One of my readers is a lesbian social/noncustodial mother named Sarah. Sarah is a lesbian woman who, while in a committed relationship with her partner, agreed to have a child via artificial insemination from an anonymous donor. Her partner carried the child for them.
As often happens in lesbian breakups, the biological mom has been determined to drive her former partner out of their child's life.
Sarah has been following the controversy over National Coalition Against Domestic Violence executive director Rita Smith's accusations that the leaders of some fathers' rights groups are "abusers." Mindy Jacobs of the Edmonton Sun reported this in her recent column When dad is just bad (9/10/08).
Below is Sarah's letter to Mindy Jacobs. Sarah jokes that she is "The Great Canadian Lesbian-Father" and gave me permission to reprint her letter to Jacobs. It is below.
Dear Mindy, I am a Canadian female lesbian-father of a young child. You might want to ask yourself why I've labeled myself as being my daughter's father. Well, it's simple to explain. After years of access rights with my daughter, my same-sex ex-spouse notified my daughter's doctor that she had been visiting her "father" on the weekend and had been exposed to cigarette smoke the whole time. I don't smoke, and I am certainly not a father, am I? So why then does the doctor's report state that I am my daughter's father? Okay, I've adjusted to being my daughter's father minus the anatomy. But, if you think for one second that all mothers of children out there deserve the right to control a father's relationship with their own child, then you are wrong. You are also wrong if you think that upon separation that any father is given adequate rights with their child.
Perhaps laws should be altered to give fathers decent access rights, decent financial responsibilities, and perhaps the "abusive behavior" you are talking about will disappear!
For just one second, put yourself in the position of a father upon separation. Stand before a judge and hear your destiny.
Do us all a big favor and alter your thinking to fight for changes to our legal system to initiate and protect a father's right to access, custody, and basic human decency.
I challenge you to take the father's seat in family court for just one sitting.