For Immediate Release

Fagan "Kidnapping" Case Underscores Need for Reform of State's Family Courts

BOSTON, May 27, 1999-- Acts of child kidnapping expose the failure of judges to deal fairly with the most explosive kind of civil litigation: child custody battles.

Rather than judge Stephen Fagan on his decision twenty years ago to kidnap his children during a custody dispute, the Fatherhood Coalition asserts that it is the Family Court system that should be examined, and judged, for creating circumstances whereby a parent decides to break the law to protect his children. Fagan's decision may have been a vote of 'no confidence' in the judicial system. It failed then, and it often fails now to protect fathers and their children.

Child kidnapping, such as Fagan's, is an example of vigilante justice. Vigilantism occurs when there is a systematic failure in the established system of justice and law enforcement. Around the time the Fagans were engaged in their custody battle, a vigilante organization named the "Guardian Angels" was patrolling the New York City subways and inner-city communities to protect people from criminal predation. The Angels remained controversial, but no one denies that, at that time, law enforcement was unable to provide an adequate level of protection for the inner city.

Temporary custody of Fagan's daughters had been granted to an alcoholic and neglectful mother, and the final judgment was in the works. Stephen Fagan believed that Judge Edward Ginsberg's court was incapable of making the correct custody decision. He seems to have made the decision that protecting his daughters was more important than obeying the law. This is a decision each member of the Fagan family has had to live with. The daughters maintain, by their defense of their father, that he made the right decision.

Ideally, parental kidnapping should never happen. Divorce and custody battles must be demilitarized, but the conflict level has never been higher, owing to the omnipresent influence of feminism and its 'winner take all' agenda.

The Fatherhood Coalition asserts that many fathers in Massachusetts have one thing in common with Mr. Fagan, they also, have lost faith in the Family Courts' capacity for fairness, and in its willingness to protect the true best interests of children. Text begins ...


For further information, contact:

Mark Charalambous, CPF spokesman


CPF - The Fatherhood Coalition

A non-profit, all volunteer organization of men and women advocating for fatherhood since 1994


Return to CPF home page