Saturday, October 25, 2008

Another Case of a Mother taking "Ownership" of a child that took a Man & a Woman to make ~ Is the child a Chattel?

From the Times of South Africa , Johannesburg

Jail for defiant mom on the run Kim Hawkey Published:Oct 26, 2008

She refused to accept maintenance, insisting he was not the father. A test proved he was
Defiant teen mom vanishes with babyJudge says she will be jailed if she continues to refuse ex-boyfriend access to little girl

A teenage mother is facing jail for refusing to allow her former boyfriend to see their little girl.

The mother fell foul of the law after her ex-lover — neither of whom can be named, to protect the baby’s identity — went to court to win access to his daughter.

This month, Johannesburg High Court Judge Moroa Tsoka ordered that the mother would spend a month in jail if she continued to prevent the father from visiting his baby.

But the teenager — who initially refused maintenance payments and the car seat and clothes he bought for their child — has vanished with the girl.

The father has hired a private detective to find them.

According to court papers, the saga began last year while the mother, now aged 19, was pregnant.

The father, a 30-year-old from Boksburg, east of Johannesburg, asked her to marry him and bought a house for them .

When she unexpectedly broke up with him, he thought she was just being “emotional”.

But then she told him he was not the baby’s father and refused to allow him to accompany her on gynaecologist’s visits, he said in the papers.

The man said she cut off all contact and changed her cellphone number .

Last August, he was “extremely upset” to learn that his daughter had been born in July and no one had told him.

He immediately arranged to see the baby, which he remained convinced was his, despite the mother’s denials.

During his first visit, he offered his ex-lover money to take care of the baby. She refused to accept it, insisting he was not the father. But she refused his request for a paternity test.

The man told the court that he tried “on numerous occasions” to see his daughter, but was turned away at the door by his ex , who said he “had no rights” because they had never been married.

Determined to find out if he was the father , he hauled the mother to court in September last year to force her to take the child for a paternity test.

But even after the baby was proved to be his, her mother only allowed him “ad hoc” contact, which soon ended, forcing him back to court earlier this year.

“I dearly love (the baby) and needed to make contact with (her) on a regular basis and as often as possible,” he said in court papers.

The court agreed, ordering that he be allowed to visit his baby on Tuesday evenings, alternate Saturdays and some holidays.

Despite the court order, his ex-girlfriend still refused to let him see his daughter.

The teenager did not contest the court case and the Sunday Times could not contact her for comment.

But in an interview with the newspaper this week, the baby’s father provided some explanation for her actions.

“When she was pregnant, I asked her if she wanted the child to have a father and she said no,” he said.

“She never had a father. He left when she was born.”

He had mixed feelings about landing his baby’s mother in jail.

“She is still the mother of my child. I don’t want anything bad to happen to her, but if it’s the only way that I can see my daughter, then so be it,” he said.

Asif Suleman, of the fathers’ rights group Fathers 4 Justice, said although threatening mothers with prison sentences was “a last resort”, it was sometimes necessary as they were “getting away with” denying unmarried fathers access to their children.

“The whole idea is not to imprison our moms, but to send out a firm and strong warning that a court order is meant to be respected,” he said.

Suleman said he was aware of only two previous occasions in South Africa in which judges had handed mothers suspended sentences for refusing fathers access to their children .

But he hoped “it becomes more common and serves as the deterrent it’s intended to be”.


Jail defiant mom on the run
Published:Nov 02, 2008

The sooner we start jailing parents who prevent visitation and wilfully alienate the other parent from their child, the sooner we would be able to prevent parental alienation and put many of the woes of society behind us, “Jail for defiant mom on the run” (October 26).

If you are not living this, imagine having your child abducted.

It’s a terrible, bone-chilling feeling which I, unfortunately, have lived with for 28 months.

It doesn’t matter if your child is abducted from a beach in Aruba, a hotel room in Portugal or by your ex-mate.

I pray that this mother will be found and jailed.

Our children really deserve to have both fit parents as active participants in their lives.

— Donald Tenn, Fathers-4- Justice

Moms vs. Dads ~ Two conferences in parallel ~ Two Solitudes

Moms vs. Dads
Overlapping Toronto parenting conferences agree on little
Saturday, October 25, 2008

Just like mom and dad, motherhood and fatherhood scholars might not concur on every domestic issue, but they do agree on two things: mothers are stereotyped for doing too much, and men for doing too little.

A motherhood conference this weekend at Toronto's York University conveys that very message, invoking revolutionary goals of maternal independence, creativity and spontaneity -- all in an effort to push moms out of the house and onto the streets. Across the city at a downtown hotel, however, scholars at a groundbreaking conference on fatherhood discussed topics that sounded a little more domesticated:"The Importance of Infant Sleep for First-Time Dads," "How Children Affect Fathers' Health" and "Father Involvement in the Context of Breast-Feeding."

While some of these topics might sound like send-ups for clueless guys, conference organizer Kerry Daly begs to differ.

Prof. Daly, who teaches family relations at the University of Guelph,emphasizes that the emergence of these issues proves that fathers are answering their partner's call to lighten their domestic workloads."Men have been responsive to the feminist cry of the double day," he said.

"To say that dads don't chip in is unfair and inaccurate."

Ending yesterday, the 2008 Father Involvement Research Conference is an unprecedented event in paternity's checkered history, the first time that scholars from around the world have gathered in one spot to discuss the progress that men of the house have made.
If the recent preponderance of ads of balding dads nuzzling babies is any indication, the nurturing father is gaining momentum, crossing the wimpy divide into a more accepting world.

Still, experts say, negative stereotypes prevail. "Look at the connotations,"Prof. Daly said. "When you say mothered, you think of nurturing, warmth and comfort. When you say someone is fathered, you think of sperm."

While the trope of the buffoonish, useless Everyone Loves Raymond kind of dad is rampant, Prof. Daly observes that men have steadily devoted more time to parenting and household chores. "They are working longer hours, but they are still trying to find a complementarity of contributions."

There is a growing recognition among mothers, he adds, about how time spent with children is evaluated. A father, for example, taking a child to a softball game could be considered as meaningful as the time a mother might spend carpooling.

Andrea O'Reilly, a York University professor who organized the motherhood conference, said that she faced an entirely different set of obstacles when she started a local motherhood movement. "We had to prove it was legitimate, when most people saw motherhood as biology or instinct."

In contrast, she added, many perceive fatherhood as a choice, a novelty, a disembodied biological experience that many see as being inherently less instinctive. "You can step out of fatherhood at any given time,but with motherhood, you can't."

When read some of the topics being discussed across town, she sounded a little incredulous. "If I had written for a grant and I had 'baby time' as one of my categories, it would have been tossed."
Beginningwith the emergence of DNA testing, however, several trends over thepast decade have influenced the way that mothers and the motherhood movement look at their male counterparts --and vice versa.

Invoking a phrase from Mary O'Brien's influential book, The Politics of Reproduction, Prof. O'Reilly said that fathers would suffer from"alienation from the seed," but that might have changed with the advent of genetic testing.

Menonce had to trust women that the baby they were carrying was theirs;now it could be verified, perhaps altering, on a subconscious level atleast, a father's sense of responsibility. "It's only been 10 years since we've been able to prove who the father is," Prof. O'Reilly said.

Aroundthe same time, academics began to realize that mothers would oftenjudge their partners' performance on their own terms, what experts calla "deficit model of parenting." In other words, they focused on men'sinadequacies as parents--a phenomenon that could be called a form ofreverse sexism: when it comes to parenting, men are useless.

"It was looked at through a matriarchal lens," said Carleton University professor Andrea Doucet, who spoke yesterday at the fatherhood conference on "I'm Still Their Mother: Fathers Mothering and Maternal Gatekeeping."

But Prof. Doucet, the author of the book "Do Men Mother?", noted that women typically discounted activities such as coaching, or driving to sports, because they were considered "fun," when instead they potentially could involve crucial developmental moments.
In 1996, however, a landmark collection of essays, Generative Fathering:Beyond Deficit Perspectives, helped shift the paradigm in the academic world, showing that men could offer varied, positive approaches to parenting. Invisible fathering traits such as risk-taking -- and even a little rough-and-tumble play -- could be positive for a child's development.

Prof.Doucet said that while mothers are still in the driver's seat, doing most of the planning and organizing, they need to find ways to encourage men to step to the plate -- all of which makes communication and negotiation between fathers and mothers all the more important.

"It's important to talk about them in relation to each other," she said,unwittingly raising a point about the segregated nature of these two conferences.

If communication is so important in this increasingly equitable relationship, how could it be that the two parenting events with a few days of overlap cold have no interplay whatsoever? Symbolically at least, what does it say about motherhood and fatherhood?

Both organizers said that neither knew the other was planning a conference until it was too late.

Or as Prof. O'Reilly aptly put it, "We're just a busy couple and we didn't check in with each other."

Copyright © 2007 CanWest Interactive, a division of CanWest MediaWorks Publications, Inc.. All rights reserved.

Donald Tenn F4J U.S.A. ~ Confronting very Large fines

SATURDAY OCTOBER 25, 2008 Last modified: Friday, October 24, 2008 8:26 PM CDT

Chief: Officers followed standard procedures during Tenn's arrest

BRAIDWOOD - Donald Tenn apparently wants nothing to do with the village again after local police gave him a couple traffic citations last weekend.

“In my line of work, I am often detained and questioned by police around the country,” Tenn, 52, of Sacramento, Calif., was quoted in a Fathers-4-Justice press advisory sent Thursday as saying.

“However, Braid-wood, Ill., is one place I hope I never return.”

Acting Braidwood Police Chief Brandon Myers said Friday that Tenn, of the F4J board, was given a verbal warning by local police for operating a vehicle with one headlight.

Following further investigation, police arrested Tenn for operating a motor vehicle on a revoked California driver's license. He did not have an Illinois driver's license, Myers noted.

“I don't know if he behaved any differently than anyone else who is arrested,” said Myers. “My officers never said anything about him being out of line. He was treated according to standard procedures. We always strive to treat everybody with dignity and respect.”

Tenn was quoted in the advisory as saying: “One's constitutional rights are completely ignored in this small town.”

“They completely ignore the law of the land, they have no jury and no trial, but they do have a mandatory vehicle impound law and fee of $500 and towing fee of $250,” he said in the advisory.

Tenn was quoted as labeling the fees as extortion, and a violation of the RICO Act.

“It's a lot of money for anyone, but for a charitable organization (F4J), this will adversely affect a lot of children and their families for months to come.”

The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO, is intended to eradicate organized crime by establishing strong sanctions and forfeiture provisions.

Myers said it is nice that Tenn builds himself up.

“The fact is, though, he didn't have a valid driver's license,” the chief said.

Myers said the village has an administrative impoundment license with a fee of $500, a common practice in communities throughout Illinois, he noted.

“We have had situations where the $500 administrative fee is returned if the person is found innocent of the charge,” Myers said.

In regards to the $250 towing charge, this issue is out of the hands of police, as the fees are established by the towing companies, he noted.

“I think our officers acted appropriately, according to the standards established by our police department,” Myers said.

Fathers-4-Justice is a tax-exempt organization headquartered in St. Paul, Minn.

The organization is a fathers' rights pressure group based in the United Kingdom. F4J has received national news coverage because of the circumstances of the many protests the organization has staged.

A charge of felony vandalism against Tenn, who is also known as Spiderman, was dismissed in Municipal Court on Friday, Oct. 10, in Columbus, Ohio.

Tenn was cited after he spent several days atop a construction crane during a protest at Ohio State University.

“In his attempts to bring awareness to the injustices perpetrated upon children, their parents and grandparents by our family courts, Mr. Tenn has been involved in numerous acts of civil disobedience around the country,” the F4J press advisory notes.

F4J members from several states are to rally at Heinz Field when the Pittsburgh Steelers play a home game with the New York Giants on Sunday, Oct. 26.

Read more of the public's complaint's about Braidwood.

The work of Fathers 4 Justice and the Pain of Fathers ~ Activism in the UK

Equal and Shared Parenting ~ The Movie