Scottish politicians this month made good on a promise to ban corporal punishment despite widespread opposition from citizens. The Scottish Parliament voted 84-29 earlier this month to criminalize spanking or “smacking” children as a form of punishment, an action the measure’s proponents labeled violence against children. Scotland is the first country in the United Kingdom to pass such a ban.
“Sadly, it will be decent families who will pay the price for all this virtue signaling,” the opposition campaign Be Reasonable said in a statement after the vote, arguing authorities will investigate, prosecute, and charge good parents. “The existing law protects children. It outlaws violence and abuse.”
A government survey in March found 89 percent of Scots opposed the proposed ban. Parliament heard testimony from law enforcement officials who said the new law would not help efforts to fight child abuse and instead create a backlog of child welfare cases. —K.C.
Officials arrested an attorney in Arizona this week on 62 charges in three states stemming from an adoption fraud scheme. Paul Petersen, the Maricopa County assessor, reportedly ran a black market adoption practice, illegally matching pregnant women from the Marshall Islands, a Pacific island country between Hawaii and the Philippines, with wealthy adoptive families in the United States. Investigators say Petersen, a Republican, swindled taxpayers by signing the women up for Medicaid to pay for their healthcare.
As a young man, Petersen did mission work as a Mormon in the Marshall Islands and made contacts that helped him establish his adoption practice, according to the watchdog website Honolulu Civil Beat, which first reported the story last year. —K.C.