Mother's Dying Wish' Shouldn't Supersede Father's Rights


Your recent editorial on the Elian Gonzales case is the most blatant sexist piece of writing I have seen in many years.

The gist of the editorial seems to be that the hypothetical wishes of the dead mother should take precedence over the wishes of the living father.

I say "hypothetical wishes" because there is no evidence of what her motivationvation was. Elian's Miami relatives say that she wished to bring him to a life of freedom. The facts are that she was not related to them and, as far as anyone knows, never once spoke with them.

A more reasonable evaluation of the facts would be:

1. She had a boyfriend who was in some difficulty in Cuba.

2. She elected to accompany him on his attempt to escape.

3. By so doing, she placed herself and her son in grave danger.

This is basically a case of custodial interference and should have been treated as such from the beginning.

My concern is not so much this specific case, but the perpetuation of sexual bias represented by your editorial. As a professional psychologist, I have seen the same sexual bias reflected in the courts.

In the Elian case you advocate giving custody to distant relatives, who had no relationship to the mother, on the supposition that somehow they are of like mind with a woman they have never met. That is carrying the maternal bias to a ridiculous extreme.

Blair Osterlund


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