Monday, 20 June 2011

Fatherhood: It takes two.

A Father is , biologically, the male partner who mates with the female to produce a baby . Fatherhood entails much more than the sexual aspect of baby-making.
The ideal situation after a child is born would be for the father to be present and be willing to cooperate with his child's mother to rear their offspring by contributing not only his money, but also his time to do this.
Millions of fathers worldwide can be creditted for doing an excellent hands- on job of caring for their children.
This millennium has been one for changes and a continuation of positive advancement in leaps and bounds in all facets of human life; especially technologically , financially and socially.
Fathers and mothers have to work harder than before to meet the demands of modern living which include giving the best to their children.
Despite the challenges of modern living , like the demands of their jobs or professions ,most fathers , make time off to bond with and to spend quality time with their wives and children.

However, in the absence of conscious efforts to perform the role of a father , what could happen is that some fathers could miss out of this loving relationship with their children .
This group of "missing fathers" could be classified as absentee , run-away or anonymous fathers.
There are various reasons given by fathers who have decided to abandon their parental role
This write up is not about the reasons for couples breaking up or about the "pros and cons" of strained love relationships or marital upheavals.

Different men have different reasons why they have decided to abandon some women and their children but these same men are known to have moved on to form long-standing loving relationships with other women and their children from the union.
Whatever the reasons for the break-up or break -down of a relationship, the children of the union suffer the adverse effects more than their seperated parents do.
It should be noted that for every man who is an unwilling father , there are ten fathers who are very willing and very involved in bringing up their children.

The worrying phenomenon of absentee or run-away fathers is a not recent one.
Unfortunately, all through the ages , there have been men and women who are obsessed with sex; but are not bothered about the repercussions of unbridled sexual liasons.
Rampaging men think it is the woman's business to "take care of herself" and so they would not want to hear the "P" word!
For centuries , there has been cases of unwilling fathers and abandoned pregnant girls, pregnant women or wives and their children.
The present outcry against this unwholesome practice of unwilling fathers is due to the spotlight by the variuos societies on the plight of abandoned children and the financial burden on governments to provide for the upbringing of children whose fathers have abdicated their responsibilities.

Nowadays , there are absentees fathers who work abroad or who work long hours to make in order to earn fatter pay cheques and as a result , they see their children occassionally .
In this group are fathers who serving long prison sentences'
Run-away fathers start their decline into refusing to have anything to do with the up-bringing of their own children , by first being reluctant fathers.
Reluctant fathers are men who do not desire the role of committing to any woman or children and , usually , they are fathers who have been forced into fatherhood by women who deliberately foist pregnancies on unwilling men, as means of pinning them down.

Anonymous fathers are those fathers who do not even know that they have fathered dozens of children !
These are men who engage in "one-stands" or "flash-in the pan" sexual relationships and then went on their merry way ; without even knowing the real first names or contact details of their female sexual partners .
Also in the category of Anonymous fathers are those fathers who have fathered children by either donating or selling their seminal fluid (sperm) to Fertility Clinics, Sperm Banks and Research Institutes.
Boys and Men sell their sperm to Sperm Banks , worldwide ; these banks store the sperm , labelled with the men's specifications in their data bank .
These Fertility Clinics and Sperm Banks advertise their services on the Internet and their target market are girls and women who are busy pursing their education or busy building their careers and prefer to defer motherhood till they are in their late 30s when they would be ready to take on the responsibilities of motherhood.
Just as there are men who are unwilling to enter into the commitment of marriage with any woman , so also there are women who do not desire marriage or a committed relationship with any man.
This group of unwilling women want babies but have they decided that they do not have the time nor the space in the lives for , what they call " Man Stress" from any man.

Women desiring "designer babies" with anonymous fathers , pay huge fees to access these Sperm data banks and they could select their preferred male specifications as to the desired height , race , skin tone , hair and eye colours , looks , IQ and even the profession of their desired man who they think would make the most IVF babies.
The chosen sperm is then used to fertilise the women's eggs and make human embyroes which are then stored away for many years , until when these women are ready to take on the responsibilities of motherhood.
Already, some women have stored more than a dozen frozen embryos, for future use.
Men who sell their sperm must sign a contract reliquinshing all claims to fatherhood of any child born from such sold sperm .
Also these IVF contracts forbid all attempts by either the man or woman to try to trace the identity of each other.

Usually ,when the fathers shirk their fatherhood responsibilities , mothers are left high and dry; left "holding the baby", literally!
When young children are abandoned by their fathers; the responsibilities of child-rearing fall on their mothers or on foster parents , provided by Social Services.
Abandoned mothers would have to either stop working , or take on part-time employment ; in order to find time for caring for the children.
This affects the family income and the well-being of the children.
There have been sterotypical statements that children from single parent households or from divorced parents , would end up as social miscreants, criminals and emotionally bankrupt adults who cannot remain married.
This is a false assertion as it is also very unfair to label people with the wrong tags!The excuse by some adults that they have not done well in life because " you see, I was abandoned by my father as a child"; is no longer tenable !
There are kids who were single-handedly reared by single mothers and today , they are doing very well , excelling in their chosen carreers
Some people would even say ,"It is sinners who do things like this!"
But is it only "Sinners" who divorce and only "sinners" who abandon responsibilities to their children with their wives?
What of "saints" who live under the same roof with their wives and children but maltreat them and do not contribute a dime towards the family upkeep?
Then how do we explain cases of children from normal, decent homes with married doting parents ; even Church ministers' children who have turned out to be children of sorrow? Despite their sound Christian upbringing some children have become habitual criminals such as drug addicts ,drug peddlars , robbers , fraudsters and prostitutes!
Millions of children from happily homes with decent parents have been unfortunate to choose the wrong marriage partners and they have had to , unwillingly, go through the trauma of divorce .

The lot of abadoned children is much better in Western societies where the government provides free and subsidised facilities such as housing, medical care , education and weekly cash benefits to the abandoned mother and children.
In the UK , apart from providing such benefits, efforts are made by the Department of Social Services and the Child Suport Agencies to trace the unwilling runaway fathers who would have disappeared from the radar of Social Services.
It is a sad fact that millions of men have to be traced and forced by court action to contribute , at least half of their income to their children's care.
Even this measure have been condemned by those who see it as "Ungodly anti family values laws which give too much power to non-submissive women!"
Empowering women in every way to be in a position to take proper care of themselves and their abandoned children is NOT ungodly!
What is ungodly is some women abusing the benefit system , by irresponsible child-bearing.
What is MOST ungodly is allowing unscrupulous and heartless men and fathers to get away, SCOT FREE with maltreating their women and children!

The fact is , it takes two to decide on a child's birth.
Fatherhood can not be forced on any man any woman or any government.
Mothers and fathers owe it a duty to their unborn children to take on parenthood with all the seriousness it deserves by choosing to procreate with , not just any man man or woman they fancy; but by making babies with the right partners who are willing to commit to a life-time of parenthood .
Men have to , consciously decide to be fathers indeed and to make efforts to be involved with the rearing of the children they have fathered.
There is a world of benefits to be gained by being a hands-on father.
Mothers should not use pregnancies as bargaining chips for their personal gains or promotion.
If a man does not want to be with you on a permanent basis , so be it!
Let him "walk ";for your own peace of mind and for the sake of your unborn children! Women, do not force, bribe, beg cajole or threaten an unwilling man to stay with you.
If you do that and you think you are have won him over; you would find out soon that he was only biding his time for a perfect exit and that you were just postponing the evil day of the COMPLETE abandonment of you and your children.
May that not be our portion!

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