Well I guess spite and jealousy against mothers makes for many strange alliances and here is one of the strangest: a Fathers’ Rights group supporting a lesbian being awarded custody simply because she lived with a mother and child for 18 months. As I have said many times: lesbians are allowing themselves to be used by men to undermine the rights of all women in their role as mothers. If this woman wins, when the smoke clears, another dangerous precedent for mothers and children will have been set.
In essence even a short-term relationship can serve as the basis for a total stranger to gain legal rights to custody of your children.
My children growing up interacted with many people on both a long and short-term basis. From teachers they loved to friendly doormen. I even shared my apartment with a woman and her children for almost two years until she found her own place. YET that didn’t mean either her or I was entitled (nor should we have been) to any type of legal rights or obligations for each other’s children.
How will men feel if this becomes standard practice and just living with a woman with kids automatically makes them legally liable for her off-spring? As in having the state come after them for child support. Massachusetts, by the way, allows gays to marry and/or adopt. So how come this lesbian didn’t do either of these things initially? Obviously either her or the child’s mother didn’t feel the relationship merited these steps. Yet she wants to pursue custody now after the relationship has ended? Sorry, but these sorts of ‘do-overs’ after the fact should not be allowed.
You want to be a mother, have your own kids or adopt...
This Fathers’ Rights group supporting this woman shows me one thing pretty clearly: that men will go to any lengths to try to disavow the mother/child bond, even if the ultimate result is harmful to most other men. As a court ruling in favor of this lesbian will do nothing good for men. Actually it puts them at more risk of having to be forced into assuming responsibility for other men’s children simply because they lived with a mother for a short period of time.
F&F in Mass Supreme Judicial Court Yesterday
F&F Stands Up for Children, Breadwinners
Do you think that when courts make custody decisions, they should choose the parent who most often dresses the children or arranges his daycare, and give no “credit” to the parent who earns the money to pay for the clothes and daycare?
Fathers & Families submitted an amicus brief in a case argued before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) yesterday. The brief, principally authored by Dr. Ned Holstein, argued that, contrary to some court decisions and legal authorities, being a breadwinner is a crucial family function that should be considered just as important as direct caretaking of children when courts make custody decisions. (Of course, it is also necessary that the principal wage earner develop a bond with the child!) The brief also argues that custody should not be decided by rigidly counting up the hours of who does the most diaper-changing, meal-cooking, etc. Instead, custody should usually be shared because children bond equally strongly to both parents, even when one is out of the home earning a living for long hours every day.
It doesn’t seem that we should have to argue such elementary points. But, unfortunately, many legal authorities and courts still insist that being a breadwinner does not help qualify you for custody of a child, and that custody should go to the “primary caretaker.” According to those authorities, things that mothers typically do, such as buying the child’s clothes, count as caretaking, but things fathers usually so, such as earning the money to pay for the clothes or fixing up the house, do not. This sexist approach almost always leads to sole custody for mothers. Under this kind of thinking, even the most devoted fathers end up with a few days per month of “visitation.” And the children, of course, are the ones hurt the most by this antiquated way of thinking. The twist in this case is that we were supporting a lesbian parent in her custody dispute.
The woman in question, identified in court papers only as A.H., is not the biological parent of the five-year-old boy who is the center of the dispute, but lived with him and his biological mother for the first eighteen months of his life, cared for him like a mother to the present, and was the primary breadwinner for the family. Some legal authorities argue that she should lose because breadwinning shouldn’t count, and without counting breadwinning, the biological mother did more for the child. Our argument is that neither A.H. nor heterosexual parents should be punished in court because they rose to the challenge of supporting their family financially.
Chief Justice Margaret Marshall mentioned that she was aware of our brief, and counsel for A.H. mentioned Fathers & Families by name in her oral arguments.