Garth Rattray | On fertilisers, donors, and fathers » EntornoInteligente

Garth Rattray | On fertilisers, donors, and fathers / There is a spectrum of men who produce children. Many men are fertilisers who simply fertilise eggs, with little or no affection or loyalty towards the female or his progeny. Some men only produce children to validate their manhood and to fit in with their peers. Sometimes they are unaware of their children’s well-being.

These are the kind of men whose children either never met their ‘father’ or only saw him a few times. Some of these children are the young boys who lack a male presence in the home or a male figure who influences him in a positive way – they sometimes gravitate towards gangs, where they feel welcome, wanted, and are led by an alpha male.

Some blame this sad and dangerous state of affairs on slavery, where studs were needed and fatherhood was not allowed. Others blame it on itinerant work. It is not uncommon for these men to have children wherever they end up working. It is also thought that some men end up with unplanned children and, feeling trapped, they escape responsibility by distancing themselves from the women and children.

Then there are the sperm donors. They impregnate women, whose passion or maternal instinct usurp their common sense. These men abdicate their responsibilities out of carelessness and/or callousness. Sperm donors are usually men who either feign or are unable to sustain affection, so they flit from one woman to the next. Sadly, when both parents manifest irresponsible behaviour, the children always suffer the consequences.

Because these men usually maintain a fragile and intermittent connection with their babymothers and children, they are the ones that are often taken to Family Court for child maintenance. Their ins and outs, back and forth, on-and-off relationship becomes the source of much anxiety and disappointment to both mother and child. Unlike the fertilisers who often vanish altogether, often much is expected from sperm donors, but they consistently fail to become part of any family unit. Instead, they orbit like satellites, not too near and not too far away, but never near enough to make any positive impact on the children.

GENUINE FATHERS Then there are the genuine fathers, the real men who father their children in many ways. These are usually stable and responsible men who try to plan their family so that the children can be properly taken care of. These men form very strong bonds with their children. These men are central to family units. They raise their children up to be responsible and law-abiding citizens. It is unusual for the children from these households to engage in criminal activities.

These genuine fathers may not be married to the mothers of their children, but their common-law relationship does not lack legitimacy. These men may not even live at the home with their children, but their influence is so sincere, powerful, and sustained that they have a very positive effect on their progeny. These are the fathers whom children can always depend on to be there for them, to sacrifice for them, and to protect them.

surrogate fathers Additionally, some men provide a solid father-child association with their stepchildren or to children with whom there is no direct or indirect relationship. These surrogate fathers may even be family friends who play much greater (positive) roles in the lives of children than some of the biological fathers. Their contribution to the lives of children leads to wholesomeness in the home and in the wider society.

Jamaica needs far more genuine and surrogate fathers, and far less sperm donors and fertilisers. Instead of ‘sex education’ (or whatever it’s called nowadays), we need courses in responsible parenting at all levels of our education system. That way, after several years, we can reduce crime and murder significantly. A lot of society’s ills can be blamed on poor parenting, and especially on a paucity of real fathers.

Garth A. Rattray is a medical doctor with a family practice. Email feedback to [email protected] and [email protected] .

LINK ORIGINAL: Jamaica Gleaner

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