Don't want to post? Email me instead.

cavehillred AT yahoo.co.uk

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Vote for Parents' Rights

Voters in four constituencies in Ireland will get the chance to vote for parents' rights in the forthcoming election after the Fathers Rights-Responsibility Party became the state's newest official political party this week.

Candidates include former MEP candidate Liam O'Gogain, a veteran campaigner for shared parenting and founder of campaigning organisation Parental Equality, and Alan Beirne, one of Parental Equality's leading members who came to public prominence when he featured in RTE's groundbreaking documentary series on divorce some years back.

Unlike our current Taoiseach, who had wealthy pals to buy him a house and bankroll his marital separation, many divorced and separated fathers in Ireland suffer real financial hardship when their relationships break down.

And unlike our current Taoiseach, they do not always gain unlimited or even any access to their children following separation.

The creakingly antique laws relating to parenting in Ireland are predicated on the outdated belief that a woman's place is in the home and the children's place is at her apron-strings.

Hence the phenomenon of so many children who are now being raised in Ireland without meaningful influence from their fathers. Around 40% of all births in Ireland are now to unmarried parents, but what those many fathers often do not realise is that the state gives their relationship with their children absolutely no protection.

They are not granted automatic guardianship of their children, and if they split with their children's mother, they must petition for access via the courts. They must also seek 'custody', that odious phrase with all its connotations of children as possessions.

Instances of bitter women denying fathers access to their kids, and being facilitated in doing so by our outdated legal system, run into the thousands. In fact, Irish fathers face the worst discrimination in Europe.

The adversarial, Kramer Versus Kramer, format pits mother against father on a queered playing pitch which ensures only that fathers must empty their pockets to finance their former partner's lives, while being simultaneously unable to have meaningful relationships with their children.

The result is that we are raising an experimental generation of children with no paternal input into their lives. Forget the media lie of deadbeat dads. We have a deadbeat system, and it is no wonder that it results in an ASBO generation where the Department of Social Welfare has become husband to lone mothers and father to their children.

The Fathers Rights-Responsibility Party advocate a mediated, shared parenting system that benefits all, especially the children.

To all voters in constituencies where their candidates are running, I urge you to offer these candidates a preference in the forthcoming election, a first preference if possible.

That way, you can send a message out to the incoming government, whoever they may be, that it is time we dragged our legal system out of the dark ages for our children's sake.

kick it on kick.ie


Yvonne said...

Thanks JC for pointing this out, I was aware that many fathers in this country are discriminated against but I didn't know of the party existed.

Anonymous said...

Hi. I am intereste din your anger- as an energy - but more in your statement that "that fathers must empty their pockets to finance their former partner's lives"

Surely it is their children's lives they are financing, rather than their partners. I am all for fathers rights but when the issue of money comes up, it seems to be ok for mothers to empty their pockets but not the fathers.

Odd isn't it?

By the way have you hear dof the Solomon Judgement? Can you really split a child in half, physically, emotionally, custodially?

I have been angry too. There is a wonderful book by THick Nhat Han, Buddhist monk, which is more constructive than political groups to set fathers against mothers- we are all angry, we are all being manipulated by the system, its the oldest trick in the book- DIVIDE AND RULE-


JC Skinner said...

More wittering from people too afraid to post under any identity, even a pseudonym.
Firstly, there is no requirement in Irish law for mothers to demonstrate proof that 'maintenance' actually funds children rather than their own lives.
Secondly, if you had bothered to click on any of the links mentioned in the post, you would learn that Solomonic judgement is about as far away from shared parenting as you can get.
Thirdly, this political party is not about setting anyone against anyone, but about reforming our Victorian family justice system and promoting the successful format of shared parenting that exists in Scandinavia already.
And finally, would that be a Thai buddhist (currently shooting their Muslim neighbours) or a Viet buddhist (historically involved in wars and incursions for most of the past 200 years)?
Thick sounds like a good name for you and your guru.

Anonymous said...

In the U.S. states and family court systems profit from the creation of non-custodial parents under Title IV-D federal incentives. This is immoral and it is a child's right to EQUAL time with BOTH fit parents!


gurljinxed said...

Report dead beat parents free! New support forum allows users and visitors to report non-paying parent information in child support cases. This resource will assist users to circulate and collect information about a dead beat parent's location and financial information which will be used to aid in the collection of past due child support.

VISIT http://www.idbd.info IDBD- Internation Dead Beat Database for more information!

Anonymous said...

Hiya, Skinner.
Thought you might be interested in these two articles.

HSE lacks policy to deal with parents who separate

Sunday Independent February 12th 2006 JEROME REILLY
AN INTERNAL health service investigation has revealed institutional bias against fathers who are not living in the family home. The probe was carried out after complaints by a separated father who believed he was being excluded from vital decisions being made about his child.
These findings tend to support the belief, held by some men, that official policies and practices militate against fathers, in favour of mothers, after relationships break down.
Another key finding is that, some health care professionals consider it "easier" and "less complicated" to deal with mothers only, when the relationship between parents has broken down.
The investigation was initiated after complaints by a non-custodial father, living in the east of the country, against the Early Intervention Service (EIS) and the Health Service Executive (HSE).
Pseudonyms were used in the course of the investigation to protect confidentiality. The father and mother of a little girl separated in difficult circumstances in early 2003.
A public health nurse subsequently referred their child (known as "Jessica") to the EIS because of a query regarding developmental delay.
However, the father, known as "Mr Jones", only found out about this three months after it took place, when there was a brief reference to it at a court hearing.
This was the beginning of a difficult relationship between the health services and Mr Jones. Various efforts at mediation failed.
Mr Jones made a complaint and an internal investigation was carried out. The father was not satisfied with the results and then made a formal complaint to the HSE Regional Consumer Service.
A further independent investigation was then carried out. It found that Mr Jones should have been involved in the treatment options for Jessica from the beginning. However, the investigation did not find he had been deliberately excluded.
"It appears to us that this issue of including fathers in treatment options was not the norm at the time. There was no knowledge as to the rights of non-custodial parents."
The investigation also concluded: "Whilst there has been a wish to have men more involved in services for their children, practice has grown amongst health professionals whereby they are not surprised if a father does not attend, and they have learned to work with mothers.
"In some ways this has made practice easier and in some ways less complicated and it will take time for services to both change their outlook and equip themselves to deal with the new reality," the investigation says.
The investigation found that the HSE did not have the appropriate policies and procedures in place in relation to guardianship rights for non-custodial parents.


HSE failed to deal with guardianship rights of father
by Emma Browne
The Village Thursday, March 16, 2006

The health services failed to seek consent from a parent for early intervention treatment for his child despite previously getting legal advice in this area and being told they should. Emma Browne reports
The HSE North Eastern region had no policies or procedures for dealing with non-custodial parents with guardianship rights as recently as December 2005 and no policy for managing customer complaints, according to an independent investigation published last December.
The investigation looked into complaints by a man against the North Eastern Health Board (now the HSE North Eastern region) Early Intervention Service unit (EIS). His main complaint was that the HSE had not sought his permission or involvement as a non-custodial parent when dealing with his daughter, who was being treated by the EIS.
The investigation found: there were no policies or procedures to deal with the issue of guardianship by non-custodial parents and their consent to treatment within the HSE North East region; the EIS had no knowledge of the Guardianship of Infants Act 1964 – the main legislation with regards to guardianship; the EIS were at times defensive in dealing with the man in question; the HSE Eastern region had no policy in place in relation to managing customer complaints.
In July 2003 Mr Jones (the man does not want to be named for legal reasons) discovered through a court case that his daughter had been referred to the EIS and was being treated by them. The EIS was set up in the North Eastern Health Board in 2000 and offers services to children with learning or physical disabilities or developmental problems. Jones had previously been married to his daughter's mother, so under the Guardianship of Infants Act 1964 Jones had rights as a guardian, even though he was not the custodial parent. He attempted to become involved in his daughter's case and requested that he be consulted regarding all aspects of it. He says the HSE North Eastern region was resistant to his involvement and did not know how to deal with the situation. It was the first time that the EIS had come across the issue of guardianship. After an ongoing dispute between Jones and the EIS the independent investigation was set up to look into his complaints. The independent investigation was conducted by Clive Garland, Edgeworth Organisational Consultants, Sligo; and Brendan Casey Area Manager, Cavan/Monaghan Disability Services.
The report says that the HSE did not deliberately exclude Jones, and the HSE now accept they should have sought his consent and made mistakes.
It says that Jones should have been involved in the treatment options for his daughter from the beginning, but that "the issue of including fathers in treatment options was not the norm at the time".
Although the HSE had no policies or procedures relating to non-custodial parents this was not the first time that they had sought legal advice on the matter. According to the report the "HSE solicitor finds herself 'surprised and concerned that the questions of Guardianship and Custody have come up again... I have repeatedly over many years past advised the Health Board both orally and in writing on these subjects'." The investigation team understands the legal position as: "HSE personnel need to be aware that all of a child's guardians (except in cases of emergency) give consent to any medical treatment... unless there is a court order restricting such rights."
At the time the report was concluded they said: "there is still no formal position, definitive line or sets of policies or procedures in relation to the guardianship and consent to treatment".
The report recommended that training be provided to staff to deal with non-custodial parents and guardianship issues. Other recommendations included a policy for managing complaints and seeking clarification on the legal position and implementing policies and procedures to reflect this.
When asked what recommendations and changes the HSE North Eastern region are making as result of the investigation, they said: "The recommendations for services locally are currently being implemented. Nationally the HSE is reviewing policies and procedures in this area and is considering the revision or introduction of national policy."
When the HSE Head Office was asked if there was a central policy and procedure on how to deal with non-custodial parents who have guardianship rights and if all HSE regions had policies or procedures in relation to guardianship in place, they said they were not aware of any "overarching" policy dealing with non-custodial parents and guardianship issues and said they would have to contact all regions to establish if they had policies.

JC Skinner said...

Really appreciate those articles, Jim. It's just one example of how institutionalised bias against fathers really is in this country.
As for Gurljinxed and her bitter little attempt to get us all to grass up people who are being taxed by the system while simultaneously being refused meaningful engagement in their children's lives, all I can say is I hope the kids forgive you.