Wednesday, May 26, 2010

do we want fathers in our lives or not?

When I first met Mr. Soup he was embroiled in an ugly battle with his "baby mama." For those of you who don't know the story, my husband has a beautiful daughter. She truly is a gift from God. When I married Mr. Soup I was lucky in not only gaining an amazing husband, but also a lovely, creative, energetic stepdaughter.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of things that keep him from being the father he wants to be to his daughter. Like I said, there was a time when his daughter's mother did not want him involved in her life. Luckily, she and Mr. Soup have developed a great relationship for the sake of their daughter. His daughter's mom is one the biggest supporters of Mr. Soup being in her life. In fact, she would like for his daughter to come live here. Despite this, there are other major obstacles. Since Mr. Soup did not learn he had a daughter until she was almost two years old, he is not listed on her birth certificate. And while, this can usually be cleared up by going before a judge and adding his name to it, it's not that simple for him.
In the state of Kansas paternity is assumed by marriage. Meaning that if two people are married, they are assumed to be the parents of the child the woman gives birth to. Since his daughter's mother was married at the time, her husband was automatically assumed to be the father of my husband's daughter. Are you lost yet? so were we. We now have to locate this guy (he's been out of the picture for years) and get him to consent to relinquishing his rights.
It makes me angry, but I have no one to be angry at. I admire my stepdaughter's mother for getting married and trying to make a family when my husband wasn't there. I admire my husband for not giving up and continuing to be there for his daughter despite all the legal issues. I understand why the state of Kansas has this law, but it still makes me upset. Kansas is very conservative fiscally and morally. They want to preserve families and save money. I get that. If a child is born to a woman and the father is not around, then when the woman is not able to care for the child properly, the state has to step in with welfare and other monies. However, if there is a father in the picture, no matter if he is biological or not, he can be forced to pick up the financial slack.
However, in doing this we're not preserving families, we're dividing them. In the case of my husband, and countless others, they are not able to provide for their children because someone is standing in the way. There are probably thousands of children who grow up not knowing their biological parent because of this stupid law. We are stripping children of their identities before they are old enough to spell the word. The fathers aren't given the opportunity. And is it fair for men who are not the natural father to be stuck paying child support for a child who is not theirs? We need to examine if we really make it easy for fathers to be there for their kids. Sure there are deadbeat dads, but there are those who have pride in their children and in their role as fathers.
So, anyways, keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we challenge the system. I try not to blog about it too much here because it's not about me, but sometimes you just have to vent. We all want what's best for her and I'm hoping that this summer a judge will make that possible.

No comments:

Post a Comment