“Other things may change us, but we start and end with family.” As cliché as it may sound, I truly believe that “any man can be a father, but it takes a special person to be a dad.” Being a part of American Humane Association’s Fatherhood Initiative, which helps connect children involved with the child […]
Growing up, I never thought Father’s Day would mean anything to me. I still don’t know who my biological father is, and during my 10 years in foster care, I never had a memorable father figure. But today, I relish celebrating Father’s Day every June because I have one of the best fathers anyone could […]
Why is American Humane Association — the nation’s voice for the protection of children & animals –discussing the Super Bowl, the most anticipated and highly celebrated annual sporting event in the U.S.? Is there really a connection between this great event and child abuse and neglect? Read on…
As I was growing up, I experienced fleeting moments of thought about what my life would be like if I knew my dad. Those thoughts were briefly replaced with my anger and resentment and fear of rejection. After all, if he really thought or cared about me, he’d contact me, right? I told myself I really didn’t care, nor did I need to have “that man” in my life. After all, I had wonderful grandparents who loved me and a mother I adored.
As the years went by and I continued to have those confusing and contradictory thoughts, they turned more toward my dad’s family — I didn’t know them either. My mom never talked about my dad or her life with him before I was born. I didn’t approach the subject because I didn’t want to seem disloyal or ungrateful for all the sacrifices she made for me. I did learn, however, that my dad may have two sons. Even though that piqued my curiosity, I continued to live my life. After all, “life happens,” right? And soon I was so busy, at least I thought, to give it much attention.
My son TyMarion is 5 years old. I named him after a special family member whom I have always been in awe of — my grandfather. Initially, my grandfather scoffed at the idea of someone being named after him, since the name “Marion” is unusual for a man. But I was determined to carry on his legacy.
American Humane recently sent out an email that understandably upset some of you. It discussed the issue of fathers who are disengaged from their children’s lives — and the unfortunate toll this can sometimes take.
In the email, we cited reliable — yet disturbing — statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Fatherhood Initiative:
One out of three children (more than 24 million) live in homes without their fathers.
Children from father-absent homes are five times more likely to live in poverty, three times more likely to fail in school and three times more likely to commit suicide.
Why bring up these statistics? We intended to highlight the potential significance of father absence, particularly with regard to children in the child protection system.
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