A couple in Trenton, New Jersey chose Nazi-inspired names for their three children: Adolph Hitler Campbell, JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell, and Honszlynn Hinler Campbell. Weird? Yes. Damaging? Very likely. Newsworthy? You bet!
The national media found this story when a major chain grocery store refused to embellish little Adolph’s chocolate birthday cake with his legal name. Apparently, the couple found a Wal-Mart in a neighboring community that accepted the assignment.
The case then came to the attention of child protection authorities in New Jersey who obtained custody of the children and placed them in foster care. The burning question was “Could the State remove the children because of their unusual names?”.
The Family Court determined that there was no evidence of abuse or neglect, however, the State appealed the matter to a higher court who stayed the Family Court order and kept the children in foster care until the appellate court could hear and decide the case.
This week the appeal court found that the children’s parents were not fit to have custody of the children, however, the court did not mention the oddity of the children’s names. Instead, the court focused on the unspecified but significant physical and psychological challenges the couple faced and their lack of insight as to their difficulties.
The evidence also showed that both parents had been abused themselves and could barely read or write. The naming of their children was indicative of their problems.
Perhaps with professional assistance and personal motivation, this couple can be taught appropriate parenting skills, but for now the children are in a better environment.
There can be no doubt that abuse and neglect takes many forms as can be attested to by lawyers who practice family law. It is equally true that “Child abuse casts a shadow as long as a lifetime.” American author Herbert Ward (1861 – 1932)
P.S. Honszlynn Hinler may be an attempt to write Heinrich Himmler?
Lawdiva aka Georgialee Lang