The Dirty Dutch

Dutch courts prevent 13-year-old girl from attempting to circumnavigate, remove her from parent’s custody. The kid grew up on a boat with her parents, has sailed since she was a toddler and certainly knows how to sail at least as well as any of the wise cheese eaters who won’t let her go. I certainly wasn’t ready for that kind of undertaking at her age but if she and her parents feel that she is, I say, bon voyage.

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11 responses to “The Dirty Dutch

  1. Greenwich Gal

    Outrageous move by the Dutch to override parental authority just because their choices may be unconventional. ( What a marvelous education she would have received, in my opinion.) I can only imagine the outrage had this occurred in the US. However, I am increasingly afraid that we are on the way to having big Brother dictate how to live our lives…

  2. Pinzgauer

    Amercan courts overrule parents on a routine basis. So do legislators which is even worse. Just look at all the parental notification ( or rather not) of parents with regards to abortion.

  3. Cos Cobber

    So how does everyone feel about that Minnesota (?) couple who are refusing conventional cancer treatment for there son in favor of prayer? Should the state intervene or not?

    • christopherfountain

      Tough one, Cos Cobber, but if there’s a difference (and I’m not sure there is – I don’t completely reject the right of the state to step in to protect children in some circumstances), I might draw it on the facts peculiar to the Dutch family who, by dint of the daughter’s and her parent’s experience, would seem capable of calculating the risk and deciding whether or not to accept them. Easy case if she were 18 or, conversely, 9, but 13’s in the middle, eh?

  4. Cos Cobber

    There are times when state intervention is appropriate. No matter how prepared she may be, a 13 year old should not be permitted to sail the globe…particularly if the state is aware of it. The best recourse would be to give the parents a fine and community service if it is discovered the child goes on to sail at a later date. Otherwise let the family be. Splitting the family before the crime is even committed is far too harsh.

    As for medical matters, the state should intervene for treatments that are life threatening for all those under the age of 18. Children are not ready to properly assess the matter. If their parents refuse to take every action possible to preserve their lives, then society should step in and do so with force if neccessary.

  5. Pinzgauer

    I think all of it is a very slippery road. Many of the rulings make no sense to me, especially when compared to other rulings. For example in the eye of the law a fetus has not legal standing. However a murder of a pregnant woman is double homicide.
    Then there are many documented cases where prayer apperantly prompted a recovery when medicine could not.
    However, to withhold routine medical treatment on the basis of “God will take care of it” doesn’t hold water with me either. If ones thinking or belief trends (is that even a word?) that way one would also have to allow for the possibility that God created medicine to help cure the sick.

  6. Greenwich Gal

    Ok – I have read the papers now. You did not mention this was a SOLO voyage! That is somewhat understandable now. I was under the impression they would all be sailing together. Highly questionable parenting for sure.

    • christopherfountain

      GG, at 15 I waqs travelling to Puerto Rico with a friend, also 15. We’d pick up a bus in San Juan, cross the island to Rincon on the west side and camp out on the beach, living on lobsters we speared, free coconuts and some groceries bought in town. I’m not equating that with sailimg alone around the world, but I’m not shocked at these parents who, knowing their child, have decided she’s mature enough to go adventuring.
      Of course if one of my kids had suggested travelling alone to PR, let alone circumnavigating at 13, I’d have locked him in his room for the next 5 years!

  7. pulled up in OG

    The kid’s landlocked till she passes Evading Pirates 101.

  8. networthdeclining

    The poor child will almost certainly die. Solo sailing around the world is very dangerous. Dangerous sailing and dangerous traveling. How prey tell does she get past Somalia? South China Sea? Cross the Pacific? How many open ocean crossings has she done to practice? Perhaps the authorities have no business intervening, but we don’t let parents leave their kids in hot cars in the summer. There is an appropriate line somewhere here.

  9. Greenwich Gal

    I also would like to mention that – albeit very “incorrect” – the child, being female, also leaves herself open to even more dangers from inscrutable, desperate people. The whole thing makes me shudder – especially with the news today concerning the missing child from 18 years ago.