Law divides mum and daughter
IT WOULD break any parent's heart.
When Tracey Black and her family moved to Ballina from Batemans Bay in January, she was excited about their new life – until her 15-year-old daughter refused to follow.
At first the distraught mother tried to not react, to take it in her stride and gently coax her adolescent daughter into coming.
But when push came to shove, Mrs Black found herself on the outside without a leg to stand on.
Her daughter moved in with her 19-year-old boyfriend's mother and refuses to talk to her mum.
“It breaks your heart ... every day I cry,” she said.
“I'm trying to be tolerant and understanding so I don't push her away, but the system actually takes away parents' ability to parent.
“I don't understand the law as she is too young to vote, too young to have sex, too young to drink or drive, yet she is allowed to make life-changing decisions like this.”
Mrs Black wants to connect with others in similar situations to look at ways to change the law so “good parents can still parent their children”.
“Kids shouldn't have the rights that they have now – imagine your 15-year-old daughter coming home and saying ‘I'm going and there's nothing you can do about it'.
“We would have never dared say that to our parents.”
Mrs Black's only options are to report her daughter to the Department of Community Services as a child at immediate risk, or report the boyfriend to the police for being with an underage girl. But she fears alienating her daughter further and would still lose custody if her daughter didn't want to come home.
“I feel like a puppet on a string to her adolescent emotions and the law is absolutely no help,” she said.
Mrs Black sends her daughter texts every day telling her she loves her, but rarely gets a reply.
“I know it's too late for me as my daughter will turn 16 at the end of the year, but I am on a mission to draw attention to this and try to have some laws changed,” she said.
Mrs Black can be contacted on 0478 027117.