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The National Post

one of Canada's 2 national newspapers

A Travesty Punished

The Nation Post, January 22, 2005

In recent years, courts have gone out of their way to crack down on "deadbeat dads" -- or, in a few cases, "deadbeat moms" -- who fail to pay child support. That's a good thing: Any parent who effectively abandons his or her child deserves to be punished. But what about the flip-side -- loving, committed non-custodial parents, usually fathers, who are denied access to their children?

Such cases are all too common, and rarely is any penalty levelled against the guilty party selfishly denying their child a two-parent upbringing. So it was encouraging to learn this week that an Ontario mother who refused to allow her three children to see their father and deliberately turned them against him has paid the price.

At the time of Superior Court Justice Lorna Lee-Snowie's recent ruling, David Cooper, a 53-year-old Air Canada pilot, had not seen or spoken to his two youngest daughters since his ex-wife, Nancy Cooper, told him to leave the family home in 1998. That lack of contact does not appear to have been through any fault of his own: Judge Snowie has stated that Mr. Cooper "loves" his children, "has tried to be a good father" and "has been a good provider throughout their lives." But according to the judge, Ms. Cooper has sabotaged her children's relationship with him in a "knowing, wilful and deliberate" way.

Calling her behaviour "a travesty," Judge Snowie has fined Ms. Cooper $10,000 -- with another $15,000 and 30 days in jail to follow if she does not encourage her 16-year-old daughter, the youngest of the three children, to participate in family counselling aimed at helping her reconnect with her father.

Judge Snowie deserves full credit for adopting an unusually tough stance on what has come to be known as "parental alienation." But in most cases, the access denier would have gotten off with a slap on the wrist. Never before in this country has so large a fine been levelled for this offence -- and in most cases, parents denied the basic right to see their children just suffer in frustrated silence.

If there is any justice, the ruling against Ms. Cooper will set a precedent for future decisions. Even Read More ..portantly, it should encourage Read More ..n-custodial parents who have unjustly lost access to their kids to take their cases to court. We hope Read More ..dges will begin recognizing that parental rights deserve to be enforced just as much as parental responsibilities.

National Post 2005

Orlando Sentinel

Study denouncing fathers sends danger signals

By Kathleen Parker, The Orlando Sentinel, USA, on July 18, 1999

Now is the time for all good fathers to come to the aid of the family.

But you'd better hurry; your days are numbered. In fact, if you happen to be a heterosexual male (further doomed by Caucasian pigmentation), your days are already over, according to a cover article in the June issue of American Psychologist, published by the American Psychological Association.

In their article, "Deconstructing the Essential Father," researchers Louise B. Silverstein and Carl F. Auerbach challenge one of the core institutions of our culture -- fatherhood. Read More .. less, fathers, as we've known and loved them, are obsolete.

The article makes numerous breathtaking assertions, but basically the researchers state that fathers aren't essential to the well-being of children Read More ...

REPORT: Children Need Dads Too: Children with fathers in prison

Quakers United Nations Office
July 2009

Children are heavily impacted by parental imprisonment and greater attention should be given to their rights, needs and welfare in criminal justice policy and practice. Due to a variety of reasons such as mothers often being the primary or sole carer of children, complicated care arrangements, the likelihood of women prisoners being greater distances from home and a host of factors explored in detail in other QUNO publications, maternal imprisonment can be more damaging for children than paternal imprisonment. However, it is important not to underestimate the damage that paternal imprisonment can have on children.

Children with incarcerated fathers experience many of the same problems as those with incarcerated mothers, including coping with loss, environmental disruption, poverty, stigmatisation, health problems and all of the difficulties involved in visiting a parent in prison. It appears that there are also some difficulties specifically associated with paternal imprisonment, such as a higher risk of juvenile delinquency and strained relationships between the mother and child.

The numbers of children separated from their fathers due to imprisonment is far higher than those separated from their mothers due to the vast majority of prisoners being men (globally over 90 per cent of prisoners are male. To ignore this group would, therefore, be to neglect the vast majority of children affected by parental imprisonment.    Read More ..

USA_Today logo

Hammering it home: Daughters need dads

USA TODAY, June 10, 2003

It's widely recognized that boys benefit from having dads around as role models and teachers about manhood.

But does having a father at home make much difference for girls?

But even in affluent families, girls become sexually active and pregnant earlier if they don't live with fathers, according to the largest and longest-term study on the problem. It was released in May.

Compared with daughters from two-parent homes, a girl is about five times more likely to have had sex by age 16 if her dad left before she was 6 and twice as likely if she stops living with her dad at 6 or older.

The study of 762 girls for 13 years took into account many factors that could lead to early sex, says Duke University psychologist Kenneth Dodge, the study's co-author. Still, there was an independent link between teenage sex and girls not living with their biological fathers.  Read More ..

Divorced Dads:
Shattering the Myths

Dr. Sandford L. Braver and Diane O'Connell

picture book Divorced dads: Shattering the Myths

This is the result of the largest federally funded 8 year study of the issues confronting parents and their children in the United States.

Shattering the Myths. The surprising truth about fathers, children and divorce. Read More ..

Sydney Morning Herald

Children seeing more of their fathers after divorce

The Sydney Morning Herald
February 3, 2005

Divorced fathers are Read More ..volved in their children's lives than conventional wisdom would have it, a new study shows.

It shows surprisingly varied and flexible care patterns among separated families, with "every other Saturday" contact giving way to Read More ..ild-focused arrangements.

Australian Institute of Family Studies research fellow Bruce Smyth has produced the first detailed snapshot of parent-child contact after divorce anywhere in the world. Published today in the institute's journal Family Matters, the analysis has implications for children's emotional and financial wellbeing.

Other research indicates children of separated families do best when they have multifaceted relationships, including sleepovers, sharing meals and doing schoolwork, with both parents.   Read More ..

Fatherlessness

Fathers 'have key role with children' after families split

The Telegraph, London, U.K.

Researchers say they found a direct relationship between children's behavioural problems and the amount of contact they had with their natural father.

The effect was more pronounced in single-parent families, particularly where the mother was a teenager. In such cases, children were especially vulnerable emotionally if they had no contact with their father.   Read More ..