Dead Beat Dads are talked about, written, about and fiscally planned for…In fact, from the Administration for Children and Families stated that, “In FY 2009, it is estimated the Federal Government will provide $3.8 billion to the States for Child Support Enforcement.”
To think that our country spent 3.8 BILLION dollars last year on enforcement of common sense parenting regardless of marital state is preposterous! But then again maybe not after what I went through myself…
It was about 9 years ago that I received a suspicious piece of mail from the federal government. In the envelope was a letter stating that I owed X-Thousand dollars in back-child support payments. Of course I was dismayed as I did not have any children of my own.
I soon found out from my investigation that it has become so hard for officials to find these bad men that they literally cast a fishing net out to the pantheon in hopes of landing the right fish.
The only connection to myself and the “dad” was that we had the same name. In fact, I could not have even conceived the children in question because I would have been 7 or 8 years old myself.
If only it would have ended there. Even though there was no connection to SS# etc I was still required to submit a photo for the mother to either accept or deny paternity.
Whew! I made it…but it shed light onto the level of obscurity with which these officials are working from. It sends a much deeper sign to me that men are feeling so removed from the responsibilities of fathering that we have to spend $3.8 Billion dollars to remind them.
Would we see a reduction in those fathers who shirk their responsibilities if they felt involved from the beginning? Maybe not, but I would guess that if fathers felt more connected to the act and art of parenting we wouldn’t have so many that are barely fazed by exiting stage left.
Men will tell you, when they feel safe and with a trusted other, that they want to be good fathers–even when divorce or separation appear. I have never heard a father admit that he had no desire to contribute to the lives of their children.
If we can somehow shift the tide in a more positive and plausible position to men and their needs/fears of parenting we might garner an audience ripe for advice and structure. That would, though, only work on the heels of judicial reform, alternative media, and health care aimed at understanding men in a more complete, emotional fashion.
Only after all of the above have been visited with real reform can we begin to sift through the real “garbage” to find the fathers who want to be better at providing for their children. Thoughts or Comments?