Father only good for DNA and child support

Father only good for DNA and child support

Apparently he’s more than just the provider of some biological material. A story comes out of Canada about the father of a child he didn’t know he had that was put up for adoption. The mother and father were not married. (Insert comment about the importance of marriage here.) The mother didn’t think she could care for the child so she put him up for adoption and neglected to inform the father.

Now the dad, Rick Frederickson, is trying to assert his custody rights to his child, now five months old, but the adoptive parents are fighting. These real winners accuse the father of being “nothing more than a sperm donor unfit to parent.” Although, donating his sperm wasn’t enough for them: They’re also suing for child support.

Yeah, Fredrickson doesn’t sound like the winningest guy in the world—he was having an on-again, off-again sexual relationship with an employee, but he’s trying to do the right thing. As a father’s rights group says of the case: “If this was a woman whose baby was taken, police would have had this baby back to the mother, like, in 24 hours.”

Just like in the abortion wars, fathers have no parental rights. Cardinal Ratzinger once said that every major problem in society can be traced back to a crisis of fatherhood and it’s no wonder since we’ve seen over the last four decades the degradation of fatherhood take place on a massive scale.

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  • Because a real lawyer knows that if the dad caves on the child support issue, which we’re all agreed is a tactic designed to drive him off, then he will lose the case.

    Somehow I doubt you’d both be saying the same thing if this were a mom asserting her parental rights. Where in Catholic teaching does it say that a parent who conceives a child outside of wedlock should lose all rights and responsibilities (except acting as the banker, of course)? Your attitude is why so many people accuse Catholics of talking a big game about being pro-life but doing little to help those who find themselves in difficult situations.

    A father is not a walking bank account so we shouldn’t measure him by how much he’s willing to pay. A father’s role is just as important as a mothers in nurturing, rearing, and spiritual development.

  • It’s not like this guy agreed to the adoption and then changed his mind. He was never given a choice. The mother of his child gave the kid away without telling him first. So he’s just supposed to say “finder’s keeper’s”? You really are heartless.

    Single parents are selfish. That is just a simple fact.

    Nice blanket stereotype. You just insulted a lot of people, a lot of good Catholic people who do the best in difficult situations. But then I suppose you’ve never sinned. Unfortunately for single parents their sin is visible for all the world to see and judge them on every day.

    nd really, there is no way an infant can be raised by a man alone. No way.

    That’s just plain baloney. My brother did it. Oh and before you jump to the conclusion I know is brewing in your mind, his wife died when my niece was still a baby. I know other guys who’ve done a great job too.

    If “female chauvinism” wasn’t a word before, it is now. You’ve just defined it.

  • A man who fathers a child out of wedlock has no rights – just obligations.

    The real issue with fathers’ rights is that they are no longer protected in marriage.

  • I’m not anti-adoption. I’m anti-stripping a father of his rights. Sure, bonding can begin, but that’s not relevant.

    Say my transatlantic flight crashes and I’m stranded on an island for six months. They think I’m dead and give my kids to an adoptive family. When I finally come home have I suddenly lost my rights as a father? Have my children lost their rights to be raised by their parents?

    If a birth mother gives the baby up for adoption and is unwilling or unable to name the father, then a codicil must be put into the adoption papers. Parental rights are like ownership rights in some ways. (Don’t go postal on me here; it’s analogy.) If we both own a car together and you sell it unbeknownst to me and don’t tell the new owners that I was a co-owner do my rights suddenly evaporate.

    As for your final hypotheticals: A rapist committed a crime and his rights can and are curtailed by society. He should not “profit” by his crime. In an extra-marital affair, in some places that’s still technically a crime as well. Less clear cut then.

    I don’t understand the hostility against fathers. I wouldn’t imagine it coming from what I assumed to be pro-life, pro-family Christians.

  • Here’s where I think the disconnect is coming from. Essy and Mary Alexander are making an emotional argument, whereas I’m making a logical argument.

    Emotional arguments work for particular cases, but hard cases make bad law. We’re talking about setting a precedent here.

    What happens if next time it’s a good man who falls into temptation with, say, his fiance and she gives the baby to, say, a gay couple? Should the repentant father forfeit his rights to the gay couple? The precedent you set would say Yes.

    The presumption should be that the father has a right to act as a father to that child—and the child’s right to have him act as his father—unless you can prove that he has forfeited that right and would be an unsafe father. And let’s make sure we’re not using the world’s categories when determining that. We’re all sinners and capable of repentance and conversion.

  • Chuck: I support Rick’s point of view, but your argument is flawed. Jesus was not born out of wedlock. Jewish marriage laws were complex and betrothal was a legal bond. That’s why the Bible says that Joseph was prepared to divorce Mary.

    Also, God allows all kinds of things to happen that are sins. However, the birth of a baby is not sinful. Having sex outside of marriage is.

    I agree on your other points.