After a first glance at the title, I thought maybe the conference was about single father’s who wish to adopt children, or some other under-covered issue that might be sort of interesting. No! Of course not! It’s about how evil women are who give up their children for adoption when the father’s of those children really want to raise them!
“A lot of times we get to see it from the mothers’ perspective,” Wells conference coordinator Rachel Youngpeter said of adoption issues. The conference will take a look at the rarely thought of side in adoption cases, she said, by focusing on emerging topics such as safe haven laws.
The first discussion of the conference, “Safe Haven Laws: Where are the Daddies?” will be led by Northern Illinois University School of Law professor Jeffrey Parness, with commentator Adam Pertman, executive director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute. Safe haven laws allow mothers who do not want to raise their newborn children to anonymously leave their babies with a local agency such as a hospital or fire station.
While it is commonly agreed upon that the law is beneficial for young, unmarried mothers, some feel it leaves fathers out in the cold. “The problem with that is they neglect the father’s right to parent that child,” Youngpeter explained.
While I’m not negating the fact that their might be some fathers out there who felt shafted when their baby’s momma ran off and left their newborn child on the local nunnery’s steps in the middle of the night, I’m gonna wager that this probably isn’t super common. And I’m gonna say, with no-backing-it-up facts but 100% certainty, that it is nowhere near as common as expectant father’s abandoning the mothers of the children to raise those children all alone, or promising to help raise the child but ultimately leaving the mother with most of the burden.
So to even suggest that such safe-haven laws should be done away with — laws that make it legally okay for a scared or threatened or confused new mother to have an out that doesn’t involve drowning the baby in the bathtub or abandoning it in an alley somewhere — is just awful. Especially because it’s all predicated on the fact that in the rare cases that this does happen (and, again, I’ve got no back up facts, but I don’t imagine abandoning baby’s on fire-station steps is extremely common?), there might be an even rarer case that the father of the child does want to raise it, and father’s rights are always more important than mother’s.
And lest anyone get the idea that I’m advocating that women should be able to do whatever they want with their babies even in instances when the father really, really wants (and has the means) to raise the child on his own, I’m not. But think about it this way — in a situation where a woman drops her newborn baby off at some safe-haven place, and the father really wanted that child … well, isn’t he going to question her about, um, where the baby went when she suddenly does not have that child? In which case, she could either tell him, or even if she didn’t, he could contact the police and then find that child. The other side would be that he didn’t even know she was pregnant to begin with, which also isn’t a exactly the strongest case for him raising said child …
You see all these same arguments a lot when it comes to abortion (the whole “should a woman have a right to abort a child that the father does not want to abort?” debate), the general MRA/FRA consensus that it’s somehow giving women special rights to allow them to decide what to do with their own bodies, which should always belong to men, in one way or another. You see the reverse of the same argument, which is men complaining that their girlfriends/wives/whoever got pregnant and are having the baby, and they don’t want them to have the baby, and they think they should be able to convince them to abort it. I’ve never really seen the same argument made for adoption, though, but I guess it makes sense. For MRA’s, women should do with their babies exactly whatever it is that the magic sperm giver in their lives want them to do with said babies at exactly that moment in time. Anything else would be giving women “special rights.”
I wonder if Father’s for Justice will show up to the conference in their super-hero costumes.