In more than one article as of late I have read, “A father has a right to pay child support,” or similar and have been left completely bemused. This type of comment is so very wrong.

For starters the point of view this is made from is rather sexist. It dismisses joint custody, shared parenting or that mothers should pay support. It assumes maternal custody and that a male is supposed to financially subsidize that arrangement.

Not only sexist, it is factually wrong. Don’t newsrooms employ fact checkers anymore? What the law says is that a child has a right to receive support, not that a father has a right to pay it. Even without knowing the law though the statement should be seen as obvious drivel.

Currently when a father doesn’t pay child support he is considered to be denying a child its federally protected right to receive support. So he gets arrested, sentenced, thrown in jail and branded a convicted felon after that for denying the child its protected right.

So if, as many would have us believe, that a father has a right to pay child support, what happens when a mother does not tell a father about a pregnancy?

Kinda hard to pay support for a child you don’t know about. If a father had a federal right to pay support then the mother would be arrested, sentenced, thrown in jail and branded a convicted felon for denying the father his right to pay support.

We don’t do that of course because a father doesn’t have that right. Nor does a woman in the U.S. have a legal obligation to inform him of a child in the first place.

How about paternity fraud where a support order is placed against some chump and not the actual father?

Even if the actual father knows about his child he still can’t pay support. You can’t have two support orders for the same child from two different fathers. And please don’t say, “just give the mother money,” either. Almost everywhere inclulding here in Washington state that is a gift, not support. So if a father really had a right to pay support, women who commit paternity fraud would be arrested, sentenced, thrown in jail and branded a convicted felon for denying the father his right to do so.

We don’t do that either. Not only because a father doesn’t have that right but paternity fraud is perfectly legal and morally acceptable here.

How about Putative Father Registry (PFR) states such as my neighbor, Idaho?

These PFR states in the U.S. allow mothers to take a father’s child from him and place it into adoption without his consent or even notice. How do you pay support for a child that you don’t even know exists? If a father, “had a right to pay support,” then each woman who did this would be arrested, sentenced, yadda yadda, yadda, for denying a father his federal right.

Again, we don’t do that because a father doesn’t have that right. For states that don’t have a PFR you can apply the same question to Safe Haven laws that allow a mother to abandon children without consent or notice even if it has a fit father.

And not only is the statement sexist and factually wrong but it is rather prejudice. It assigns a father’s parental responsibilities only to males. In Washington State we legalized gay marriage a bit ago. When two women divorce the non-birth woman is considered the de-facto father. A child has the same rights to collect support from her as it would from the male father of a hetero marriage.

If it really was true that, “father’s have a right to pay support,” then non-birth mothers of gay marriages would be denied their right to pay support as the child’s legal father once divorced. The child would also be denied its right to collect support since it has two mothers and no male father.

Sexist, prejudice and just plain wrong. So next time you run across this type of statement being used to justify one issue or another hopefully you’ll see it for the nonsensical gibberish that it is.

.

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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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In Washington State there is a 3 day waiting period when buying a marriage license, but you can purchase a shotgun that day, which is the way it should be. This gives your daughter time to be fitted for a new dress while you track the scoundrel down.

That of course is a stereotype but its not often that an argument can be made for both the sanctity of marriage and gun ownership rights at once. This blog is based in the Pacific Northwest after all to stretch the stereotype out a little more.

Mentioned in my previous article was that Washington State is the only one that keeps statistical records of divorce rulings. Hard to believe but it was from a solid source. In writing this I have searched, researched, searched again and damned if I can prove it wrong.

The Washington State Center for Court Research (WSCCR) has been collecting and compiling data since 2007 as a research arm of the Administrative Office of the Courts. I like how the home page states right away that they were established by Supreme Court order as if saying, “Hey, don’t blame us,” and even provides a link to the decree. The latest court report is from 2010 and the host page for the .pdf is here.

If Washington State is the only one doing this then that does raise the question of where do all these national figures come from? If only U.S. Census data is being used to compile these figures then the national numbers are at best somewhat speculative.

For example, if someone divorces twice then that is a 200% divorce rate using real life numbers. The census however would view that as two separate marriages that each ended resulting in a 100% divorce rate. When you look at the math used to reach these figures the results suggest, “50% of all marriages end in divorce,” is an optimistic best case scenario.

After adding up the yearbook totals from my 30-something high school peer group I peg the divorce rate in real life numbers at about 165%.

Another statistic current to 2012 shows Washington tied for 6th place among states with the highest divorce rates at 12.5%. It doesn’t say anywhere but I am going to assume that this is only counting existing marriages at the start of the year and new unions are calculated to figure the starting point for next year. Otherwise, with a 12.5% divorce rate, there would be no marriages left after about 8 years and obviously there still are. Are these first marriages? 2nd? How long have they lasted? The rate is basically meaningless by itself other than to show that sometime this year 1 out of 10 existing marriages will end.

Figuring out the sum total of fathers is almost impossible. What is defined as a father seems to change from statistic to statistic, but there are a few to ballpark with. First of course is our census which is a good place to start. Added to that is another from the Institute for Research on Poverty which hosts a .pdf file entitled “Stepparents and half-siblings: Family complexity from a child’s perspective” dated September 2011, found here, done in conjunction with researchers out of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. For example they found that 60% of firstborn children of unmarried mothers have at least one half-sibling by age 10.

So if 30% is the Washington unwed birth rate, that is 30 unwed mothers, 30 unwed fathers and 70 married couples. After a decade that would be 45 unwed fathers while 62% of those marriages would have ended by the same 10 year mark for a grand total of 73 unwed mothers, 88 unwed fathers and 27 married couples. Half of divorced mothers will marry a second time and 75% of those will end too. Adding unwed fathers of only 2nd marriages to the total gives a sum aggregate of 65 unwed mothers, 115 unwed fathers and 35 married couples.

Those numbers are highly speculative of course and while mothers having children from multiple fathers, or “Blended Families”, is fairly common now there is little in the way of solid stats to cite for Washington. I make a point of it here only for the statistical implications. If a non-married woman has two children from two men that shows on the census as two unwed births. The totals imply (2) unwed mothers and (2) unwed fathers when in real life numbers that would be (1) unwed mother and (2) unwed fathers.

The 2nd marriage stats in the above math only tracked custodial mothers, I could find little to generalize fathers and their second families with for just Washington. The number totals are further muddied because divorced fathers sometimes get added to the unwed father stats and sometimes get added to single men stats. The same applies to step-fathers with most adding them back into the single men category after a divorce.

If your talking with someone not very good at math you could just say that 50% of all marriages end in divorce and 30% of births are to unwed mothers which means that 80% of all fathers in Washington are unwed. I probably could of just typed that in the first place and saved myself the trouble of writing the last 7 paragraphs.

When discussing marriage and divorce that does raise the many topics involving custody. Generally speaking divorces that don’t involve the issue get settled without much conflict and represent only a small percent of total court time. Added to that non-married fathers have no rights to begin with and account for an even smaller percentage.

If the 30% unwed birth rate holds steady this means one out of every three children in Washington state will be taken from their father the moment they are born this year. Right off the top no questions asked.

Washington State Constitution
Article I Section 12
Special Privileges and Immunities Prohibited
No law shall be passed granting to any citizen, class of citizens, or corporation other than municipal, privileges or immunities which upon the same terms shall not equally belong to all citizens, or corporations.

Funny, last I looked children born to unwed fathers were treated very differently than those born to married fathers.

Of course our family law here is not considered unconstitutional. It is considered a “bonus” not a basic civil or human right that children of married couples enjoy a parental relationship with their father. Therefore children born to unwed couples who do not enjoy the same parental relationship are not actually being treated differently since there are no fathers to begin with here.

Talk about pessimistic. I’m not a lawyer but I am a common sense Washington state voter. These are our laws, those are the court reports, that is the census data and “that’s hows I reads them.” And not entirely pessimistic considering that there aren’t many politicians in office here who don’t, “Support Washington State family values.”

Next election season when one says that I wish a reporter would ask, “Do those values include fathers in them?”

I also draw exception to story after story in our media about lower marriage and birth rates all being the result of choices made only by women. I won’t even try and deny that those career and life choices are not a factor, of course they are. The problem is all of these studies and news reports assume that men are proposing marriage at the same rates we always have while at the same time providing nothing to support that point of view.

For starters, “Get married or your children will be taken from you,” is not called a reason to get hitched. That is called extortion. Next, even if you do get married your kids will still be taken from you resulting from divorce.

The U.S. census figures, linked above, show custodial fathers at 17%. That general range has held steady for decades. Here in Washington the latest court reports, also linked above, show the rate at 15%.

Personally, I wonder how much of that percentage are incarcerated mothers who will regain custody once they get out of jail. Regardless, “to raise children,” based on a best case 15% roll of the dice is no reason to get married.

Since I started this article with a stereotype I will fall back on another here and say the reason we still do is that every young man who’s in love feels that the 15% applying to them is an already foregone conclusion.

Good times.

And I will also say that every reliable study shows married biological parents as being the best home to raise children in.

But if you are going to do something, then do it right. I think most responsible men in this state can relate to that. And more and more of us seeing little point in even attempting marriage accounts for more than the 0% of lower birth and marriage rates being presented now by mass media’s studies and reports.

Being unwed in Washington also has some very real benefits. As I wrote about in article II paternity fraud is legal here and what few remedies men have to deal with that type of fraud mainly stem from being unwed. Once you are married those no longer apply.

Oddly enough, because we lagalized gay marriage here there is an outside chance Washington state might become the first state to get rid of arguably the most common form of paternity fraud, presumption of paternity by marriage.

RCW 26.26.116
Presumption of parentage in context of marriage or domestic partnership
(1) In the context of a marriage or a domestic partnership, a person is presumed to be the parent of a child if:
(a) The persons and the mother or father of the child are married to each other or in a domestic partnership with each other and the child is born during the marriage or domestic partnership

Currently our laws here in Washington regarding stem-cells and cloning don’t allow a woman to knock-up her wife. So when a pregnancy occurs within such a union its obvious that the other woman is not the father. However, under our presumption of paternity laws here, she in fact is. This opens up all types of new paternity fraud options that did not exist before.

One obvious example;

Wife A after however many years has met a man and started a relationship that results in a pregnancy causing wife B to file for divorce. Wife A as the birth mother retains custody and wife B as the presumed father gets stuck holding the next 20 years worth of bills even though the child is obviously not hers.

All wife A has to do is pull the, “She said she loved me and we were going to have a family together but now that I’m pregnant she’s filing for divorce and walking out the door on me,” routine.

Works like a charm.

And what can wife B say that defrauded male fathers haven’t already? The DNA test shows the child is not mine? Oh please. Its physically impossible for wife B to impregnate wife A? Nope, males who’ve had a vasectomy already tried that one. It is immoral, unethical and outright fraud? Yes, most paternity fraud victims will agree, no it doesn’t apply.

Best interest of the child trumps all and it is in the child’s best interest that wife A enjoy the same married lifestyle after a divorce as before one. Period.

Personally I can’t wait for all the, “Stand up and be a man,” public service type announcements aimed at all our wife B’s in a few years. Or the first demonstration parade demanding tougher prison sentences for deadbeat lesbian dads.

I’d march in that one just to get the t-shirt.

And the complete absurdity is the entire point. Article I Section 12 of our constitution remember? We can’t grant certain types of marriages immunities from our own marriage laws that other marriages don’t also have under those same marriage laws. So if presumptions of paternity are not applied to lesbian couples the same they are being applied to traditional couples then those laws, by definition, become unconstitutional.

If you start applying that same legal standard to custody, visitation, shared parenting, support order amounts, arrests, jail sentences and on and on… as much as I oppose gay marriage I can’t also help but acknowledge that many issues of equality our legislature has refused to give fathers we might yet realize through these new laws.

The Irony of same-sex unions resulting in stronger traditional marriages appeals to me. It would be nice to hold up at least one state in our union as an example while proclaiming, “Here there be 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.

If you have ever heard the phrase, “Read until I went cross-eyed,” and have not the personal experience to relate, might I suggest an attempt to read your state and local statutes. One hour, tops, and you too will repeat that phrase to your friends and readers with ease.

Good grief. Blogging about family law in a state that just legalized gay marriage and is rewriting everything might not turn out to be one of my smarter moves.

In the first part of this article I painted a picture of putative father registries replacing fathers in my neighbor states with a rather ugly brush. Deservedly so in my obvious opinion. However, so it doesn’t seem like I am only throwing scorn with these articles and in a show of solidarity with my fellow pacific northwest states, even the parts sticking into the mountain zone, I present the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (DHHS)

I like how all 8 links in the table of contents direct a reader to the same .pdf file. I chose to interpret this as meaning even the federal government finds locating information about father sponsor programs as difficult as I do.

In particular of note is paragraph 3 on page 2 of said .pdf file. To paraphrase, “As of June 2010, Arizona, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Virginia, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, and the U.S. Virgin Islands provide no statutes defining the term ‘Father’ at all.”

No, you didn’t read that wrong. Father type persons in Pacific Northwest registry states might be defined under state law as formless concepts amounting to little more than nothing, but at least that’s something. Here’s five states and three territories where fathers apparently are defined as being absolutely nothing.

/cheers, go us.

Here in Washington we so far don’t have a putative father registry that I know of though the .pdf above says we do. The statutes listed, #300 and #305, are just various ways to acknowledge paternity, not the establishment of a sponsor program. What we do have is a child support registry that in all honesty would be a better official name for the various father sponsor programs that have now spread to something like 35 states. Truth in advertising and all that.

We also have something called fathers here in Washington. In fact, we took a look at the territories around us and their lack of and are trying to make up for it by providing a wide selection of various shapes and sizes. We have; acknowledged fathers, adjudicated fathers, alleged fathers, relationship fathers, established fathers, determined fathers, domestic fathers, donor fathers, married fathers, unwed fathers and even something called a probable father. That’s just the highlights reel.

Unfortunately what we don’t have is just ‘Father’.

You know, blood of your blood and all that. I like to think this is a father type concept person most of the 7 million people here can relate to yet we seem to have skipped on past that one. Too obvious. The term is rather archaic and we use the modern variant ‘genetic’ as one of the sub-father categories a person can order on our parent menu but it doesn’t apply as a common sense standard.

As alluded to previously, Washington is a paternity fraud state. With a hundred-and-one different father type concept persons here it should be obvious that each one has its own fraud potentials.

One such type of paternity fraud is not committed by mothers or the result of presumptions by marriage, but is committed by the state itself through the establishment of paternity in our civil courts. Since there are no fathers as a general rule here, the state can thus assign by acknowledgment, determination or lottery type drawing that someone, anyone, is established as the father type concept person of a child.

Now, during the 1990s in the state of Washington when you received a notice from the courts that you had been assigned a child and  a support order was being filed, you, as the putative father, had 90 days to address the issue. Failure to do so in that time period would result in an automatic judgment against and there is nothing you could do about it after that. Ever. I know this because I received just such a notice in early October of 1998 regarding an ex whom I had broken up with months earlier.

As a disclaimer I don’t consider myself a paternity fraud victim, since I managed a last minute pardon from the govenor staying  execution of my sentence. If anything I think paternity fraud survivor would be a better fit if one is needed. And rather than search around for links to other cases in Washington its just easier to use myself as an example. Improving productivity through increased laziness one article at a time would make a good ‘West Report’ T-Shirt.

So the first thing I do the very next morning after receiving this notice is see my lawyer, which made the difference between victim and survivor in the above paragraph. The only further note I will make about that visit is it was made very clear from the start that custody was not an issue. All men are considered unfit parents for their own children here by default so there is no question of custody to begin with. No man, no problem. If the mother is found unfit, custody would then go to the child’s aunt(s), if any, and from there to the child’s grandparents.

On the mother’s side.

That’s right. Washington is so anti-father that grand-parents who have grand-daughters are considered more fit custodial parents than grand-parents who have grand-sons. Now I have yet to see the social science backing these statutes but they must make for some very interesting reading in order to reach such a conclusion.

Only after all of that when the custodial branches reached a choosing point between foster care, adoption and father care would I, as a man in the state of Washington, be given consideration for custody of my own child.

/cheers, go us.

Assuming the child was even mine of course and with that I proceeded to the official state DNA testing facility conveniently located in a basement office only a few blocks away.

Now the fist thing I notice when I got there, other than the basement part, is that it was full of women. Not in the waiting area mind, but the entire front and back offices with me the only civilian around. I hadn’t called ahead since this was so important, and had just grabbed a book, marked off the rest of my day and showed up determined to wait. I saw and talked to a lot of people working there during what followed and they were all women, I didn’t see a single man there the entire time. Not even any evidence of one having ever being there before in any role other than potential victim.

Talk about a hostile environment.

At least I didn’t have to wait long since I was the only one there and the staff began taking measurements and personal information right away. You know, to figure out what father type concept person fit best before some child was assigned to me by the state.  After taking a cheek swab the worker said the test results would be back in about 9 days and I think the official time was 15.

So a week goes by and then two. And then a third week goes by and then four so now it is November and still nothing. The month of November goes by and so does December. Still nothing. The opening business day of 1999, I find myself first thing in the morning,  talking with my lawyer just like the whole mess started the previous October. This time wondering, “what now? The 90 days is almost up and still no test results.”

Only after my lawyer contacted the state facility about filing for an extension on the 90 days did they turn over the results. Right there one call start to finish. So the results were obviously already sitting there and had presumably been so for months. I of course was not the child’s father.

What the state of Washington was trying to do by sitting on the results as explained to me was one of at least two things;

1) time me out so an automatic finding against as a ‘determined father’ by the courts would be entered and the support order then enforced by default.

2) the state was waiting to see if it could establish contact between the ex and myself. If there had been any during those months the courts could rule against me as a ‘relationship father’ so the DNA test couldn’t be used to contest the support order.

Since there are no fathers here you can see why we instead provide such a wide selection of father type concepts in their place. If one doesn’t fit then another can be found to suit  any shape, size or need. And yes, the wording that gives the impression of a disposable accessory item is intentional.

Notice also that when a woman tells you she is pregnant under our state law you are supposed to have no contact with her until you get the results of a DNA test. If you do then regardless of the results a finding making you the legal father can be entered by the court because in sticking around that is considered a voluntary establishment of a father child relationship. Neat huh? Try and keep that in mind the next, “Woe is me, I told him I was pregnant and he disapeared,” type movie you watch.

In any event, the obvious initial result of such a finding against me would have been the child’s actual father having his child taken from him by the state of Washington, knowingly, with my test results sitting right there the whole time. Not only that but the child would of then been assigned to a complete stranger, me, with no connection to it other than a previous involvement with the mother that had ended months before. That is what passes for “best interest of the child” in Washington state.

And I also bring up that point as an obvious example supporting the statement that no child in the state of Washington has a basic civil right to a parental relationship. For anyone keeping score, under the Children’s Bill of Rights as part of the U.N. Charter, that would be considered a human rights violation.

/cheers, go us.

In all fairness though, the state of Washington did recognize that this law was a problem. That too many wrongly named men were having to clear their good names in our courts. So later that very year in 1999 our legislature changed the statute from 90 days to resolve a paternity petition to 20 days. The state’s solution was to make it virtually impossible to contest such support orders. Not kidding, look up the old versions yourself.

I find that extraordinary since the state sat on my test results far longer than 20 days. If what had happened to me had been only one year later I would have had a default judgment against me in place for over two months before the state even admitted to having those results. At that point of course it would have been too late to contest the ruling.

I would like to write that things are better and since improved but they haven’t. The current version of the statute can be found here. Today, a man in this state has 60 days, but a new addition to the sentence, (B), that was not there before says, or until a court date. Since it doesn’t say otherwise I can only assume this can mean as little as only one day to contest a finding of paternity.

1 day. This in a state that sat on my results for months. Good grief. So almost 15 years later I can report that paternity fraud is not only alive and well here in Washington but easier to commit than ever.

I should hope by now its obvious I’m not a lawyer, which funny enough, means I can hand out all the legal advice I want. With that in mind and in light of us having just legalized gay marriage, doesn’t that mean a father type concept person no longer even has to be male? Which raises so many different topics I will use those for writing the next article.

I will mention it here as a closing by noting recent headlines in the case of William Marottoa as seen here from The Topeka Capital-Journal. Basically, a sperm donor did just that for a lesbian couple who broke up and the state now wants to place a child support order against the male donor, not the ex-parent.

Now the case seems to hinge on the fact that the donation wasn’t done through an official donor clinic so isn’t being considered valid. Kansas also does not recognize gay marriage so the birth mother was given custody of the child resulting in a support order filed against the sperm donor, not the lesbian ex.

Now obviously the specific legalities don’t reflect Washington, but it does raise some interesting questions if that case had happened here. We legalized gay marriage so its only a matter of time before it does.

The non-birth mother would be the legally recognized father type concept person under our statutes. The minor child would have the same rights of receiving child support under our statutes from the non-birth mother father type concept person as any other would. Does custody of the child still automatically default to the birth mother? In a marriage with no woman to default custody to does this mean gay fathers have greater parental and custodial rights than hetero fathers? Are deadbeat lesbian dads more or less likely to pay child support than male ones?

Don’t laugh, or try not to, but a “non-birth mother father” and “lesbian dad” are father type concept persons appearing soon in a statute near you too. Just wait. And obviously I will be using them as further examples to count the many ways why there really are no fathers.

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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.
 
 

As an addendum to article #1, the host page for the Idaho registry form that was linked to is here, right side, third link from the bottom.

Also the 1999 date I listed for Oregon’s registry was from a legislative transcript but another from 2011 only suggests a registry. Odd wording if the state already has one. So the 1999 enactment date is most likely wrong but I have nothing solid to replace it with. I did find some reference to a Putative Father Registry form #45-115, but nothing at the state website. The .pdf above, current to 2010,  says Oregon doesn’t have a registry, but 2011 statutes about it, #109.094 and #109.225, here read as if it does. Adoption websites also direct readers to the putative registry in Oregon and provide only a physical mailing address for the state vital records office. So, make of the whole mess what you will.

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.