The Rights of Father
The old phrase goes "It takes a village to raise a child," and in that sentence lies the idea that it also takes a father. I have so often seen single mothers shut fathers out of their children's lives. It seems to happen more with teenage parents than those older parents who are divorcing. Perhaps it's because teenage boys are a little more immature and need time and because of the weight of how teenage pregnancy affects mothers. But it's undeniable that single mothers often tend to feel that the child is THEIRS.
I personally have a good friend who is shutting her now ex-husband out of her children's lives. It's not blatant or large but in small ways. He wanted to spend either Christmas or Christmas Eve with his children, but the week before she informed him that instead they would be flying away to visit their grandparents in another state. I simply don't see this as acceptable.
Nobody has denied the rights of a mother to her children, and yet we live in a country that certainly downplays the role of father. It’s expected that women will receive custody and men often have to fight to get the custody of their children or to split custody between them. We simply, in my humble opinion, don’t value the role of fathers enough. The roles of fathers goes both ways however. We also live in a country that tends to blame the mothers when something goes wrong with the child. We look at criminals and serial killers and shake our heads, “The mother should have known,”...”the mother should have done something”...and so on. Yet, we never seem to blame the father. We need to start acknowledging that fathers are just as important in a child’s life and can make just as good a parent as women can.
So in question about a father’s rights, I think we need to start acknowledging them.