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thereof, until the judgment of the court has been completely satisfied, and also has continuing jurisidiction to determine custody in accordance with the interests of the child.
Criminal remedies are also provided by the act. The failure of the father without lawful excuse to support the child after paternity has been judicially established or has been acknowledged by him, and when the child is not in his custody, is made a misdemeanor. The failure of a parent to support a child in his or her custody is brought under the general non-support laws. Non-compliance with a judgment of the court is also made a misdemeanor.
The bill further provides, as a means of "reducing the stigma of illegitimacy to a minimum," that in all records, certificates, or other papers, aside from birth certificates and records of judicial proceedings in which the question of birth out of wedlock is at issue, requiring a reference to the relation of a mother to such a child, it shall be sufficient to refer to the mother as the parent having the sole custody of the child. This applies to adoption proceedings, employment certificates, and similar papers.
In considering the question of a Uniform Illegitimacy Act, the committee of the Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws has kept in mind pre-eminently the statement by the Conference on Child Welfare Standards held in Washington in 1919: "The child born out of wedlock constitutes a very serious problem, and for this reason special safeguards should be provided," and the recommendation of this conference that "save for unusual reasons both parents should be held responsible for the child during its minority, and especially should the responsibility of the father be emphasized." Throughout the work of the regional conferences that formed the basis for discussion of a uniform act, and equally in the consideration by Professor Freund's committee, the predominating aim has been to promote justice for all parties concerned -the child, the mother, and the father.
COURT PROCEDURE IN SECURING SUPPORT FOR
Elizabeth A. Lee, Probation Officer, Central Municipal Court, Boston
There are laws in practically every country and all the states to establish paternity of the illegitimate child. Some provide protection to the extent of inheritance rights and legitimation, others for financial support only during the life of the father, and Norway goes to the extreme and declares the child to be the legitimate child of its natural parents.
As a result of the conferences held under the auspices of the Children's Bureau in New York and Chicago in 1920, a committee was appointed to draft a memorandum embodying the principles agreed upon and this committee adopted a "Syllabus of Propositions to Serve as a Basis of a Program for Illegitimacy Legislation" which is printed in Bureau Publication No. 77, pages 20-23. In this tentative draft prepared by Professor Freund, and approved with amendments by the committee, it was aimed not only to frame a measure which would be approved by the conference but by the legislatures of the different states.
In brief, the changes proposed seek "to advance the interests of the child by recognizing every possible benefit not opposed by a strong adverse interest, by strengthening the support obligation which at present is lamentably inadequate and by aiding enforce
ment by new remedial and coercive measures, and by removing jurisdictional limitations which now unduly favor evasion of liability." Civil actions at law or in equity appear to be more generally favored with strong recommendations that civil and criminal remedies be concurrent, and in fact the juvenile court has concurrent jurisdiction in three states: Illinois, New York, and New Jersey. Criminal proceedings are to be resorted to only for failure to support. Whatever the form of action it is agreed that cases should be heard in a socially equipped court with well-trained, efficient investigators or probation officers and preferably before one judge familiar with the problems presented.
I have been asked especially to discuss the reform needed, that is, what might be accomplished in the way of making court procedure such that there will not be need for avoiding court action toward determining paternity or securing support because of what the mother will have to go through on court action.
I doubt if this process can ever be made an easy one. In states which proceed criminally, and naturally, one working in Massachusetts courts in which procedure is criminal approaches the subject from this point of view, it must be borne in mind that a law has been violated by the mother as well as the father. An act has been committed of which the child is the natural consequence. In most cases this act is deliberate, in some there are extenuating circumstances. Rarely is there an assault and the mother entirely blameless. It is conceded that the mother should be spared undue publicity, but it must also be remembered that the proceedings are not ex parte, but if I may use the term, tri parte in their nature, and justice must be done to father, mother, and child.
A study of questionnaires recently sent out to agencies represented in the Boston Conference on Illegitimacy seems to reveal that the agencies agree: "that the unmarried father and mother and their child are a family group, emphasizing parental responsibility on the part of both father and mother." But Mrs. Sheffield has truly termed this group an "abortive family" and as such we ought to treat it.
Proceeding on the theory of a family, more effectual results may be obtained through a juvenile court or a court of domestic relations. In the Boston Municipal Court we do so recognize it, in so far as the cases are heard in the domestic relations session and the same method of investigation and procedure used as in all domestic cases. All cases are referred to the probation officer before application is made for the warrant. This is a reform of primary importance. The mother tells her story first to a woman probation officer. A thorough investigation should be made, and social information secured from all sources, without violating the mother's confidence. It is often safe and desirable to send for the alleged father, always informing him of his rights. If he admits responsibility all else is plain sailing. Furthermore he may start out with a denial, but when faced with facts, admit his guilt. Marriage, if it be for the best interest of the father, the mother, and the child, may be arranged. Through this preliminary investigation cases are sifted and those with no merit discarded as court cases and other plans made for the mother. Only sound or doubtful claims are submitted for a warrant and cases so investigated materially aid and relieve the court, and help the mother as well, for she need answer fewer questions when she faces the judge and makes application for the warrant.
Our medical department is another reform. Through it certificates of pregnancy are secured with no charge to the mother. Tests for venereal disease are made, and these are important in determining the care of the mother, for maternity homes as a
rule cannot accept infectious cases. Mental examinations are also given, and these help in planning for the mother's future.
The trial is the next stage, the ordeal so dreaded by the mother. Private hearings are of course desirable, but Massachusetts law makes no provision for them, the matter being entirely discretionary with the justice presiding. On the broad ground of public policy, public hearings ought not to be allowed and those legalists who believe that danger may lurk in secret, star-chamber proceedings may be convinced that of the two evils the first is the greater.
If the defendant pleads guilty, proceedings are merely presentation of facts to the court, the adjudication and passing of the order for support, and it is important that there should be generally an increase in this order. Cases in which the defendant pleads not guilty are more complicated. Witnesses must be summoned and heard, the mother must be subjected to cross-examination and often face an appeal. But as a matter of fact the advantage of the mother is so great that defense is difficult. A jury composed partly of women ought to make it less difficult for the mother. Up to date, no women have served on Massachusetts juries, because adequate facilities are not yet provided.
I would suggest the following reforms: first, every defendant to choose between a trial by a single justice or by a jury, thus eliminating one proceeding; second, providing that "any aggrieved party may appeal," which would give to the complainant the same right as that now enjoyed by the defendant.
After adjudication all publicity is ended. The mother and child are under the protection of the court. The probation officer must enforce the order and is responsible for the expenditure of the money. The mother need not concern hereself if the order is violated. It is the duty of the probation officer to report violations to the court. Neither need she appear in event of surrender or sentence. If a new complaint must be made after sentence is served the only point to be proved is failure to support, and any person interested may make that complaint.
One of the advantages of civil procedure is that the mother may sue where defendant may be found. If jurisdiction includes the residence of the father as well as that of the mother or child, this gives her a choice of four jurisdictions, instead of two as in Massachusetts, and makes prosecution less difficult for her.
The advantages of criminal procedure may be summed up as follows: it is the simplest and most expeditious method of securing support; it is the least expensive, as an attorney is not necessary and there is no entry fee; after adjudication, defendant is subject to the non-support act; conviction of criminal offense with its long-standing obligation makes extradition possible, reaching the defendant who cannot be served with a civil process; violation of the order means surrender to the court, but contempt proceedings are costly; sentence for persistent violation and the fifty cents per diem order for the child; finally, it affords the service of the probation system. It was chiefly because of this service that our procedure was changed in 1913 from civil to criminal.
The procedure in Pennsylvania, also criminal, favors the mother less in three instances than our procedure: first, that every case is heard before the grand jury for probable cause; second, that if probable cause is found, a jury trial follows; third, that proceedings cannot be instituted until after the birth of the child. However, the summary and investigation by the probation officer which is given to the district attor
ney does help the mother. The law in Pennsylvania allows funeral expenses. Our law does not, but as a matter of practice we collect them. The Domestic Relations Session in Boston attempts to function on the same general plan as the Domestic Relations Court in Philadelphia. Ours is merely a special session set apart for convenience, but we do collect orders and administer them wisely, supervise the mother and child, investigate and furnish foster homes for the baby and convalescent homes for the mother, provide employment, furnish medical advice, and act as a center for advice and relief.
In the smaller courts not so well equipped good work, however, may be done with the mother if the individual probation officer is socially minded and resourceful, and has a high standard of public service.
As an encouragement to those trying to persuade mothers to claim support, from 1913 to 1920 some measure of support was obtained in 62 per cent of the whole and some warrants were outstanding with potential support. In 1920 and 1921, the percentage increased to 70 per cent. Among the first group, twenty-three defendants were found not guilty and discharged; in the second, eleven.
In 1920 and 1921 a record was kept of referring agencies. There were 186 new cases, and in twenty-three instances the mother applied first to the probation officer. Eighty-seven, or 46 per cent were referred by attorneys, police, and the like and were not being helped by any social agency. These eighty-seven complainants depended mainly upon the probation officer for help.
A summary of the reforms in procedure suggested is as follows: preliminary investigation made by a woman investigator or probation officer before case is submitted to the court for warrant; physical and mental examinations; private hearings; editors of big newspapers approached to suppress publication of these cases; order pendente lite. Separate docket with precedence given; defendant to choose between trial before single justice or by jury; complainant to be given right of appeal; witnesses who testify to immoral relations prosecuted criminally; a mixed jury; a special judge to hear cases; an increase in support order.
In closing, a word concerning lump sum settlements and filing of certificates of adequate provision. In 1920, we had 102 new cases and only one was so disposed of; $100 was paid, and the child was adopted by the mother, who married another man. In 1921 there were eighty-four cases and none disposed of in this way. In the Superior Court, twenty-five appealed in 1920 and twelve in 1921, and in only one was a certificate filed and $1,000 was paid. The average order for support in 1920 was $4.55 and in 1921 $4.89. In the Superior Court in 1920 the average order was $4.50 and in 1921 $4.21. It would seem that more uniformity in the amount of the order and a growing tendency to discourage lump settlements is gradually being brought about in the Superior Court as well as in the lower court.
THE SPIRITUAL VALUES OF CHILDHOOD
THE RELIGIOUS LIFE OF THE CHILD
Ella Lyman Cabot, Boston
When I began to write this paper I questioned myself: What do these experienced social workers want of me? What have I to give them? I am a student of philosophy, a teacher of ethics, religious education, and psychology. In social work proper (or
improper) I have dabbled my fingers only as chairman of the Home and School Visiting Committee of the Boston Vacation Schools, and of classes in Americanization and home-making for the Polish and Lithuanian women of South Boston. What I say today must come from my background of the study of the philosophy of religion and the foreground of my interest and experience in teaching religion to children.
First of all, what do I mean by religion? I mean faith in, eagerness about, and loyalty to, the central source of strength that we find in the universe. Religion teaches us, as the great Josiah Royce wrote, to feel, to believe, and to do. You do not have religion without belief in the universe, however great your emotion, nor without loyalty, however numerous your codes of observance. "A religion then must teach some moral code, must inspire a strong feeling of devotion and in so doing must show something in the nature of things that answers to the code or that serves to reinforce the feelings."
It is difficult to give a true definition of religion, partly because religion is too hot to touch with the cold fingers of a brief summary, too living to snip off with a definition. It is hard enough to define social work and have any of its inspiration left. It is even more difficult to define religion because it is nearer the center. But though religion is difficult to define it is easy to recognize in people. You get it as you get the whiff of a sweetbriar or the flash of a hummingbird. Again and again I have felt a peculiar quality in someone I knew only slightly (a quality of eagerness, of supernatural devotion, of self-forgetting energy, of perfectly clear conviction linked to humility), and I have said to myself: "Why, that's religion!" as I should say even in passing, "That must be a sweetbriar. Nothing else is so pungent." "That must be a hummingbird. None other darts with such animation."
I mean by the religious life of children that which comes to them and moves them as the ultimate meaning of their experience. The baby is not born sectarian; he is not from birth a little Presbyterian, a tiny Catholic or Unitarian, or even a Latter-Day Saint. But surprisingly early children have convictions about the final meaning of the world they live in and before long they ask questions-both possible and impossible ones.
I find it convenient to divide the life of children into seven characteristic periods. These overlap much as the seven colors of the rainbow are at once distinct yet overlapping. In the first period (infancy) there is no consciousness of religion, yet religion in the sense of a conviction that the universe is likable and trustworthy is bound up with the extraordinarily active explorations of any baby into reality. Babies are no skeptics. The second period, immediately following infancy (three to seven), is almost always one of keen and constructive imagination. The unseen world is more real, valuable, and familiar to a child of five than the seen. Because invisible comrades frequently play with him, he may and often does have an idea of God at once definite and spiritual. "Who made me?" asked Roger, aged four. "God made you," answered his mother. "Did I say, "Thank you' ?" was his quick response. Have most of us genuinely said "Thank you"?