Having a father is a human right. ‘Kids need a Mum & Dad’. To you and I this is obviously unquestionable. The Universal Declaration for Human Rights was ratified by the United Nations after World War II on 10 December 1948.
It says in the preamble:
“Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world . . . “The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.”
The Convention on the Rights of the Child came into force in the UN on 2 September 1990. It recognises the right that a child has to a mother and a father and that the child’s identity comes from their mother and father. Article 7 and Article 9 in the document confirm this right and confirm a child’s right to know their mother and father.
What I am telling you is common sense, even the United Nations agrees. But unfortunately common sense is not so common. FamilyVoice Queensland’s state officer, Geoffrey Bullock, commented on a recent court decision on 30 May 2014.
He said, “The Supreme Court’s decision to remove a father’s name from his child’s birth certificate is truly tragic for the child,”
“The impact of fatherlessness has been widely acknowledged, including by US President Barrack Obama. This child will grow up in a deliberately fatherless home – not knowing or having the chance to know the love of a dad,” Mr Bullock said.
In 2011, a judge removed a Sydney father’s name from his 10 year old daughter’s birth certificate and replaced it with the name of her lesbian mother’s former partner. The lesbian couple then split up, and the non-biological mother obtained a new partner. The father was distraught.
“It created a situation where the child had three ‘mothers’ but no father. Judge Stephen Walmsley acknowledged problems with the law, and suggested that the biological father should be recorded in the birth certificate,” Mr Bullock said.
“Every child needs a mum and a dad. While tragic life circumstances sometimes mean that this ideal is not possible, no government should allow children to be intentionally deprived of their natural mother and father before they have even been created. We should not create a new generation of children with an unsolvable identity crisis.
“Further deviation from the biological family as the foundation of society will lead to massive problems down the track.”
The team at Dads4Kids has fearlessly spoken out on behalf of fatherless children and we will continue to do so. In 2008 a bill was proposed in the NSW Parliament that would allow fathers names to be removed from birth certificates. Unfortunately this bill was subsequently passed by a negligent parliament. My wife and I made a speech about the Cost of Fatherlessness in the NSW parliament at a public forum against the bill to remove a child’s human right to a father.
This is part of what we said:
“Children need a mother and a father. To legislate for anything less than this ideal is to legislate for increased levels of child abuse – and what kind of government would do that?
In 1975 when the Australian Family Law Act was first brought in, everyone thought it was reasonable: to remove ‘fault’ from divorce. The only person openly opposing its introduction outside Federal Parliament in Canberra was Fred Nile and other passionate pro-family groups. Everyone else acquiesced. As Edmund Burke said, “All that is needed for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”
It didn’t take long for the Family Law Act to be manipulated by lawyers. The sum effect in Australia since the Family Law Act has seen millions of fathers torn from their children and families. How many men and how many children have committed suicide because of this seemingly reasonable law? ‘Fault’ always has to be apportioned. The new ‘fault’ in divorce became the male of the species. This bill to derogate fathers is simply an extension of that thought process. Fathers are expendable…
Fatherlessness according to Dr Bruce Robinson and other researchers is costing Australia over $13 billion per year. It’s not just the monetary cost; it’s the endless tales of broken hearts and broken lives. Fatherless children have higher rates of poverty, lower educational performance, greater levels of involvement with crime, greater likelihood of physical and mental health problems, greater levels of childhood obesity, greater likelihood of substance abuse of both drugs and alcohol. Robert Bly, the poet and author says, “Addiction does not have to do with Columbian drug lords but with the absence of the father.”
Next Friday, 13 June is world Fatherless Day. This is a day to remember the importance of fathers and to resolve together to put our hand to the plough together to turn the tide of fatherlessness that is affecting our children. Dads4Kids will be making a special announcement regarding a new website and initiative to combat this problem. We look forward to sharing this with you.
Together we can turn the tide of fatherlessness.
True change always begins from the inside out.
Partner with us as we together work on ourselves first, and then begin to work on our society.
The first UN Declaration on the Rights of a Child written in 1959 says, “Mankind owes to the child the best it has to give.”
Yours for the best we have to give
PS. If you are interested to speaking up on these issues and have some basic communication skills please let us know. Dads4Kids needs some extra help with its website and campaign to turn the tide of fatherlessness. Please email us for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org