To say I get annoyed at discussions about deadbeat dads and fathers abandoning their children is an understatement. I get an equal amount of annoyance from those that beat a dead horse about deadbeat dads as I do those that defend a deadbeat father. When you look closely at the each player in these discussions, it is easy to identify the biases as well as where those biases are rooted. A lot of females in these discussions tend to lean toward the “most dads are deadbeats” boundary, while men tend to toe the other line… the line where moms take all of dads money through child support and turn him into a deadbeat against his will.
Looking at the topic objectively, however, one will find the topic a little more middle of the road than others might have them believe. True, there are plenty of dads out there who do not take their responsibilities seriously and choose instead to be children themselves. However, there are plenty of men trying to do the right thing for their children. Some of them are put in poor circumstance due to divorce and child support. Those men are maligned simply because they do not have custody of their children.
A U.S. Census Bureau report puts some of the misinformation about deadbeat dads into focus. 25% of custodial mothers do not receive child support because the father simply can not pay. Of the remaining 75% of custodial mothers, the majority receive appropriate child support and/or do not have a deadbeat dad involved. In fact, of over ten million custodial mothers, only 7% (one in fourteen) have problems with a true deadbeat dad who has the means to pay child support but refuses the responsibility to help care for his children.
I agree that the 7% previously mentioned who are deadbeat fathers should be held accountable, but I sincerely hope that the next time you hear someone bashing dads, fathers, and men in general concerning their avoidance of duties, you’ll remember this blog post on Real Men, Real Dads. Before a problem can be fixed, people need to understand how bad the problem truly is without exaggeration.