Solomon Metalwala Custody Battle Heats Up
If you need to catch up on the Solomon Metalwala story, you can do so at Fathers & Families, or we”ll give you the TL;DR.
All the madness starts after the hop.
The TL;DR: On November 6th, Julia Biryukova was driving with her two children: 2 year old son Sky and 4 year old daughter Maile. Biryukova claims that during the drive, she ran out of gas. She and Maile left to get more gas, leaving Sky in the car. When Biryukova returned, Sky was gone. Police scrutinized the story. Fathers & Families says that the “evidence suggests that Biryukova has stashed him with a friend or relative, or moved him out of the state.”
Biryukova has a history of mental illness, and in the past, had brought abuse charges against her ex-husband, Solomon Metalwala. All charges were proven false by Child Protective Services and local authorities. Despite this, a restraining order was placed against Solomon, and he had not seen his children for close to a year (before this incident).
After the incident where Sky disappeared, Maile was removed from her mother’s custody – but not given to Solomon Metalwala, her father. Maile was taken into custody by CPS and put into foster care. Fathers & Families championed Solomon Metalwala and put pressure on the powers-that-be in Washington state to return Maile to her father – a man that had been cleared of all false accusations against him.
Fathers & Families reported yesterday that due to their campaign to reunite Solomon and Maile, the Washington Department of Social and Health Services has decided to grant custody of Maile to her father, Solomon. This decision was made at a hearing in Kent, Washington, where Solomon Metalwala personally appeared and asked the court for custody. The custody decision was made and is now awaiting the removal of a protection order from another court – one that was pushed through by a Family Law Commissioner that Fathers & Families claims is a “former domestic violence prosecutor with a reputation for rubber-stamping domestic violence protection orders.”
Finally, the most recent news is that Fathers & Families has come under fire from Yahoo News writer, Carol Bengle Gilbert. Gilbert points out that because Fathers & Families‘ pressure worked with courts, does that mean the custody decision is politically-charged? “Is this unusual statement from a public agency in advance of a child custody hearing,” asks Gilbert, “an indication that Maile has become a political football for the father’s rights movement?”
Give Gilbert’s article a read – as it raises good questions about due process and outsider-involvement. Our opinion, however, which is more-or-less in-line with that of Fathers & Families, is that the system was not seeing the big picture concerning the custody, and instead, going about business as usual – which usually ends with kids in foster care and innocent fathers removed from their kids’ lives. Therefore, in our most humble of opinions, in this case, Fathers & Families was not acting unfairly – they were working as a watchdog to keep the judicial gears running smoothly and cleanly.
And while the return of Sky Metalwala is of the utmost importance to everyone – we also would like to see a child reunited with her father.
Agree or disagree with us, Fathers & Families, or Gilbert? Let us know in the comments!