I am the natural father of twins, a boy and a girl. For the first seven years of their lives, I was their only primary caretaker. OK, I happen to be gay, but these children are mine, and biologically sprang from my genetics as surely as they were born of a surrogate mother.
I fathered two children through paid surrogacy while with my ex-boyfriend. The genetic mother, who is my ex-boyfriend’s sister, was the paid surrogate.
It is well-settled law and common sense that with the rights of parentage also comes the responsibility of parentage. It is this very reason why I stayed fully committed to raising these beautiful children in a safe and loving environment.
The decisions and choices I made for my family and to keep my children safe were mines to make. They were legal to make and they were the right ones to make.
As their father, I have the legal presumption that the choices I make for them are in their best interest.
But… it seems that the State of New York really does not care for constitutionally protected rights.
For two agonizing years, the family court tried to override my decisions for my children in every and any way it could. Each time the lower court tried, it was stopped by the higher court. Why? The answer for most would seem to be rather straightforward. I was completely within my rights as a parent, according to the “then” law to decide what was in the best interest of my children.
Late 2016, in New York, this became no longer the case, and the courts succeeded in trampling over my rights as a fit biological and loving parent.
Shortly after on February 14, 2017, my children were taken from me.
Since then I have been fighting with every fiber in my body to bring them home.
The courts have taken my formerly carefree children away from me and imposed lives of anxiety, nervous worry, abuse and isolation on them.
My “fitness” as a father is unchallenged and my record unblemished.
The simple truth is, we have given such domestic relations judges much too much power. The role and power of Judges in Domestic Relations cases are all but completely unrestrained.
Why have the courts of my state denied my children a stable home with their loving natural father?
The reasons are simple:
Thanks to Governor Cuomo’s agenda and his appointment of Judges to carry it out, New York courts have sidestepped the state legislature and redefined who a parent is and how one becomes a parent. Multiple bills proposed over almost a decade have failed to pass the necessary steps to become law on this subject, obviously because the legislators felt New York was not ready for such drastic life alternating changes.
So what’s a Governor to do when the Senate won’t pass his bills? He creates his own personal Judiciary to execute his agenda. The result is activist judges legislating from the bench with parents and children paying the price.
A custody battle over the children between my ex-boyfriend, his sister, and myself went in an unprecedented and unhappy direction.
I lost custody of my children at the hands of the state of New York as collateral damage to further their progressive push to advance LGBT rights, no matter what the cost.
I lost custody of my children, not because I was unfit in any way, but because the court took issue with me fighting to keep them with me, their natural father.
This has to stop. I have made the decision to do my part. I have made the decision to take on these decisions and I need your help in doing so.
My little nine-year-old twins were once carefree children. Now, they struggle academically, emotionally, and socially. They constantly ask, “How much longer before we can come home, Daddy?” I wish I could tell them. I cared for my kids for seven years and was labeled by a court-appointed psychologist a “stellar” parent. But this wasn’t enough.
New York Courts retroactively named my ex-boyfriend (the surrogate mother’s brother) as a parent with custody and superior rights, in preference to both biological parents.
This decision effectively abolished my rights as a biological parent and degraded the status of the children’s biological mother to that of an inferior, almost a stranger.
Yet now, brother and sister are mother and father to the same children, my children.
Only in a New York Minute could that happen. And it has.
What’s most egregious is that, in my case, the Court has redefined the nuclear family by naming a court invented third “parent” as proper placement of my children… when this “court invented parent” has, of all people in my children’s lives, the least legal right and least significant involvement and connections.
The end result here is a net loss of quality of life for my children and for me.
But the New York Court’s decision affirms the most arbitrary and capricious arrogation of power as “the law of the case.”
So the State as Parens Patriae is the real winner:
The power of the state judiciary to wreak havoc on parents and children’s lives is the real value here.
Freedom and family autonomy are the victims.
A surrogate mother’s brother, who had only secondary roles in my children’s lives is now “primary custodial parent,” or his hired babysitters are, actually. This is simply preposterous.
I have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear my case and bring my children home with the goal of protecting them and the primacy of biological parenthood.
Conservatives, Liberals, Christians, and atheists should be able to agree that the natural, biological parents have the first presumption of rights to the care, custody and nurturing of their children. The Supreme Court has reaffirmed many times that that “the fundamental liberty interest of natural parents… is protected by the Fourteenth Amendment”
(Santosky v. Kramer), noting that “the biological connection” between a father and his children “offers the natural father an opportunity that no other male possesses to develop a relationship with his offspring.”
At the present time, there is no remedy except through the judiciary. Our courts have too much power, without clear rules and with insufficient guidelines on how to apply what is there.
This is not a gay-straight issue. This nightmare could happen to anyone and is happening in New York and around the nation to both gay biological parents and straight ones alike.
So Mom and Dad beware and hold your kids close.
I, the biological father, cared for my precious children for seven years. I was their primary financial provider. I loved them, kept them safe, tucked them in every night, woke with them every morning, taught them, and saw them succeed socially, emotionally, and educationally.
Without so much of a whisper of unfitness, I sit here without them.
I live five minutes away from them and have been reduced to every other weekend visitation with absolutely no say or decision-making ability as to how their lives are shaped.
Their childhoods have forever been negatively affected and their precious little lives as they once knew it turned upside down.
Refusing to give up, I am determined to fight for my family and for other families, straight or gay, who are or could be negatively affected by this law the same way that mine has been.
The air I breathe and the fight I fight is for the sole purpose of bringing my children home.
The loss of time, even for a moment, is a loss no parent should suffer at the act of a court system.
I want my kids to know that I love them and that I am willing to go to the end of the earth in order to bring them home, where they belong.”
My name is Frank Golio, I am the loving biological father of two beautiful children, who are engaged in the fight of his life to protect the rights of ALL biological parents.
I pray you will join me. Please share this story.