Friday, September 10, 2010

Who's My Daddy

Dear Rarely Home Mom,

I just finished reading your latest blog entry, My thoughts on the adoption case heard in UT Supreme court . And even though I know there is an awful lot of our society that would agree with you, I still find myself shocked and appalled at what you had to say . . .

*** Utah has really strict laws about rights of birth fathers, and their rights are pretty minimal here.***

This part you have 100% right. Utah has the absolute worse laws when it comes to rights for First Fathers and even First mothers. That is why so many flock to that state to finalize an adoption. So they can take complete advantage of the laws to acquire a child.

***Utah law says that any man in the country who has sex with a woman anywhere in the United States has the responsibility to follow up with that woman and determine if a pregnancy resulted from their little rendezvous. If the man does not do that, he automatically has no rights to the child after birth. ***

Seems to me a woman should be expected to have the same responsibility of informing a man if a pregnancy occurred after sex – sorry but “little rendezvous” just doesn’t describe the act for me. And to automatically remove a father’s rights based solely on such a reason is ridiculous. Just because a man does not follow up (or is outright not told) to find out if he might be a father has absolutely NO BEARING on the kind of parent he will be.

If neither party takes the responsibility to inform one another of what has occurred after sex, then yes, it is a lack of judgment, I believe, on BOTH sides, but it in no way predicts any kind of abuse or harm that would demand parental rights be stripped from them.

***If the man does find out that he fathered a child, it is then his responsibility to show interest in that child before it is born. Some ways he can do that are by financially supporting the mother (rent, groceries, medical bills, etc.), driving her to doctors appointments, and so on. If a man knows he impregnated a woman and shows no interest in the baby before it is born, Utah law gives him absolutely no rights to the baby after it is born and the mother signs paperwork terminating her own rights (which can be done as early as 24 hours after birth if she is not on narcotics). ***

I will agree with you that any man who fathers a child should show responsibility from the start as he does become a parent at the time of pregnancy just as the mother does. But there are a couple big flaws in believing that a man is somehow unworthy of being a parent if he doesn’t step up to the plate from the very start.

One is, unfortunately, there still is very little support out there to help young men understand the importance of being a father. There are very few role models for them to follow while at the same time lots of judgment and unfair treatment, such as Utah Laws, that already place them in a negative light before they even get the chance to try. I know young men who are wonderful fathers but never understood the importance of support and being there for the mothers of their children while they were pregnant.

The other is, if you have never experienced what it is like to be a parent. If you don’t know that love that can overwhelm you and take you over the minute you hold your child in your arms, then yes, you might very well make mistakes and back away during the pregnancy, because you are unaware of just how significant it is to hold and love your child. But, it is VERY common to have that love and understanding hit you the moment your child is in your arms. To look into the eyes of your son or daughter and be completely swept away and understand just how much that tiny life is depending on you.

And in the case of, John Wyatt, neither of these two arguments have relevance because he did show an interest and he let it be known, from the start, that he was against adoption. He isn’t a man who just threw up his arms and said, “I don’t give a damn.” He’s a father who knew from the start that he wanted to keep and raise his child.

And on a side note, the fact that mothers are allowed to sign ANYTHING related to adoption and giving away their children after only 24 hours after giving birth is appalling. Talk about coercive and manipulative practices!

*** If a man knows he impregnated a woman, supported her during her pregnancy and wants to retain rights to the child after birth, he MUST file certain papers in court in a very specific manner of time.***

And that just boggles the brain in all ways! So, in the state of Utah, even if the father does everything right (in their diluted eyes) and is a father of the best kind even through the pregnancy, he must still file papers in court to be able to keep his own flesh and blood? His child? Forgive my language here, but that is bullshit! There is absolutely nothing, no tangible reason for this law to be in existence other than to ensure more children are taken from their fathers in the interest of making adoption easier for adoptive parents. Where else, expect for in the world of adoption, would a man have to go to court to protect his rights to his child when he has done nothing but prove what a good father he is?

***From all the family situations and birth family situations I’ve seen over the past few years, the laws in Utah work. They have been a lifesaver to countless birthmothers, and I sure appreciate them as an adoptive mom.***

Yes the laws in Utah work for adoptive parents, which is why I am not surprised you, as an adoptive mother, appreciate them. And they are far from being any kind of lifesaver to a First Mother facing such unethical practices. The only people the laws are “saving” are the hopeful adoptive parents desperately wanting a child and the adoption industry looking to guarantee their disgusting high profits remain intact.

There is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING in Utah laws to protect a mother and child. NOTHING! They are designed to encourage the manipulative, coercive practices that feed the adoption industry. For anyone to appreciate or like these laws is beyond my understanding.

***When Joshua was born in Utah we still lived in California, but because Utah adoption law kicks the pants off of any other state in the country, we chose to use Utah law. ***

And right here is exactly why Utah laws are such an extreme failure . . . because, just like you, hopeful adoptive parents can use the laws to their benefit and use the most unethical way possible to ensure they get that baby they are hoping for, without thought to what they are, in turn, doing to the mother and her child in the process.

***The problem with this current case: Virginia – where the baby was born -has awarded custody to the birth father, but the adoption of the baby was by a family who are Utah residents and worked under Utah law, who has given custody to the adoptive family.***

You are right, there is a huge problem here. The problem is, this father has been given the rights to his own child. His very own. The one made of him that is a part of him, and always will be. But, in every essence of the law, his child has been kidnapped from him under the guise of the Utah laws that gave custody, they didn’t have to give, to the adoptive family.

***BUT at what point do you just STOP fighting and admit that even if you were wronged (which I do not believe he was, but play along – what IF he was wronged) – this is a human. ***

You don’t stop fighting. Plain and simple. Would you expect parents who had their child kidnapped from them, to just give up the fight. To stop and throw in the towel. I would bet you wouldn’t. And in all ways, John Wyatt’s little girl was kidnapped from him. Taken without his permission, forced into a life her father never wanted for her.

***An upstanding birth father, who actually cared about his daughter would never want her to go through that. In my opinion, his is the highest form of selfishness, bordering on evil. He is treating this little girl like property. A lost dog. John Wyatt is showing the world he cares not about his daughter, but himself. A real parent places the BEST INTERESTS of the child above theirs at all times. He is showing he cares about himself, not about what would be best for his birth daughter.***

This is probably one of the most biased, ridiculous statements I have seen in a long time. To call John Wyatt selfish and bordering on evil because he is fighting for his OWN daughter, while supporting the couple who has fought him and used every avenue to keep the little girl since she was a newborn (when he first filed papers with the court) is unbelievable. If him fighting for his daughter with everything he has for all these months makes him such a monster. Than what does it make the adoptive parents who have KNOWN the father of the little girl NEVER wanted to give her up for hiding behind Utah laws and doing everything in their power not to reunite father and daughter and allow them to have the life they both deserve?

John Wyatt did not just come out of the woodwork last month and declare he wanted his daughter back. He has been fighting this fight since she was born and it is the adoptive parents, in my opinion, who are being selfish and not doing what is in the best interest of the child. Her father loves her, he has wanted to raise her and be her parent from the start. That means they never should have had any legal right to his daughter. NONE! They, plain and simply, took another man’s child right out from underneath him and separated a little girl from her father just so they could be parents themselves. The best interest for her would have been being placed back in her father’s arms immediately after learning he never wanted to give her up.

You are so mad at this father who always has, and still does, want his daughter. He wants to raise her and love her and be her parent. And yet you stand behind the couple that has fought him. Has, in my opinion, done the worst of all human acts by keeping her from him and denying him what is his right, as is everyone’s – to parent his own child!

You call him cruel and evil and selfish and yet say nothing of the acts the adoptive parents have done to not only him, but to the little girl stuck in the middle of all of this. This man has done nothing to deserve losing his daughter and the adoptive parents have done nothing to deserve being the ones to keep and raise her over the desires and love of her own father!

Adoption is supposed to be about children in need of a home. This little girl has a home, a father, and a grandmother who love her and want her. This case, as in so many others in the world of adoption, just proves that it is no longer about the child in need but instead about the couple in need of a child, at any and all costs to that child and the parents he/she is being separated from.

14 comments:

  1. This isn't about the fathers rights its about what is best for the girl caught in the middle and her best interests would be to remain with the family that can offer her the best kind of life and obviously the mother of this baby already knew the father was unable to do that and she chose this couple instead.
    I find it interesting you bring your response here without saying a word to her on her own blog.

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  2. Hmmm . . . Anon . . . you sure found my blog pretty quick considering I haven't posted for months. I did post a comment on her site. I have no control past that and the fact other comments have been posted since mine but mine is still waiting moderation.

    You, me, the adoptive parents - none of us have any right to declare this little girl will have a better life with the adoptive parents. (Adoptive parents, remember, who have kept this baby from her own father from the very start of her life after learning he never wanted to give her up.)

    Adoption is not a guarantee for a better life, just a different one. And if you go on the belief that children should simply be exchanged between whichever couple is perceived to offer them a good life, then, if you have children of your own, you should probably start packing them up now, because I promise you there is some couple out there somewhere that others will see as being able to give your children a better life than you can.

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  3. Cassi -

    Here's my post over there on that blog. Is it any wonder that Mormons get such a bad rap? We can be some of the most bigoted, small minded, judgmental people out there. Quite strange, considering our history.

    Thanks for drawing attention that blog.

    M.

    Jendoop -

    Do you remember the rest of the story of King Solomon and the baby? Do you remember who that baby ended up with? Was it the perspective adoptive mother or his natural mother? *King Solomon gave the child back to his mother – a SINGLE parent, BTW.

    If you are advocating that the Supreme Court in UT do the same thing – give this child back to her natural family who wants to care and love for her, then I am all for it.

    M.

    P.S. Here are some of my posts regarding adoption reform from an LDS perspective that your readers might find interesting:

    http://letterstomsfeverfew.wordpress.com/2010/01/08/arrrrrggggghhhh/
    http://letterstomsfeverfew.wordpress.com/2009/12/21/is-you-is-or-is-you-aint-or-in-other-words-a-question-for-fred-riley-of-lds-family-services/
    http://letterstomsfeverfew.wordpress.com/2010/03/06/god-doesnt-do-adoption-part-2/
    http://letterstomsfeverfew.wordpress.com/2010/01/12/you-know-what-chaps-my-hide/
    http://letterstomsfeverfew.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/another-head-scratcher/
    http://letterstomsfeverfew.wordpress.com/2010/02/05/the-mormons-and-liberalprogressive-scientific-thought-maybe-not-so-different-after-all/

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  4. M,

    You were the first one I thought of when I read the blog. Thank you so much for providing another insight over there. I hope your comment gets through!

    I'm not trying to start a cat fight or beat up on anyone cruelly. But there are just sometimes when the old thoughts that have hurt so many need to be challenged and a closer reality brought to awareness. Especially when it comes to unnecessarily separating a child from its parents - mother and/or father!

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  5. If the least disruption to the child were paramount, the child would stay with the adopters and be given free access to her parents and relatives.She is the looser here by having been made into an adoptee.Children are not posessions to be fought over.

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  6. Hey Cassi -

    I haven't been so fired up about an issue in a long time. It actually feels pretty good to flex my doctrinal & scriptural muscles with them. I think she is moderating my comments because she knows I am right - I speak her "lingo" and am part of the "in crowd" so to speak. I am not some crazy heathen non-member who just needs to be gently taught, I am an active member of the LDS church, standing in the full blaze of the Truth.

    And I think it frightens her.

    But back to her blog. One of my favorites lines was, "She is not a lump of goods, trade-able property."

    Hahahahahahahahaha!!!! So....uh. How much did that adoptive family pay for her? (Part of it being subsidized by my tithes and offerings, BTW).

    And then there was this comment: "Nathan thinks there is no where for this case to go but the US Supreme Court, and I’m starting to agree with him; although I’m hoping and praying the birth father’s family runs out of money before they can go that far."

    Agreed. There is no where for this to go but the Supreme Court. I actually hope it does. However, I don't hope his family runs out of money before it makes it that far. I think I just might track him down and give him some money to help this fight. He doesn't live very far from me and it might be a measure of mercy for them to meet at least one Mormon who thinks he is in the right.

    I need to go to bed. The Professor is having a birthday party tomorrow so I need to be on my A-game to host twelve 5 & 6 year olds!!!

    M.

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  7. Anonymous, yes the HELL it is about the fathers rights, AND that of his daugter, who has every right to raise the child he never wanted to relinguish for adoption in the first place!

    Statements like this are all that is wrong with adoption. The selfishness and entitlement of someone else's flesh and blood is sickening and disturbing. People like you are truly and utterly frightning. People like you are the reason adoption, as it is practiced today, should be abolished.

    That child belongs to someone ELSE. That child is someone else's flesh and blood who has every right to raise his own flesh and blood. What part of that DON'T you understand?

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  8. I think what bothers me the most in this situation is not just the overall acceptance by so many of what is happening to this father but that, in any other situation that does not have adoption involved, the view of him would be so drastically different.

    But because adoption is involved, he's no longer seen as a good father who was there from the start and wanted his child, but instead as a selfish man who should have done even more, worked even harder . . . something . . . anything . . . to prove he was worthy. And one that should now "love his daughter enough" to just give up and walk away.

    Why is it that belief "loving them enough to give them away" always seems to rear it's ugly head?

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  9. People who say "Oh, she's been with the adoptive family too long, it will ruin her life to remove her and she will be traumatized forever!" really, really bother me for two reasons.

    First, the child is certainly young enough that after a short adjustment period, she will never remember that any of this happened. Plenty of children at this age change homes/caregivers for whatever reasons - death or illness of a parent, abuse, etc. My own neighbors adopted 2 children whose parental rights had long ago been severed due to neglect and they had been in a temporary home since then. Both children (they were not siblings) were around Emma's age when my neighbors adopted to them. They have zero memory of anything that happened, and are bonded just fine to each other and to their new parents. If Emma is returned to her father after a brief period of confusion she will be just fine, bond to her biological family, and never remember any of this. So that argument is nonesense. If the child was much, much older, yes you run the risk of the child being angry/upset/resentful for a very long time, so yeah, in that case you'd have to balance that against the risk the child will be furious when she turns 18, is contacted by the biological family, and learns they tried to take her home from the hospital but the adopters snuck her away to another state.

    But the biggest problem with this argument? It legitimizes kidnapping. It basically says if you want a baby, it doesn't matter how you obtain that baby (whether it is by deception, lies, or outright kidnapping), if you manage to run away and wait long enough for the child to become attached to you, then you get rewarded for your crime. And we just can't have a legal system that allows kidnappers to be rewarded because they managed to evade the law long enough for the child to develop an attachment to them.

    Now with all this said I don't even think Utah should get jurisdiction, I agree with the arguments about the Parental Kidnapping Act, but even if Utah refuses to move, I do think he has a very good case in federal court. Of course I pray it does not drag out that long and this baby is back home soon in the arms of her father where she belongs. Because she's certainly better off there then with people who think it's ok to take a child and flee the state then ask another state to protect their immoral act.

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  10. letterstomsfeverfew - if you wish to help John fight for his daughter there is donation information at his website: http://www.babyemmawyatt.com/Donate.html

    (I am actually the anon just above this but forgot to log in!)

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  11. That's why we need "A Father's Right To Parent" legislation. Please sign my petition and it will automatically send a letter to your state legislators:

    http://www.change.org/petitions/view/tell_your_legislator_to_writeenact_a_fathers_right_to_parent_bill

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  12. Every time I even think about this my blood pressure goes up 50 points. She closed her comments but did allow my comments to make it through :) I obviously didn't make a dent in her opinion but at least she allowed some dissenting opinions through her moderation before getting cutting everyone off from real conversations.

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  13. "This is a HUMAN. A delicate, innocent baby girl and if she is removed from the only home she has ever known I can not imagine how it will impact her life."

    WTF?!?! I mean, really?
    Why the hell is this logic only applied to children AFTER they have been adopted?!?! This statement is exactly what everyone should be thinking BEFORE we rip babies away from the only homes they've ever known--their mothers!

    It makes me so freaking mad that people are so blind to this logic.
    *shaking* I can't even formulate any coherent thoughts.

    Great post. Thank you.

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  14. The other problem with that argument is what I said above - it would allow anyone who wanted a baby to just steal one, under any circumstances, wait til enough time goes by, and then they can argue the baby has bonded to them, and thinks they are the parents, and it's the only home the baby knew, and it would be EVIL and CRUEL to take them away.

    And anyway, I don't see how it can ever be in a child's best interests to live with people who think it's ok to steal an unwilling stranger's child. What kind of values will such people teach a child? It's a terrible environment for a child to be in.

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