Sponsors And Then There Were Two, Art Alexakis of Everclear, and Kyle McMahon (K. Mac) from Oprah's Lifeclass proudly invite you to sign the Stand Up, Man Up Petition to Protect the Rights of Pregnant Women and their Children. No woman should have to bear the financial and emotional burden of a pregnancy alone!
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“Let’s admit to ourselves that there are a lot of men out there that need to stop acting like boys; who need to realize that responsibility does not end at conception; who need to know that what makes you a man is not the ability to have a child but the courage to raise a child.”
- President Barack Obama, Father’s Day, June 15, 2008
Today, the practice of “responsible fatherhood” is of critical importance – to our society, to the expectant mother, and most of all, to the child about to enter the world. Children who grow up in fatherless homes have a much greater risk of major challenges in life than those who grow up with a father in the home. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, this epidemic is rampant and currently affects 27 million children in the United States. 1 out of every 3 households in America exists without a father in the home. These children often have problems linked to higher rates of poverty, failure in school, teen pregnancy, substance abuse, violent crime and depression.
But solutions to ensuring all men own up to their responsibility as fathers are out there. Specifically, by signing this petition, we join And Then There Were Two and Petition Sponsor Art Alexakis of Everclear, and Kyle McMahon (K. Mac) from OWN's Oprah's Lifeclass in support of:
1. Encouraging and Empowering Fathers to Accept Responsible,
Healthy Roles in Their Children’s Lives as Early as Possible
2. Increasing Timely Access to Appropriate Services and
Resources for Single Mothers
3. Establishing the Use, Acceptance and Admissibility of
Prenatal Paternity Testing in State Courts
4. Promoting Tougher Child Support Collection & Enforcement Laws
that are National and Centralized in Scope
Too many defenseless children are victimized by “deadbeat parents,” whose irresponsibility imposes an enormous burden on children and society. The absence of responsible fathers is widely regarded as one of the primary causes of America’s social decline. One can only guess at the real cost on our society posed by deadbeat parents, in the form of increased health care and welfare expenses. It’s high time to reverse the trend and raise our expectations of responsible fathers and reduce our tolerance of irresponsible ones.
We, the undersigned, demand that all fathers “Stand Up & Man Up” to their financial and emotional responsibilities to the children they’ve brought into the world. We also demand that our legislators take bold steps to encourage responsible fatherhood, support single mothers’ efforts to hold absent fathers accountable, and enforce more effective and reliable child support collection on behalf of these children. Through common sense efforts like the acceptance of early paternity testing in court, a federal approach to child support collection, and a centralized registry of deadbeat dads, we can set in place the obligations of shared parenthood in a safe, cost-effective and more timely manner, benefitting the best interests of children, families and our society.