kidsnav.gif (4714 bytes)

Contact Us

Draft Agenda - Meeting with Senators
Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand

Summary - what follows are some concrete guidelines we are using as we approach a personal meeting with our US Senators on protecting Family Rights.  It should help the Senator's staff in planning for the meeting and also members of our group -- it can hopefully be used as a guideline as other face-to-face meetings occur.  You feedback is welcome, send comments to jmurtari@AKidsRight.Org


To allow the Senators to hear directly from loving mothers and fathers on how their relationship with their children was jeopardized or destroyed by Court proceedings as a result of divorce, separation, or child abuse allegations.  To give him a chance to question the parents about their experience and feelings.  We all discovered we had no real protected right to be parents to our own children, that all was subjective and dependent on the decision of a single judge.

To expose the Senators to the concept that we want Family Rights, a human right, to be recognized and protected.  WE ARE NOT calling for MORE FEDERAL INTERFERENCE, but less. The recognition of established constitutional protections to protect families. We only ask the same principles used to protect liberty, also protect the bond between parents and children (probably an even more valued freedom). There ought to be a "significant barrier" the system has to cross before they can interfere with our family life.

1) The right to counsel.

2) The right to be presumed innocent and deserving of an equal relationship with your kids.

3) The right to protection of a jury. The "state" needs to prove you were a demonstrated serious and intentional threat to your child.

NOT Goals:

  • To ask the Senators about their feelings.
  • To ask the Senators abpit their positions on reform.
  • To complain about child support.
  • To complain about conduct of specific people: lawyers, judges, former spouses.
  • To give 'legal arguments' about what went wrong in your case.

Meeting Guidelines:

  • 60 minutes of real content.
  • No questions of the Senators.
  • Entire proceeding recorded audio/visual for later Internet display.  A public meeting.
  • Short five minute intro statements from each Senator and AKidsRight.Org group coordinator.

Parent Participant Guidelines:

  • Small group of 8 -12 people.
  • Mothers and Fathers.
  • Parents separated from children by action of former spouse.
  • Parents separated from children by action of social services.
  • All parents must be willing to be 'public' with their entire story.  Already have it posted at our Hall of Shame page.
  • Prepare a two page summary of your story for the Senator's staff in advance. Include a picture of you and your children.
  • Prepared to give a two-three minute presentation of the shock, pain, and indignity caused to your family by the present process.  Your feelings.

Follow Up:

We will be ready to participate in any follow on discussions with legislative staff.  We would like the Senator to call for Congressional Hearings to investigate the need for protecting Family Rights. To receive a detailed reply from him on the need for such hearings and why/why not.