Legislation of anti-parent bill halted

Knesset committee cancels sessions intended to prepare a law that would make it easier for the State to take children from their parents.

Arutz Sheva ,

MK Shasha-Biton
MK Shasha-Biton
Flash 90

The Knesset Committee for Children's Rights announced yesterday (Monday) that it had cancelled two planned joint sessions with Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, which were intended to prepare legislation of a law that would make it easier for the State to take children from their parents.

The bill, known as "Separate Representation for a Minor", was presented in two versions: one by MK Shuli Moallem Refaeli (Jewish Home) and a second, much longer version, penned by the Justice and Welfare ministries.

Among other things, it would mandate that whenever proceedings to remove a child from its parents' custody were initiated, the State would appoint a lawyer to represent the child separately from its parents. If the child is under 14, the lawyer would also serve as the child's legal guardian as regards the proceedings, instead of the parents.

The parents, too, would receive a State lawyer.

The bill was presented as an attempt to assist parents by providing them with a free state attorney. However, it aroused the suspicion of the Family Movement, which recognized it as an attempt to render parents helpless in the face of an attempt to take away their children. The group explained that there was nothing to prevent the state-appointed lawyer representing the child from announcing that the child does not object to being taken out of its home, thus neutralizing any objection by the parents.

The Knesset Committee for Children's Rights preferred not to give a reason for the cancellation of the sessions. Theoretically, the reason could be technical, but this is highly unlikely. It is far more likely that key MKs were swayed by objections raised in Arutz Sheva articles by Family Movement founder Gil Ronen, by the presentation made by the Family Movement at the first joint committee session that discussed the bill, on May 7, and by the lobbying efforts of the Torat HaMedina program at Yeshivat Bet Orot in Jerusalem.