Walter Polavcheck

Fri Jan 7 21:19:19 MST 2000

I guess some of you were siding with the Soviet Union in 1980 concerning
Walter Polavcheck.  The following paragraph came from

This last issue was vividly illustrated by the case of Walter Polavcheck
in a well-known case decided in Chicago during 1980.  Walter, a
12-year-old Ukrainian boy was visiting the United States with his father
and decided that he did not want to go back.  He took his bike and fled
to his cousin's home. The father went and got the police. Walter was
helped by a lawyer on a pro bono basis and fought his father for 5 1/2
years. Eventually he turned 18 and was made a U.S. citizen and the issue
of deportation became moot. But before this happened the judge found
that children have a right to be protected from persecution and not only
adults. In fact, the judge found that parental rights are not absolute
and this is only common sense. These rights are exercised for the
benefit of the child and not for his harm. It is a basic principle of
family law.

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