PARENTING – Some Father’s Day News Items

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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  • Aych

    Yes, the thing in Britain seems very interesting, and I’m interested in seeing how it turns-out in the long run.

    When I was visiting England a few years back, I was hosted for a few days by a family in one of London’s suburbs. Lovely people. The daughter was, unfortunately, wheelchair-bound because she’d been paralyzed from the waist down from infancy. But these were real salt-of-the-earth people who’d worked hard at their jobs to create a comfortable home and care for their daughter with an infinite kind of patience and love that put a lump in my throat.

    Anyway, we got talking about politics and, I swear to god, these people felt truly betrayed by the Labour party. In their view, the Labour party was playing a double-game in which it was both antagonizing the working-class while claiming to support the working class. They got embarrassed at how angry they were getting in front of me, in fact.

    Still, fabulous people and it made me more interested in British politics.

  • http://Titfortat6.blogspot.com Titfortat

    Congrats on your grandson. :)

  • Druk

    I hope that guy in the Tennessee case will at least get some sort of monetary judgment to make up for the crap he’s going through. Really though, knowing how ridiculous custody law can be, I wouldn’t be completely surprised if he ended up having to make support payments to the mother.

  • http://daisysdeadair.blogspot.com/ DaisyDeadhead

    Gingko, congrats on the new grandbaby! I think I posted this before, but its just so sweet (my son-in-law and grandson):
    http://daisysdeadair.blogspot.com/2012/02/wordless-wednesday-pick-your-favorite.html
    (and you get a bonus pic of my daughter’s latest tattoo).

    I just wish my grandbabies lived closer, I would spoil them terribly.

  • Ginkgo

    Tit and Daisy, thanks so much!

    Daisy, I remember those adorable pictures of your grandson. How is he doing? Can he hold a picket sign yet? And grandkids need spoiling; it’s a critical nutrient.

    On the legal stuff, these are interesting times.

  • HidingFromtheDinosaurs

    Ginko:
    Congratulations!
    おめでとうございます!
    …What’s the right think thing to say for a situation like this in Chinese? I only know what to say for birthdays, major holidays, etc.

    Daisy:
    What a cute baby!
    Also an interesting tattoo. It’s driving me crazy trying to decide whether it’s a right or a left eye. I was leaning left at first, which would have been more artistically interesting, but now I’m thinking right.

  • Ginkgo

    Thanks, Hiding! There are probably scores of set phrases in Chinese for congratulations on a birth, as there are scores of set phrases to wish an expectant mother well, but frankly I don’t learn them and don’t know any because they all come down to congratulations on a son and condolences on a daughter, and it’s too off-putting.

    And any grandchild of Daisy’s is going to be cute.