Did and should New Jersey parents who named one of their children Adolf Hitler — and another after the white supremacist Aryan Nation movement — lose their children because of their actions?
That’s a child custody debate being played out now in New Jersey.
The Huffington Post recently reported on the legal battle being waged by the parents who in 2008 had their children removed from their home. The state of New Jersey says it removed the children because of alleged abuse and parental incompetence. The parents disagree, saying that the only reason their children were removed was because of their controversial names.
According to sources, the parents have been picketing outside of a child services office in New Jersey in an effort to have their children removed from the state foster care system and placed back in their home. The parents earlier had told NBC 10 that a New Jersey court cleared them of any abuse or neglect charges. The children, though, have not yet been returned to the parents’ custody.
This child custody case, not surprisingly, has stirred up plenty of emotion and shock in New Jersey and across the country. Some wonder whether the parents have had their right to free speech denied. After all, these critics argue, parents have the right to name their children whatever they’d like, right?
Many take the other view, preferring to stay on the side of keeping children in state custody. We don’t know enough about the alleged abuse and related charges in order to safely assume where the kids are or are not the safest. The state can rarely be too careful in cases of possible child abuse.
It’s still unclear whether these parents will get their children back, or whether the children are better off living in their parents’ homes. But the controversry over this child custody case is certain to continue no matter what happens.
The Huffington Post: “Deborah And Heath Campbell, Parents Of Adolf Hitler And JoyceLynn Aryan Nation, Fight To Get Their Kids Back,” Oct. 27, 2011