“A lot of the progress is being made because guys are stepping up and doing it…fathers like Barry, Julio and Dean are driving it forward, showing the courts what a huge, positive impact fathers can have on their children’s lives.”—Glenn Sacks,
national executive director of Fathers and Families Renowned Los Angeles columnist Dennis McCarthy wrote a front-page Father’s Day column about divorced / separated fathers featuring three Los Angeles Fathers and Families supporters—Dean Maya, Barry Shuman, and Julio Alfaro. The column is Single superdads keep kids close to hearts (Los Angeles Daily News, 6/19/10). To write a Letter to the Editor about the column, please click here. To post a comment on it, please click here. Most of the dads McCarthy interviewed for the story had to fight long, hard battles to remain a part of their children’s lives in the face of the mothers’ dedicated efforts to exclude them. For one dad, were it not for the victories Fathers and Families and its allies won on move-away legislation in 2004 and again in 2006, his children would have been moved to the East Coast for no justifiable reason. McCarthy wrote:
Today I want to give a nod to a group of men who often get overlooked in these Father’s Day tributes…The men who fight costly and emotional court battles for the right to be a major part of their children’s lives… Dean Maya, 34, who runs an audio-visual business out of his Studio City home, has had 50 percent shared custody of his daughter, Rebecca Rose, 2, for over a year. “Because she’s so young there’s no reason for her to go without either parent for a week,” he says. “Rebecca spends two days with me, two days with her mom, then three days with me. The next week her mom gets the extra day. “My child is the most important thing in my life. Being with her and watching her grow is amazing.” Today, father, daughter and their 1-year-old black Lab will take a drive up to Santa Barbara and walk along the beach. “The courts too often think a man’s responsibility is purely to provide money, as if we have no ability to provide love and nurturing for our children.”
Julio Alfaro told McCarthy:
It makes me mad when Hispanic men get stereotyped as being bad fathers…People have to know that a lot of young fathers want to do the right thing for their children and take responsibility, but it’s very hard for them to fight the court system. I know it was designed to protect women and that’s necessary. But it has to be fair to men, too, because being a father is the most important role life has to offer…My kids know I’m not going anywhere but home to them every day…
Read the full column here.