There Are No Fathers I

May 28, 2013

I like to think of myself as being well read. I can’t spell worth a damn nor is punctuation confused as being a close friend of mine but its not often I run across a word that leaves me stumped and reaching for my trusty Funk & Wagnalls. So I share with you the word;

inchoate  (in·kō′it)  adj  1. in an early or rudimentary stage 2. lacking order, form, coherence, etc

When read I thought it was a typo and almost skipped on by without looking it up. On normal occasions its enjoyable to learn new words and add them to my blogging vocabulary but this is one I could of done without.

The first and only time thus far I have encountered inchoate is at idaho.gov and should be no surprise considering this article’s title that it is used by the state of Idaho to define the word “Father”.

While the exact wording is different, Oregon followed Idaho’s 1986 example by passing similar statutes in 1999. With our shoulder to Canada and back to the sea Washingtonians are hemmed in by two states who’ve written into their state laws that fathers are nothing more than concepts, inchoate, not actual things.

I find that to be personally insulting.

Apparently my family values that include fathers in them are a bit antiquated and no longer represents the majority view here in the Inland Empire. The actual Idaho statute can be found here.

The .gov page is entitled “adoption” and the first half goes on about abandoned children so I kept thinking I was being directed to the wrong place. That was an error caused by my outdated little house points of view. In Idaho, like Oregon, when a mother does not want her child it is considered abandoned, because there are no fathers.

Not kidding, read it yourself.

In the state of Idaho when a man has intimate relations with a woman he is supposed to, presumably afterwards, obtain a 16-1513 form from the Idaho Bureau of Vital Records and Statistics, document the intercourse in detail, pay to have it notarized then pay a $10 filing fee to the state when sending it in.

Why?

In the state of Idaho since there are no fathers what they have instead is a sponsorship program. When you are in a relationship with a woman in Idaho a father type person, or concept, documents that activity and agrees to sponsor any children she might have during that time.

Basically a type of self imposed presumption of paternity by marriage, without the marriage part.

The child doesn’t even have to actually be OF the father type concept person. If you read the .pdf document it says quite clearly, “Voluntary Acknowledgement of Parentage”, meaning you agree to be the father or sponsor regardless of DNA tests or who else she might be involved with. Because there are no fathers, just a formless concept, inchoate, a male is supposed to send in their 16-1513 sponsorship forms in order to be recognized as what passes for a “Father” in Idaho which is basically an official sponsor.

If a child does not have a sponsor in the state of Idaho it can be placed into adoption by the mother without consent or even notice to the child’s actual father. That is because in Idaho there are no fathers, thus, no one who needs to be notified or asked.

Equal parts offensive and disturbing.

I’m from Oregon, spent most of my time here in Washington, even went to high school in Idaho and yet have never heard of these cultural practices until recently. I would have remembered an informative discussion during sex ed class about how to correctly fill out my sponsorship forms, trust me.

Not to mention that I heard a lot of tall tales and bragging during high school from the guys yet, “Who I have to register for,” after last weekend’s party was not one of them.  If that was not a running joke already before I went to school there it sure as hell would of been after. They almost write themselves.

“Good God!” I shouted, desperately clutching my 16-1513 sponsorship form, “my girlfriend’s Mom is the local notary public. What the hell do I do?!?”

Exactly why I as a man should want to participate in this type of communal practice is not explained anywhere. To enshrine into state law that there are no fathers and put in its place a sponsorship program is extremely offensive.

One of the parts I find most disturbing is that this has been the practice here in the Pacific Northwest since 1986 and no one seems to know anything about it. My unofficial poll during the last few months of Idaho and Washington border residents shows not a single person asked knew what a 16-1513 form was. The official name of the sponsorship program in Idaho and Oregon is a “putative father registry” and not a single person had heard of that either.

Oregon is so ashamed of its own laws that there is nothing on its state website to link to. A search of its major newspapers turned up a blank also. These laws from what I can tell were enacted with only legislative approval in 1999 and needed no vote of the people so was not worth commenting on.

Wrong, just wrong.

So only for lack of source material from Oregon and because I went to high school there do I kinda pick on just Idaho. Not to say Washington is any better mind. By default under state law all men are considered unfit parents for their own children here, but at least we recognize that Fathers actually exist. True, this is a paternity fraud state and “Father” can mean any random name picked out of the phone book, but when things are this bleak you take what you can get.

There’s really too many different topics raised here to try and go over in just one blog posting so I entitled this with the number 1 to get the blog ball rolling. This started with the sponsorship programs replacing fathers in my neighbor states so in article 2 I’ll focus on Washington, its family law, paternity fraud and why here too there are no fathers.

The West Report
The opinions expressed in The West Report are the author’s own. Feel free to repost or share, we just ask you credit or link to this article as a source.
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