By Julie Barrett, Founder, Conservative Ladies of Washington
The first time I realized the government was “co-parenting” with me was April 2013. I was going through a legal battle to protect my children and I had a judge in Snohomish County tell me that if I took my children (very young at the time) to see a therapist I would be in contempt of court and she would “throw me in jail.” I wasn’t scared. I was mad. To be frank, I was PISSED!
These are my children. I am their mother. I love them more than anything in the world. I like to think I run a close second to God’s love for them, although, I know I’m no match for that. Still…I know what my children need and I don’t need some judge to tell me what I can or cannot do to help my children. I couldn’t believe this! This was the first time I learned that judges are elected. I made a mental note, but I had far too much on my plate to worry about finding a replacement to run against this judge. Not even close to being on my radar at the time.
I did manage to find a “work around.” My children had been through trauma and it wasn’t good. They desperately needed therapy and the “government funded” therapy had come to an end and I did not have sole decision making to allow me to get them a private therapist. If I can’t take them to a therapist, I’ll just take them to the pediatrician every time there is a problem – be it night terrors, anxiety, you name it. I marched them right into the pediatrician’s office and made sure it went into their medical record. I knew I would need this in order to get the court to see that my children did, in fact, need the help of a therapist.
Fast forward to 2018 and my only son was in the ER being given a mental health assessment. I learned he had been given a drug test in addition to the mental health assessment. Since he was 14 he would have to give consent for the hospital to release the results of the drug test to me. He didn’t. At the time, we were in crisis and trying to figure out the next step, so I didn’t think too much of it. Within a couple weeks my son was off to an amazing wilderness therapy program in Arizona – Anasazi. (The quick spoiler: today he is truly an amazing young man and we are so proud of him!)
Fast forward once again to 2021 and one of my 14 year old daughters (I got the two-fer deal) had a crisis of her own (I think something about age 14 and kiddos with trauma) and ended up in the ER at Children’s Hospital in Seattle. The staff there were far worse to deal with than the ones I had dealt with at Swedish a few years earlier with my son. They were not forthcoming at all. They didn’t want to tell me anything. They even advocated and assisted my 14 year old daughter in sending her to a homeless youth shelter in Seattle. The Paul G. Allen Hope Center, to be precise.
She’s 14, she doesn’t have to go home. She can choose to go live in a homeless shelter.
Ok, I think. Let’s see how well she likes that. Well, as soon as she set foot in their door they were working fast and furiously to help my daughter file a CHINS (Child In Need of Services) Petition. This is for homeless, abused or neglected children. My daughter is none of those things. They even got her a lawyer to help her file this petition so that her mom couldn’t “pull consent.” What is even going on here? We couldn’t believe it. We had to work very fast to rescue our daughter from this shelter. It took us 8 Seattle Police Officers. I truly believe if we had been one day later it would have been too late. Even after we got her out of there the shelter had contacted a lawyer who then contacted our daughter in the hospital.
Fast forward once again. Sorry if you’re getting dizzy. Welcome to the club. We’ve gotten our daughter out of Washington where we cannot parent. She’s in a state where we get to know what’s going on and make decisions regarding her care. It wasn’t easy to get her out of Washington, but we are NOT going to co-parent with the government so that left us no choice but to get her to a different state.
In Washington, 13 year olds have the right to full confidentiality when it comes to their mental and sexual health. Your 13 – 17 year old can get an abortion and sex changing hormones without your knowledge or consent. In my opinion, this is called co-parenting with the government. If you’re a parent you know that a teenager is incapable of making big, life-altering decisions. Shoot, I can hardly get my teenagers to clean their rooms and take a shower everyday. It is ludicrous to think that teenagers are capable of making decisions regarding their mental health and sexual health without the help of parents who love them and want them to grow into healthy adults.
It’s time for us to stand up to a government that thinks they’re going to co-parent with us. We don’t need it and we definitely don’t want it.
This state messed with the wrong mama!
PS…judges are elected. So are all these other crazies that put this crap into law.