Thursday, June 10, 2010

And What About Those Daddies?

With apologies to Mason Williams, composer of "Classical Gas" and author and performer of "Them Poems About Them People," one of the funniest albums I have every listened to, here is my paean to some of the EMS Dads. Not all were as bad as the ones who fathered my two oldest, but that was definitely an issue of the EMS...the "putative father" denying it all and the father on the OBC and social work records  listed as "unknown." Of course, that made us sound like promiscuous sluts. It was also easier to process the surrender if the father was listed as non-existent. There were lots of immaculate conceptions or "she went and got herself pregnant" going on. Neat trick, huh? I wonder how we managed that one.

How About Them Boy Daddies

How about them boy daddies, off on a run,
Before them girls' dads grab they shot guns?
Goin' to they buddies, gettin' them to lie,
Ain't no DNA yet, so they ain't gonna fry.
Them fast-talkin' boy daddies from way back then,
They had fun and they girls had sin.
Tellin' them whoppers, blamin' they girl,
Boltin' to the trees like a dog-scared squirrel.
How to be a boy daddy? It's a lot of fun,
Get a girl pregnant, take off and run.

Of course, this is a story that is repeated quite often. A girl falls in love and trusts the words of love, so soft and tender, that her beloved whispers in her ear while trying to get his hand up her skirt. Or, during an era when the girl was the one who was supposed to be in charge of saying "no," some would-be stud would refuse to take that for an answer and there was no such thing as date rape back then. Not all the guys were this reprehensible, but a good percentage of them were. The guys got away with a nudge and a wink while we were isolated, and stripped of our self-esteem, any support and, ultimately, our newborns. Along with that, we had to deal with the heartbreak of being abandoned by someone we loved or violated by someone we trusted.

Fast-forward to some reunions and there are some dads who still refuse to acknowledge paternity and/or refuse to even see their adult child. In the case of my daughter's father, his wife gets rabid over anything to do with me, including the child that was born well before she became his girlfriend or his wife. He is still trying to live the lie he tried to tell 49 years ago. I wonder if he realizes how pathetic that is?

The idea that, now, many fathers have no problem taking responsibility for their play times, even to paying child support and being a part of the child's life even if they didn't marry the mother, that fatherhood can be proven, beyond a shadow of a doubt, by DNA matching, just boggles the mind. But what really still tears at my serenity from time to time is the fact that boys were just being boys and we were sluts in the minds of the society of the EMS. Anyone thinking that the sexual revolution began in 1960 for all of us is not viewing history as it was but seeing things  from today's perspective.

Now, I know that some of the boy daddies of today still try to exit, stage left, boot-scooting into lies and accusations. But, they can't run very far if the mother wants to prove paternity. That's one of the reasons why I cannot understand anyone who surrenders in the present day because of lack of support of the father. Hey, you can make that asshole pay! All it takes is one, court-ordered DNA test and here comes the child support. An imperfect system, that court-ordered support, but much better than what we had in our day. And if he dumped you, hey, pride doesn't pay the bills but a monthly check helps.

So,to all the fathers of the EMS who did, at least, try to take responsibility and help, kudos to you. You were ahead of your time.

To all the rest, bite me, jerkwads.

PS: I just couldn't let this post go by without showing my favorite MW "them poem."

Them Doodle Dashers

How about them doodle dashers, ain't they jewls?
Jumpin' out o' bushes, waivin' they tools.
Jumpin' out o' palm trees, jumpin' out o' shrubs,
Leapin' out o' flowerbeds, waivin' they nubs.
Look at them doodle dashers, ain't they queer,
flagin' they tally-wacker, then disappear.
Them ever-lovin' doodle dashers, ain't they pearls,
Waivin' they doodle-knobs, at them girls.
How to be a doodle dasher? Well, you don't need a ticket;
Get your doodle rod handy, jump from a thicket!
Sorry, I couldn't resist. RW


Sandy Young said...

What always surprises me is when, in reunion, how often the adoptees will give their natural fathers a pass on all responsiblity for his actions, letting them off, again, with a "he was young," "he was frightened," "he's a great guy," or "he didn't know", totally giving the Dads a pass, once again. Mothers, on the other hand, are still called Abandoners, and our feet are held to the fire for every transgression. Seems that the double standard continues.

when I worked in the County Clerk's office, where the Birth Certificates are filed, it was a shock to me to see the number of Paternal Grandmothers who were standing in the way of their sons stepping up to the fatherhood plate. I would watch them tagging along with their sons as they came in to sign the papers that would add their name to the Birth Certifiates of the newborns, actively discouraging them. It was a surprise for a couple, they were mothers themselves, and it seemed cruel to do that to another woman, and two, it seemed to enforce the same old double standard that they themselves had been victim to. Seems that there is little compassion in women for other women.

Robin said...

Anon Canadian: I moved your comment to the appropriate post. I hope you did read that I pointed out that not all dads were the bad ones. Just the majority, Hon, just the majority. I am glad your story is different. Here it is:

Hi Robin

Canadian Anonymous here re: fathers.

I was (and still am) very fortunate.

My son's father stepped up but the entire system drove him away.

The social worker had marched in and took my son straight out of hospital because I was not married (they were able to do that in Canada back then). I was forced to sign a temporary care agreement and was told that if I didn't sign, I would never see my son again, so I signed. The word adoption does not appear anywhere in the agreement. I was still legally my son's mother.

My son's father had not been able to attend the birth (he was working on the other side of Canada to get money together for our family.) Basically the social worker did not believe that my son's father would be coming back.
She was wrong.

My son's father came back as soon as he could. The first person he saw was me. I told him what had happened. He went straight to the Children's Aid Society. He didn't tell me that he was doing that - he had wanted it to be a surprise.

My son's father tried to get our son back but they refused. He begged to see our son but those evil heartless monsters refused to arrange a visit. We were still legally our son's parents and they were not allowing us access despite the fact it is documented in their files that we are good parents.

When they realised that my son's father was actually going to be there for me, they told him some terrible lies which drove him away.

They asked if he was willing to sign a paternity declaration. He said he would and he did. However, they then told him that another un-named man was also a putative father (Huge Lie!) and that I didn't know who the father was (another lie). They forced him to add to the paternity statement that he had been told this by them. This of course prevented him from getting his name on the OBC.

He asked for a blood test (no DNA in those days.) The social workers practically accused him of abuse because our son would have needed some blood drawn for it. They refused his request (they knew he was the father but they did not want him to have a chance to prove it).

My son's father came back from the Children's Aid Society without our son.

I had never seen my son's father so angry. He said that they told him that I didn't love him or our son, that I had "signed papers" (he thought they meant adoption papers - I had only signed the temporary care agreement), that I had slept with everyone in the universe, that he probably wasn't the father, etc.

He left me believing all their terrible lies - I lost both him and my son.

I thought I would never see my son's father again. I was devastated.

I will carry this on in another e-mail (it does have a happy ending).

2:27 PM

joy said...

I know the story of your older children's fathers and it sends chills down my back.

I can't even imagine what you faced, esp. and maybe weirdly with the first one. Unbelievable, but I do believe it. Unbelievable heartache I mean.

Fathers do get off much easier, I just realized the pun there and will leave it.

I am frustrated with the way my father treated, continued to treat my mother enough to not want to have much to do with him.

Although he was difficult with my mother, and that is putting it very nicely, my mother has always wanted me to think well of him.

I am glad I got to know him, that was helpful for me. I do regret how he treated my mother, and that doesn't even compare to the shabby way that you were treated. Again, I am being too generous in my description.

My father has suffered though for his character. Whenever I hear the inverted cliche, "Time wounds all heels" I think of him.

Lori said...

Robin, since I am at the very end of that era and not really a part of it, so I have been told, I don't know if this helps. But my daughter's father was there, completely, through pregnancy and birth. I was the idiot. I was told that they would not help me if I put his name on the OBC - so I didn't. The truth was, if they knew that I was going to put it on there, they would have had to give him legal custody immediately - you see, he turned 18 just 4 days before she was born. The laws in the state made it illegal for them to retain custody of the child with an adult parent willing and able to care for her. It would have made both of us, my child and I, his dependants.

I screwed us up, not him. He went to Job Corps in Oregon to learn a trade to care for us. He didn't know he could have stayed right there in town. He did everything right, I was the screw up.

Sometimes, the Daddy's don't run, we run them over.

Robin said...

It isn't weird, Joy. You're right in that the first one was the worst, most painful. I had rape crisis counseling and have dealt well with the second pregnancy and how it began, plus, I had no emotional investment in my son's sperm donor.

It took years for me to deal with the betrayal I suffered at the hands of my daughter's father. Then to have him reject my daughter the way he did..well that was all it took to push him over the edge into full jerkdom, although he was already a loser in my eyes by then.

If it helps, even his sisters don't like him. His parents tried to make things up to me. His mom has Alzheimers now and his dad has passed but I don't see how two such decent people (who welcomed my daughter with open arms) spawned such a narcissistic nimrod. I cannot believe that I carried a torch for this moron for over two decades.

*Note to everyone: Don't be dazzled by sexy, good-looking guys. Put on some xray glasses and examine their character, first! The man I have now is both handsome and decent, a killer combination. There is more manhood in his little finger than there is in the entire makeup of my daughter's sire.

Robin said...

Lori, I have already stated that I understand not all fathers behaved badly. But, in my day, what happened with me was the rule, not the exception. Even though I was the victim of a vicious rape, for the sake of my child, I gave the SW's the name of the father.

People used to accuse women of becoming pregnant in order to "trap" the guy into marriage. That very seldom happened. You fell for the line of adoption-speak. You didn't run over anyone and men, especially from the EMS, need to man up and admit their deeds.

I really have to point out that it is a man's world, and no matter what our experiences, they still get away with a lot that the woman has to bear.

Anonymous said...

Canadian Anonymous back again.

Robin - That's OK, I understand.

Many adoptees make the assumption that all fathers were bad but they weren't. It was the system and the lies they were told that drove the good ones away.

Here is the second part of my story re: my son's father.

Flash forward 10 years
to the 1980's.

A letter comes through the post.

I instantly recognise the hand-writing.

It is from my son's father.

He had managed to track me down despite the fact that I had moved to Europe and was married with a new surname.

I open his letter with great trepidation.

He says he is extremely sorry for what he had done and he is begging me for forgiveness. He is finding out just how corrupt the adoption system is and realises that he should have believed me over the authorities, not the other way around. He asks if he can see me so that he can apologise in person.

I was stunned. This was completely out of the blue.

I write back saying that I can't see him but that I forgive him.
I realise he was a victim too.

He writes in return.
He tells me about the new reunion register that the Ontario government has set up. He wants to help me to find our son. He wants to apologise to him too. He promises that he will never let us down again and that he will do whatever it takes to find him. We are realising that we have a chance of being reunited with our son.

My son's father has kept his promise. We found our son together. He helped to get the records opened in Ontario. He even took our son camping last year.

Now he is helping with getting his name on the OBC. He has offerned to do another paternity statement, offered DNA, his contact details, etc. to the Ontario government who have refused our request so far.

The Ontario Ombudsman has accepted my case and he will be taking it back to the government. He has a good track record of getting things done.

Robin said...

Again, Anon, I am happy for you that you had a good resolution with the father. But, please realize that these Dads were in the minority and that, even the ones that wanted to help, died not have to suffer the shaming and isolation and pain that we did. Fathers do not have the same kind of connection to their children that mothers do. It can grow to be just as strong with a good father, but it is already in place with the mother, just by virtue of gestation.

It was (and unfortunately still is) a man's world. The Dads that had a burdened conscience or the ones that were shut out by the mothers are still a small percentage, especially from that era.

Read Sandy's comment at the top. It's the truth.

Robin said...

Kelsey Stewart, Author has left a new comment on your post "And What About Those Daddies?":

"Hey, you can make that asshole pay! ... And if he dumped you, hey, pride doesn't pay the bills but a monthly check helps."

You can make the asshole pay, but that still does not take away from the fact, that child will not ever know a normal family life. IT seems easy, to make him pay and put blame on him the reason why the child does not have a father figure. But often, and I speak from experience here, this kind of senario just produces kids with emotional problems.

It's not always about paying the bills, it's about raising a child with love and respect.

Publish this comment.

Kelsey, I apologize. I meant to hit "publish" and hit "reject." The object here is not to downplay the role of a father in a child's life or the quality of parenting. I was without a father for most of my childhood and, quite frankly, was better off without him. The point I was trying to make is that if financial problems are the sticking point, it is much easier now, than it was in our era, to get child support payments. You kind of took this a little bit out of context.

Chris said...

Kelsey Stewart is a major supporter of Birth Mom's Mission. Need I say more?

Anonymous said...

Robin - I wasn't arguing about the truth of most men running away or the actions of those that let them slide. Both are reprehensible.

I was simply making a point that not all of them did. That is true too. I am sorry that things were so terrible for you.

My son's father did everything himself. I know he tried his best. He didn't have any help from anyone at all. He made the paternity statement on his own in a city where he didn't know anyone.

He rented a house and I was about to move into it from the unwed mother's home. My parents had outright rejected both me and my son. I was totally alone too.

My son's father proposed to me and he even bought a farm that we could go live on.

He still has that farm but he has never stepped foot on it since the day those lying social workers convinced him that he was not the father of our son. He has friends running it for him now.

My son did not give him a free pass either. My son has grilled him about what he did. Trust me, he did not let him off the hook.

It took several months before my son would even see him or speak to him. I had to convince my son that I really was OK with them meeting each other. At one point I wasn't sure that my son would and I had to work on that issue with him.

I have read Sandy's post but that example of adoptees giving free passes or mothers letting their sons off the hook simply does not apply to my situation. It just doesn't.

All situations are different and that is the truth.

Our different experiences do not negate each others. They are what they are - different.

Perhaps it is because I live in Europe that the "male" thing is not quite as entrenched. In fact, in some places it is downright matriarchal. I live in a country that has already had a female head of state.

The US is one of the few countries in the western world that has not had a female head of state. Even Pakistan and Israel have had a female head of state. I guess it is just that much harder in the US for women to reach the very top.

I am personally a successful business woman and I have not hit any glass ceilings. I have held some high flying positions in the past including being on the Advisory Council for the BBC.

I don't find it so much of a man's world where I live. I'm sorry that it is not that way where you live.

Robin said...

In two places in my original post, Kelsey, I stated that this did not apply to all fathers. You can call us backwards, and I do have problems with the patriarchal attitudes here in the states, but my story is more the norm than yours from our era. I am addressing the EMS in the US..not younger mothers and not of the past 3.5 decades. Your arguments are from a different era and a different culture. They cannot be compared.

Anonymous said...

Robin - do you think someone called Kelsey wrote the anonymous post at 5:23? You would be wrong if you did think that.

Robin said...

Okie last time...I did not say "make an enemy of the father by hauling him into court for child support." I did say that, due to the fact that child support is easier to obtain from the father than it was in my day, finances should not be a good reason to surrender. I said nothing about hostility between parents and, if one has to force the father to take financial responsibility, then the hostility is already there, now, isn't it?
The fact remains there there is birth control, legal pregnancy terminations, DNA paternity tests, child support, WICK, State Madicaid, any number of programs and outs and ins that would preclude young women of today, who have a lot more autonomy than we did, feeling forced by any reason to surrender to adoption. My blog, my rules, debate over.

Robin said...

Hmmm, Interesting, Anonymous, but, since you are not identifying yourself, who can I think it is? I wouldn't put it past some people with whom I have come into contact over the years on the Internet, but I am not much in the way of a cyber-detective so I will have to be told more in order to deal with this.

Robin said...

LOL..Otay!!!(in the words of Porky and Buckwheat)..I don't HAVE to be a cyber-detective...all I have to be is aware of what is going through my feedjit. Heeellloooooo, Omaha! and thank you, Anon. ROTFL

Robin said...

"Kelsey" said: "I am personally a successful business woman and I have not hit any glass ceilings. I have held some high flying positions in the past including being on the Advisory Council for the BBC.

I don't find it so much of a man's world where I live. I'm sorry that it is not that way where you live."

I know bullshit when I read it and I especially know patronizing bullshit when I read it. I must be a bit slow today, but beeyotch, you went a bit too far.

I am a successful human being and you are a right-wing poseur. How's that?

Robin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris said...

Jaysus! WTH is going on here?

If the majority of Daddies...had stepped up to the plate, voluntarily or all westernized countries during the EMS/BSE, we would not have over 6 million babies lost to adoption during that era. And I don't give a rat's ass if 50% would end up in divorce...the kids would still be with their own mothers. Hence no massive adoptions, no OBC battles, no fighting in courts for sealed records, and barely anyone having to wonder where their kid ended up, nor the kids having to wonder why they were surrendered. What the hell are some women here debating? There specific, individual experience? The facts are the facts Ladies...the EMS/BSE allowed Daddies to walk away, huge populations of. And 'child support'..back in those gotta be kidding me??!!

Betty Koester said...

OMG. Yes, men are still given a pass. And it is still a man's world. I have been a volunteer with Safe Homes Rape Crisis Center for 19 years. I have worked with physically abused women who grew up with no self-respect and with sexual assault victims that didn't realize how their actions appeared to society. She is always seen as "asking for it."

Robin said...

In 1962, when I was raped, my mother called a policeman she knew. His counsel to her was not to try to press charges because, with my "reputation," I would be laughed out of the courtroom.