The following post differs from my usual posts, in that I am still formulating my personal view, based on research, regarding some of the issues from this question: "Does Michael Jackson's ex-wife have parental rights to her children which supercede the rights of Michael's mother?" The answer to the question is not easily found, since both sides have good points. I offer my humble opinion.
I look to articles like this one and this one for guidance on the issue, since context is king, and they provide that. A few preliminary things should be established:
1. Debbie Rowe apparently "signed away her parental rights to the children after the divorce, but in 2006 an appeals court reestablished her parental status." (Found here)
2. Debbie has not been an influential part of their lives - in fact, hardly a part of their lives - over the past ten years.
But instead of asking the question, "Does she have claim" -- since she obviously does have a claim (the real question would be how much claim), I want to focus on this question: "Since Michael had a will, why aren't we following it?" According to ABC News, "Jackson's will, which is expected to be filed in a California court this week, could reveal his last wishes for his children. But those wishes would not be legally binding and only "a factor" in a custody hearing, California attorney Gloria Allred told "Good Morning America" today."
Why is the will of the father - the one member who undoubtedly has claim - not present in the conversation/proceedings? Why are we rejecting Michael's will as outlined in his will (that is, after all, why we call it a "will" in the first place)? Put aside any thoughts (for the now) of him being a child abuser: shouldn't we at least hear his opinion, let alone follow it?
Centaur, why are you bringing this up, you ask. Well, think about the big picture: if a court can decide (or a family decide) that a national - and international - icon's will does not need to be respected, but rather they can decide what is in the children's best interest, what safety do any of us have? Why should we expect any greater honor? This issue is much bigger than "What will happen to these three kids" - it chips away at the very foundation of our society: parental rights. Without them, the solid, tried-and-true foundation of our society - the family - is completely torn apart.
This is why, no matter whether you "support Michael," or "support Katherine Jackson," or "support Debbie Rowe," you need to support the Parental Rights Amendment. Learn more about it at www.parentalrights.org, and look into other posts from this blog.
Seek the truth, find it, and defend it to the death,
"The enemy comes, my king. What are your orders?" -- Oreius