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  • Ireland: Still Marginalizing Unmarried Fathers

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    August 4, 2020 by Robert Franklin, JD, Member, National Board of Directors

    In Ireland, the frank discrimination against unmarried fathers and the children they seek to parent continues.  And it will do so into the foreseeable future (Irish Examiner, 7/28/20).  Amazingly, it’s all part of a public policy that pretends to further marriage.  The Irish might want to rethink that.

    In the Emerald Isle, if a man who fathers a child isn’t married to the mother of that child, he has no parental rights.  She has full parental rights, he has none.  With luck and the goodwill of the child’s mother, he may be able to acquire those rights, but otherwise, he can’t.

    Here’s how it works:  For the first three months after the child is born, the unmarried father has no parental rights.  Period.  It doesn’t matter how good a partner he’s been to the mother, how much he’s done to support and care for her or how much he wants and loves the child.  He has no parental rights.

    Read More ...

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  • A Teacher Instructs Teachers About CPS

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    July 30, 2020 by Robert Franklin, JD, Member, National Board of Directors

    When it comes to suspected child abuse, teachers are among the many “mandated reporters.”  That is, if they have reason to believe a child is being abused or neglected, they’re required by law to report their suspicions to the nearest child welfare agency.  Failure to do so can result in the loss of a mandated reporter’s job.  As I’ve said before, that none-too-subtle threat is one of the major reasons for the vast over-reporting to CPS agencies.

    So it’s interesting to read this article (We Are Teachers, 11/18/19).  It’s written by one Brette Sember, a teacher who’s instructing other teachers on what to do when they suspect abuse or neglect of a child.  Most of it is fairly sensible.  So, for example, readers are urged to not take the lead in investigating the case, but to simply report their suspicions to CPS or the CPS liaison at the school.

    But then there’s the not-so-sensible about the piece.  For example,

    “More than three million children in the US are abused each year.”

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  • Why Don’t More Fathers Seek Child Support Orders?

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    July 29, 2020 by Robert Franklin, JD, Member, National Board of Directors

    This piece comes to us from the Sacramento County Department of Child Support Services (Spotlight, 7/2/20).  As such, its chirpy, “all is well” tone is only to be expected.  The countless problems of the child support system won’t get an airing on that site or any like it. 

    Still, the article does offer an important tidbit.

    For many years, I’ve wondered why so few custodial fathers have a child support order in effect.  The U.S. Census Bureau’s latest compilation of data says that just 41.4% of those fathers have such an order.  That’s compared with 51.4% of custodial mothers who do.  More telling is the fact that it’s the highest rate recorded by the Bureau in 26 years.  The low, 28.8% came in 2011.

    So why do dads tend so strongly to not have a support order?

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  • Vancouver Dad Takes on Child Welfare Authority and Wins

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    July 23, 2020 by Robert Franklin, JD, Member, National Board of Directors

    Thanks to the ever-excellent Lenore Skenazy for this article (Magic Valley, 7/19/20).  Skenazy has long been one of the most effective advocates for parents in their conflicts with child-protective authorities.  Her article is one example.

    Vancouver resident, Adrian Crook had custody of his four children who, at the time in question were aged 7 – 11.  Crook seems to have been an excellent and responsible father, because his kids were themselves responsible kids.  So he allowed them to ride public transportation to and from school.  Everything went off without a hitch.  Indeed, one bus patron once emailed Crook to tell him what well-behaved children he had.

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