Give Unwed Fathers Equal Rights In Massachusetts

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MGL 209C, in Massachusetts the mother will retain sole legal and physical custody and an unwed father has no rights regardless if he lives in the home with the child and signed the birth certificate. Fathers shouldn’t have to go to court to obtain legal rights if he signs the birth certificate its a woman’s body but it’s the fathers dna that determines male or female gender. If a father signs the birth certificate he should have equal parental rights currently that is NOT the law. The law is discriminatory based on socioeconomic status toward lower income people that cannot afford to be married and discriminatory by gender to men. We cannot build an equal society with the law as it stands. Nor can we speak of women and girls’ empowerment without addressing such essential parts of their lives: the family structure! Its unfair and abusive to the child because a father needs to pay child support even if the mother won't let him spend time with his child. Men that are victims of reproductive coercion are forced to give money to their abusers. The courts would never allow a woman to have to pay to a rapist that got her pregnant. These laws were written during a time when DNA could not be established and women didn’t have a choice of pregnancy. The law is now archaic and unconstitutional. It’s contradictory to what’s in the best interest of the child. Two equal parents is in the best interest of the child. 

Changing the law so that both parents have equal rights from birth will ensure both parents can collaborate to raise the child and remove financial hardship for a father to parent their child by removing mandatory child support. There is no need for child support when both parents are working together equally to raise a child.

This change will bring more fathers into their children’s lives. This change will improve personal development among young children such as: working with others, relationships, self-esteem, aspirations, confidence and self love. More children will become productive members to society and this change likely will reduce the opiate crisis by tackling the root of the addictions which are broken homes that led to abuse. This change will give me the opportunity to spend more time with my son and many other fathers that have been alienated out of their children’s lives. I’ve met too many adults that didn’t have their fathers growing up that now as adults hurt many people because of the hurt of abandonment and emotional abuse put on them as a child by not having two equal parents. I’ve met too many men with adult children they have never known because trauma from abandonment goes unnoticed and unrecognizable and continues from generation to generation because the law supports dysfunctional mothers. For example “Baby Doe”, was a young child in the sole legal and physical custody by default to Rachelle Bond. Despite attempts by the father the mother had legal right to alienate the child a clear sign of abuse, which led to her death. There is no mechanism of checks and balances without this change. Baby Doe‘s death would have been prevented with this change. This change will create a better community and equal rights regardless of race, gender, religion, or socioeconomic status. Please make this change for our children and our community.