Abusive parents can lose their children under Torres legislation

The following is a news release from the Office of Sen. Mary Torres:

A bipartisan bill to establish new standards in Guam’s Child Protective Act received support from health officials and community partners at a Public Hearing this morning.

Introduced by Senator Mary Camacho Torres, Bill No. 299-36 (LS) would include aggravated circumstances as grounds for terminating parental rights including physical or sexual abuse of the child, a felony assault that resulted in serious bodily injury, attempted murder, or manslaughter.

“The Guam Code says nothing about terminating parental rights because of severe abuse of a child…there is clearly and tragically, a need to update this law,” said Ms. Jayne Flores, Director of the Bureau of Women’s Affairs. “When a parent has so abused a child that the child’s life or future is in jeopardy, our system must put the interests of the child front and center. Si Yu’os Ma’ase for the opportunity to testify in favor of this very important piece of legislation.”

Bill 299 would also update Guam’s timeline for permanency planning to comply with present federal standards. Under the Adoption and Safe Families Act (U.S. Public Law 105-89), state welfare agencies must file a petition to terminate parental rights when a child has been in foster care for fifteen (15) of the most recent twenty-two (22) months in order to receive federal reimbursement for foster care, adoption, and kinship guardianship assistance (Title IV-E funding). Guam law does not have this requirement—losing out on potential federal funds towards local foster care.

 As a result, Bill 299 would require Guam’s Child Protective Services (CPS) to petition the court for termination of parental rights if the child has been under its care for over a year, providing an exception for parents engaged in treatment services or if CPS has documented another compelling reason not to terminate.

Public Health also testified in support of the measure, stating that “resources if needed can be allocated accordingly to implement” Bill 299, should it become law.

We support the Legislature’s intention to establish statutes to include reasonable efforts to preserve and reunify families, define grounds for terminating parental rights, and shortening the timeframes to establish permanency plans,” said Ms. Crystal Gooden, DPHSS Social Service Supervisor.

In the last year alone, over 1,600 cases were referred to CPS. The number of children in Guam’s foster care system has also grown to 604—130 more children than last October.

“If we say we care about life, then this government must make timely decisions for kids in foster care,” said Senator Torres. “We cannot allow them to lose their lives to the child welfare system. It is my hope that by passing this bill, more kids can experience the loving security of a family who is willing and capable of caring for them.”


  • I really hope this solidifies and get implemented ASAP!!!

    There are great fathers out there who love their children to death but can’t do so because the mothers rights outweigh the fathers rights from the start. Fathers are having to prove the mother insufficiencies based on all the rights protecting her. That then leaves us hopeless, exhausted and sometimes faithless. 99% of the time resulting in simply just giving up the fight for seeing their child, turning to the “I’ll just wait till their of age” hurting from all the memories we are missing and unable to create.
    Along with having to deal with that sacrifice for some, over a decade, the titles “deadbeat” / “unfit” take its place.

    But, when the real truth is that’s how hard it is… we would rather take the titles then keep fighting a battle that can’t be won.

    The takeaway from this is “ Bad Fathers aren’t born that way, they are impressions created by the mothers rights that we just have to endure”

    I have yet to see a father go through “postpartum depression”… if fathers use that against a mother as a kick start to question a mothers mental state of a form of neglect/abuse, where do you think that would go?!?!
    Oh that’s right….
    Bad father for thinking that!!!

    Yes I get mothers carried them for 9 months…. the great father never forget it!!! That’s why we want to just have the same rights so we can get the chance to show our appreciation all the years to come of the child’s.

    It’s a lose/lose for us!

    • Honestly, your right but it actually is both ways depanding on the situation it there life.
      Lets all be honest ok like u said “dead beat!” Or what ever names they may say about a father or a mother. A father or mother can be raised up in a home that was either good or bad like being abused by there fathers or like wise with a mother and / or been sexual abused by someone when they were young or even been around drugs too.. well honestly brother and sisters we honestly need to all think we can be saying that person or whatever ok some situations are different . Like an example a person doesn’t matter a female or male whom did go through the same thing or not its how we try as a person to see how they end up Taking it as they grow up. Some people who has been through everything may not turn out that way and want raise there children the right way and do about absolutely anything for there children and love one if they have one . Or they end up doing it to there children and /or teaching there kids that way cause yhe mind set what that person went through thinks its ok cause they did it to me . We all got to remember brothers and sisters we are all different from each other and we don’t know whats really going on in a person mind sometimes we need to understand that maybe not only the child / children might need help but our brothers and sisters too. And another thing brothers and sisters we also need to understand that some people are either homeless , or sleeping in there car or what ever it maybe and they are good parents to there children but theres people that would do anything to others children away or because of our law about abuse our children in this generation do some of them not all ok brothers and sisters who threatened there parents that there going to report them in so they can get what they want because there not getting really what they want were there at and all because they either see other sleeping over or they like how there how is i wish my parents can make me do whatever and go where ever and give me money to do this and to that so they learn from other just like us did as kids and lie and lie to whom ever and the lie doesn’t only get one taken away which maybe they thought that is how itll happen but instead it was all of them.. but our children in this generation dont realize that us as good parents that do care we try to make them not go through what we went through either the abuse , getting sexual abuse etc. But cause what they see who certain children get there ways they dont see that they might not have there parents there to show them love attention and to make them understand and guide them through the way some do and then realize why we didnt want to really give them that lee way to go have fun and etc. Cause things like sexual abuse happens and children get threatened and cant say anything. So pls know something we all need to open up not only our eyes buy our hearts to understand what they are going through cause what if it was us on the other side of that table are you going to want us to listen and truly feel inside how that person feels” no!” Cause we’re to much of a human being that we gotta understand back in the days no one really had a voice . So.. I can say it but im not proud but that man up stairs our lord JesusChrist gave me the courage to say it ” i didn’t have a voice !” When i was a child and now as a mother that been throw so much .. but I can say that man Jesus Christ loves us all and if we pray and trust him he can help . We all need to think what ever bad or good in our life he is with us and he doent allow the bad things to happen it satan we all got trust and love one another help each other no matter what.. god bless you all brother and sisters

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