How far should the State Accommodate Parental Responsibility?

This is the case of two families who had been arrested at a UK airport on suspicion of intending to ultimately travel to Syria, a country currently at war with parts controlled by the terrorist organisations.

Pending the investigation of the criminal case, the children were removed from their parents and put into the care of foster parents.

The families argued in a family court that the children should be returned to them, given that there were enough measures to ensure that they would neither travel outside of the country nor place the children at risk of harm.

In reaching it’s decision the court looked at the risk of the parents evading the protective measures put in place to prevent them from travelling to Syria and the consequences for the children if they did.

How far should the State Accommodate Parental Responsibility?

It was concluded that the protective measures proposed by the family provided a very high degree of assurance that the family would abide by the protective measures if the children were to be returned to their case. The assessed that the small risk was counter-balanced by the children’s needs to be returned to their parents.

It is difficult for one not to ask themselves the uncomfortable question of whether parents who have been suspected of a criminal offence carrying custodial sentence should have their children removed from their care. There is always the possibility that the parent may actually be found guilty of the offence and the inevitable separation that will cause. There is also the risks of the parent having a distractive influence on the child.

On the other hand, it would be desperately crawl to deprive a parent / child relationship, if the child was being raised adequately, without risk to them both physically or mentally.

How far should the State Accommodate Parental Responsibility?

The law will  always consider these cases solely based what is best in the interest of the child, taking into account their physical and emotional needs and who is best placed to provide them.