The scientist parents believe in a free range parenting method, where the child from infancy has a more independent lifestyle. The government doesn’t believe in their parenting methods, so they’ve now decided to take their kids away from them. Is this really neglect or is this family a victim of government regulation?
Child Protection Services have seized the two ‘free range’ children of a mother and father whose unusual approach to parenting has become a national debate.
Danielle and Alexander Meitiv, both scientists in Maryland, made headlines just before Christmas when police found Rafi, 10 and Dvora, six, wandering the sidewalk on their own.
When questioned, the Meitivs explained they believe in a so-called ‘free-range’ approach to parenting, which encourages independence from infancy.
But on Sunday, after multiple warnings from police, the children were taken into custody while wandering around a park on their own.
In March, the CPS found the couple guilty of neglect for letting the children walk home from school alone.
It meant the agency would start a file on the family’s activities and whereabouts for at least five years.
The Meitivs hit back at the ruling, insisting they would continue to bring up their own children as they see fit – whatever the consequences.
Unsubstantiated child neglect is not a criminal charge, but is in most cases a prelude to them.
It usually comes when the CPS has deemed parents to have neglected their children, but has insufficient information or witnesses to press charges or take action.
This seemingly arbitrary ability to place a family under investigation and rule against them has left the Meitiv’s, who both work as scientists, furious.
In March, Danielle Meitiv told the Washington Post they were planning to appeal the decision.
‘We don’t feel it was appropriate for an investigation to start, much less conclude that we are responsible for some form of child neglect,’ she told the Post.
‘What will happen next time?’ she said.
‘We don’t know if we will get caught in this Kafkaesque loop again.’
On December 20, police in Silver Spring picked up Rafi and Dvora walking home on a Saturday afternoon from the park after a member of the public reported it.
The Meitiv’s told police they often let their children walk on their own and that the kids knew the area well.
The CPS sent the Meitiv’s a letter on February 20 informing them their investigation had been closed and told the Washington Post they would not be commenting on the process.
Read more: dailymail.co.uk