Friday, June 18, 2010

A broken bond that may never be mended

All to often we hear about how dads have it easy when it comes to parenting and how moms have it so hard. Talking about how when it comes to parenting men have the easy choice of walking out the door when women don't (this is one of those times when pro-choicers seem to go mysteriously quiet). How dads aren't held to unfair standards and all that. There it one big problem with those presumptions.

They absolutely ignore the men who fight tooth and nail against vindictive mothers and morally bankrupt courts to get even the smallest bit of time with their kids.

These are the men that the mainstream media and the anti-male/anti-dad crowd don't want to talk about because actually lifting a finger to help them would mean that maybe, just maybe, that they need to rethink their presumptions which are based more on gender than performance.

So while telling this man's story won't probably won't change any minds and the people who do as I describe above will try to write this off as not happening very often or by some other tactic I still think this story just needs to be told.

For the last 10 years Gerardo Serrano has been trying to get back into his son Mycah's life. But that is very hard to do when Gerardo is in America and Mycah is in Poland.

Gerardo Serrano and Joanna were in a relationship when little Mycah was born in 1995. Gerardo and Joanna broke up a short time after. The pair were engaged in a custody battle when in 1999 Joanna, who was not an American citizen, fled for her home country of Poland with Mycah in tow.

Over the years Serrano went to Poland to visit his son but since Polish courts had awarded custody to Joanna he was never able to be alone with him. But over time Mycah became hesitant and eventually grew tired of the visits. What can you expect from a kid that only got to see his dad a few times a year at the most?

Now you would think that this is bad enough it actually manages to get worse. All of this has happened despite having a court order awarding him custody. You think that's it? No.

Not only did Joanna take Mycah away under circumstances that basically amount to kidnapping and then have a Polish court award her custody Joanna has petitioned for child support from Gerardo. Now here's another hit.

She got it.

Yes a woman who kidnapped her son and took him away to a country to that signed the Hague Convention Treaty (meaning that children who are illegally brought into that country are supposed to be returned) managed to file for child support with the Polish government to collect funds from him and the department of Department of Healthcare and Family Services in Serrano's county froze his account. And to sneak in another hit his account was frozen without him even getting a hearing to contest it.

Serrano and his lawyers have managed to get a hearing on the matter in August but according to them it looks like the matter will end up in court.

At this point Serrano has not seen Mycah in two years yet he still calls on a regular basis.
"I call every Sunday, but he hangs up on me," Serrano said.
Joanna took Mycah away when he was about 4 years old and now he would be about 14. At that age, after 10 years away from Gerardo, is it really any surprise that his son would not want to talk to him? I wonder what exactly Joanna has been telling Mycah about his father during all that time?

But neverminding that I have to say that the saddest part in this is how this article ends.
"If I would have known this was going to happen, I would have kidnapped him and returned home with him. I came in with my hands clean, and I thought justice would be served," he said.

He plans to move to a farm he owns in Kentucky.

"This thing broke me," he said of the kidnapping case. "I pretty much just want to be left alone now. I'm tired."
This man went into this thinking that justice would prevail. And it looks like it has, just not the way he imagined it. (I guess you could say that both justice and history have been written by the winner.) But at the end of a 10 year battle a vindictive mother and an immoral court system has seemingly successfully alienated a child from his father.

I'll go on record now saying that if he had gone to Poland and kidnapped his son and brought him back, which I would understand him wanting to but glad he didn't, nearly every law enforcement agent and court between here and Poland would have chipped in to bring him "to justice". But since it was the other way around no one cares and some probably think she was right to do what she did.

So as Father's Day comes up this Sunday and you are reading all these posts/articles that are popping up to attack dads (a thing most of them would not dare do around Mother's Day), listening to Obama attack dads for the third year in a row (while not lifting a finger to help dads like Serrano), and listening to/reading people who are declaring that fathers are privileged (while ignoring the female privileges that let Joanna pull this off) and have the easy way out of parenting I want you to think about this dad (and I'll bet he isn't the only one) who is about to spend his 10th, of what seems to be a very long line of, Father's Days without the person who made him a father.

Tip of the Fro to Robert Franklin.


chava said... has taken me 8 years to really rebuild a relationship with my father, and he still gets terribly anxious when I don't pick up the phone for a few days, don't pick up if I am in a meeting/at a restaurant. I'm just so grateful he never gave up on the relationship and was always there.

It's these kinds of posts where I am really on board with you..and then I read something where every other sentence is "these feminists" this and "these feminists" that and it feels very alienating. I know you probably feel very alienated on feminist blogs as well, though, when we use generalizing language.

Danny said...

The alienating language is something that I really have to work out of my system (if you look at my older posts you'll see I was so much worse). But I'll tell you that one of the greatest sources for calming down was the blog Feminist Critics.

Thanks for dropping by.

Danny said...

But despite calming down I refuse to let feminists get a free pass on things they say. If they're big enough to dish it out to other people (and by "it" I mean being called out on their misbehavior) then they should be big enough to take it.

DJ said...

my bio. father chose a bottle of alcohol and whores over his children. he is now 79 and still claims he would change nothing about his life if he had it to do over. i have nothing to do with him. he is pathetic.

Danny said...

It is a terrible thing that there are men out there that do make such neglectful and abusive choices. And please believe me when I say that I am not trying to dismiss the children that are harmed by such choices.

I only ask that it be known that such separation is not always a choice.