BRAMPTON, Ont.—An 18-year-old from Mississauga, Ont. has made the unprecedented request to be granted custody of his two younger brothers in hopes of bringing an end to a decade of family “warfare.”
“My concerns are not as to [which parent] is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ . . . but how to bring back some sanity to our family,” said the teen’s eight-page affidavit to the court.
“My brothers and I are close,” he added. “I think we have become closer with all the conflict.
“I am determined to make sure they are not harmed.”
The teen claims his parents’ ongoing conflict has turned his siblings into “subjects of some social engineering experiment.”
There are many issues involved, but at its core the case is about parental alienation, or warring parents using their children as weapons against each other.
The soft-spoken teenager, who soon will turn 19, said his 12- and 14-year-old brothers are “at risk of serious harm,” and he’s prepared to put his education on hold, move out of his father’s subsidized apartment, and apply for welfare—or sue his parents for support—so he can raise his brothers and “end the conflict.”
The two boys have been in foster care since last December after they declined to participate in what the older brother considers “voodoo science”—a controversial family workshop by U.S. parental alienation expert Randy Rand—and then refused to return to live with their mother, the custodial parent.
The mother, concerned about her sons’ mental stability and the ongoing alienation, had the younger ones admitted for an assessment by a child and adolescent psychiatrist at St. Joseph’s Health Centre.
After five weeks, the doctor became concerned the children felt “so trapped in the legal system,” and that it might create a dangerous sense of despair, so he recommended they be taken into Children’s Aid Society care.
The court filings paint a picture of a severely dysfunctional family and, according to the teen’s lawyer, Jeffrey Wilson, one of the most “extreme” cases of parental alienation to come before a family court judge in Ontario.
None of the family members can be named, along with identifying details of the case, by court order.
The mother, who separated from the father in 1999, has accused him of an orchestrated campaign to turn the boys against her.
She fears the teen is an “agent” of the husband and really trying to help him win custody through a back door.
The father and eldest son have accused her of physically abusing the boys.
A ruling on the teen’s request for standing is expected April 20.