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A case of overreaction

Letter to the Editor

By Steve Basile, Boston Herald, Feb. 25, 2004

A case of overreaction

Dear Editor:

Lt. Gov. Healey recently lectured that "Parenthood is not only a privilege it's a responsibility" as she unveiled the states latest deadbeat dad most wanted poster "State releases most wanted list of deadbeat parents" (Feb 24).

But what most Legislators like her fail to articulate, is that a father's monetary contribution is the least important of all his parental responsibilities. It is sad that so much attention is directed towards a father's monetary contributions when his physical presence is of much greater importance. Criminalizing fathers, placing them on most wanted posters, and minimizing their role to that of a support payment disenfranchises them and drives them from their children's lives. A father's child support compliance is directly correlated to the amount of parenting time he is allowed.

The well being of children is directly correlated to their ability to access both a loving mother and father. If our legislators are truly concerned about the well being of our children they should enact laws that would presume joint parenting in the case of divorce. Contrary to popular believe most Dads do not walk out of their children's lives but are pushed out. Fathers shouldn't have to fight so hard in the courts just to prove they are still parents.

Steve Basile