First item of news – I’m back on the block again. I have been pretty much AWOL for about two weeks now, but with good reason. My mother was visiting for the party we held to welcome my first grandson into the family formally. The first son of the first son of the first son of the first son – too bad there’s no title to inherit. He was born in March, is adorable, quiet and loves to sleep. He seems to cry only when he is tired or hungry. Yes, I’d love to post some pictures, but no, this is the internet. Definitely no.
Sea change in Britain – I can’t tell exactly what is going on with, what the proposal actually is, but there seems to be a move in the UK to make custody arrangements a lot more equal and to ensure children have a chance at equal parenting form both parents. Here’s the article in the Independent. It looks like they are getting ready to put actual penalties into the law against interfering with parenting on the part of non-custodial parents. That is huge. Barbara Kay comments on it from afar. Here’s the Daily Mail’s article. And there is something in the Guardian too. This is worth watching for further developments.
Here’s one out of Illinois. Both houses of their legislature passed on a unanimous bill to levy the same kinds of penalties for interference in visitation as for failure to pay child support. The penalties include loss of drivers’ licenses, with provisions to ensure that the custodial parent can still deliver the child to the other parent, and also include criminal penalties and fines for severe or continued interference. It defines interference. The bill is pretty comprehensive; it also provides for a procedure to deal with visitation interference that is as fast as for CS arrearages. Sounds like equality to me.
It is until it isn’t. You know how whenever the issue of paternity fraud comes up some sage soul sees fit to lecture men on how it’s love that makes a father and we should all just man up and feed, clothe and house our wives’ and their boyfriends’ bastards for 18 years? Well here’s a story out of Tennessee of the same kind of heads-I-win-tails-you-lose bullshit that fathers face in the family court system, and that so many are so ready to try to femsplain away and not existing. It shows it’s not love that makes a father, not at least in the eyes of a Texas or a Tennessee court. In this case it’s not a case of paternity fraud, in this case the father knew right up front that his child was not his. The mother was a friend of his wife’s who gave the couple her baby apparently. But she had him put his name on the birth certificate anyway, he raised the kid and he kept the kid when his wife split and she left the kid with him. How’s that for love and how much of a father does that make him? Apparently not enough – the mother seems to have had second thoughts and the courts sided with this exemplary mother – patriarchal pedestalization of motherhood much?
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