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No Sympathy for 'Unwed Father'

June 17, 1988

I was outraged to hear the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case of Edward McNamara, the unwed father who has been fighting for the custody of his daughter given up for adoption seven years ago. Beverly Beyette's article talked about fathers' rights. When it comes to children, men already have more rights than women will ever have. Think about it:

1--A man has the right to have unprotected sex without having to carry a developing fetus in his body for nine months as a possible result.

2--A man has the right to never have to consider whether the drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and food he consumes, and the way he treats his body for nine months, will seriously adversely affect another person's entire life.

3--A man has the right to never experience the pain of labor while giving birth.

4--A man has the right to never be in the soul-searching position of deciding whether to carry a developing child to term, or to have an abortion.

5--A man has the right, after he has found out he is to become a father, to abdicate all responsibility and refuse to make child support payments.

6--Men have the right to refuse to fund day care centers so the children's mothers (often single and not receiving child support) can work for wages to keep those children above the poverty level.

7--Men have the right to have young life brought up for them without their ever having to lift a finger.

Clearly, the adoption and court system is at fault for not resolving this matter of Katie's custody in a more timely fashion. McNamara is right to be angry about that, and it is understandable that he would want some sort of compensation. However, that compensation should not involve the disruption of the life of the child.

SUSAN R. STUART

Pasadena

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