reform USA
  • Merissa Hamilton – Republican Liberty Caucus
  • Chris Rainbolt – Advocate for veterans and children
  • as well as parents, grandparents, and former foster children who shared their stories with legislators and legislative aides.

The meetings have been very productive. All activists involved have reported that they expect good results for families to occur.