Poor Children in America: the State's Commodity

We, the Undersigned demand the return of our children. We, demand protection for our families and the right to assemble ourselves to support one another and heal our family. We demand to exercise our right to life, liberty, and happiness. We demand to exercise the right to self-determination, political association, freedom of choice to determine care providers, and self-governance.



“The foundation of national morality must be laid in private families.”-John Adams, 1778

“Everything useful and beneficial to man seems to be connected with obedience to the laws of his nature, the inclinations, the duties, and the happiness of individuals, resolve themselves into customs and habits favorable, in the highest degree, to society. In no case is this more apparent, than in the customs of nations respecting marriage.”-Samuel Williams, 1794

Finance and foster care
The National Commission on Children found that children often are removed from their families ``prematurely or unnecessarily” because federal aid formulas give states “a strong financial incentive " to do so rather than provide services to keep families together. 1 (National Commission on Children) When there is a financial benefit attached to poor children, it creates incentive to take custody and control of the child. Poor families account for 99.5% of all child welfare cases. (Nina Shapiro, 2021) As a result, children are a state commodity. In 2021, there were 22,977 youth in the Illinois foster care system. According to the Administration for Children and Families (ACFS), of the youth in care, 1% were sexually abused, 7% were physically abused, and 92% were in care for neglect. The overwhelming majority of children in the foster care system are in care because they are poor. DCFS indicated child neglect is most often poverty related rather than a parent willfully disregarding parental responsibility. (ASFS ILlinois, 2021) Courts in New York City and Illinois have found that families are repeatedly kept apart solely because they lack decent housing. 2(NCCPR, n.d)

“What you have now is an incentive to initially remove the child and an incentive to adopt them out,” says David Sanders, former head of the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services,
one of the nation’s largest child welfare systems. “I think when you put these two together, there is a problem.”(National Coalition for Child Protection Reform, 2023)Low-income, single parent homes are the most vulnerable to exploitation.

The Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) advances developmental science and promotes its use to improve human lives. Established in 1933 by the National Academy of Sciences, SRCD is an interdisciplinary scientific organization with members from more than 50 countries. [The following ]Statement of Evidence was authored by invited experts in the field, and designed to summarize leading scientific evidence to inform policy decisions and improve the lives of children and families.

“research documented far reaching effects of these separations into adulthood, including increased risk for mental health problems, poor social functioning, insecure attachment, disrupted stress reactivity, and mortality.’

“Parental separation is considered a toxic stressors, an experience that engages strong and prolonged activation of the body’s stress-management system The physiological and psychological toll of early life stress, including parental separation, changes how the body responds to stress in the long term, disrupting higher-order cognitive and affective processes as well as negatively altering brain structures and functioning. Such stressors put children at greater risk for a multitude of health and psychological impairments, including anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, lower IQ, obesity, immune system functioning, physical growth, cancer, heart and lung disease, stroke, and morbidity.’ (The Science is Clear: Separating Families has Long-term Damaging Psychological and Health Consequences for Children, Families, and Communities, 2018)

Authors, (alphabetical order): Johayra Bouza, University of Miami |Daisy E. Camacho-Thompson, Ph.D., Reach Institute & Arizona State University| Gustavo Carlo, Ph.D., University of Missouri| Ximena Franco, Ph.D., Frank Porter Graham Development Institute & University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill | Cynthia García Coll, Ph.D., Albizu University | Linda C. Halgunseth, Ph.D., University of Connecticut | Amy Marks, Ph.D., Suffolk University | Gabriela Livas Stein, Ph.D., University of North Carolina-Greensboro | Carola Suárez-Orozco, Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles | Rebecca M. B. White, Ph.D., Arizona State University

Government Obligation
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948. Human rights are inalienable, indivisible, and interdependent. As a member of the United Nations, the U.S. is bound by the UN Charter to uphold international law in the observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

States have obligations and duties under international law to respect, protect and fulfill human rights. States must refrain from interfering with or curtailing the enjoyment of human rights, protect individuals and groups against human rights abuses, and take positive action to facilitate the enjoyment of basic human rights. (U.S. date of admission October 24, 1945)

The Universal Human Rights
Article 5: No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Article 10: Trials should be public and tried in a fair manner by an impartial and independent tribunal.
Article 16: 3. The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.
Article 12: No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home, or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honor and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.
Article 18: Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
Article 20: 1. Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association. 2. No one may be compelled to belong to an association.
Article 25: 2. Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance.All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protections.

The Right to Life is the Right to Family