From Jim Ellis interviewing Dianna Thompson in The Legacy:
Many in society are aware of the prevalence of divorce and have a general idea of the impact on children. The landscape of fatherless homes is harsh, as shown by the statistics.
The non-profit National Father Initiative reported on a U.S. Census Bureau finding that 24 million children in America – one out of every three – live in biological father-absent homes. Nine in ten American parents agree this is a “crisis.”
- According to research conducted by Joan Berlin Kelly, author of “Surviving the Break-up,” 50 percent of mothers “see no value in the father’s continued contact with his children after a divorce.”
- The American Journal of Orthopsychiatry report “Frequency of Visitation by Divorced Fathers,” claimed that “40 percent of mothers reported that they had interfered with the noncustodial father’s visitation on at least one occasion, to punish their ex-spouse.”…
Thompson believes she knows where the fathers – the supposed deadbeat dads of the world – have gone. “I really think the fathers are right where the courts put them – locked out of their children’s lives.”
The whole article is here.
From Karen Woodall in Huffington Post UK’s Building Modern Men series:
I work in the field of family separation and I meet disposable dads every day. These men, who appear at times to me to be nothing more than the ghostly imprint of what a father is, are suffering. Not that you would know it, so unpopular is their plight. Gaslighted by the system which surrounds the family as it separates, these dads, who were pregnant with their partners (in that most modern approach to sharing all of the experience of bringing forth life), now find themselves routinely cast out of the family after separation. Dads are not welcome in post-separation family life, especially if they are going to cause trouble by wanting to actually parent their children. For those modern men who gave their all to fatherhood, the injustice of such a swift eviction from the lives of their children after separation, is a bewildering attack on their very sense of self….
Dads after separation were once described by the CEO of Gingerbread (the single parenting charity) as ‘secondary resources, most effective when strategically employed.’ Translated this means, dads are useful to mums after separation because they can babysit and be included on the rota for the school run. Dads as helpers, are acceptable so long as they are doing as they are told. Dads as hands on active parents, sharing the care, the chores, the long nights of tummy aches and sickness are not routinely acceptable. In fact as a practitioner working with dads who have been evicted from their children’s lives after separation, I have witnessed dads being told that their desire to care for their children is ‘aggressive and upsetting’ to their children’s mother.
The whole article is here.
A review of “Fatherless America” by Chester E. Finn in Commentary:
And as for the now-absent biological father, even when he provides financial support and regularly visits his progeny, Blankenhorn is brutally candid: “The end of co-residency and the rupture of the parental alliance mean nothing less than the collapse of paternal authority. Visiting fatherhood almost always becomes disempowered fatherhood, a simulacrum of paternal capacity. . . . [O]nly wishful thinking permits us to continue viewing him as a parent at all. At bottom, he is no longer a father. A second reason for the low visibility of the type of fatherlessness arising from family breakup has to do with social class. Whereas illegitimacy happens mostly among people who live on the other side of the tracks, much divorce and separation take place in “our” own neighborhoods, indeed among our friends and relations, and sometimes even ourselves. If we are honest, we will acknowledge that this makes it harder to condemn the practice, or even to depict it as a pressing social problem. We are engaged, in Senator Daniel P. Moynihan’s evocative phrase, in “defining deviancy down.”
The entire review is here. Please note that the book is not new. Fatherless America and this review were written in 1994.