When motherhood gets you jail time

“When motherhood gets you jail time” (a Dec. 19, 2007 TIME story) and “Choosing jail over joint custody” (also a Dec. 19, 2007 TIME story) comprise a two-part series.

The first of those stories was ranked this morning the most popular story, most-often e-mailed-by-readers-of-Time. Half an hour later, at 8:30 a.m., the rank for the story had dropped to 3rd place in the list, right after “Who Is Killing Mexico’s Musicians?” and “Spain’s Holiday Cry: Down With Santa!”.

Given the high level of interest in the price to be paid for motherhood, it is important to note that “When motherhood gets you jail time” is a misnomer.

Still, even though inaccurate, that headline was a good choice by TIME, a choice that was bound to manufacture concern for the mother (who nevertheless wants to use her motherhood for criminal intents) and accounted for the story’s high popularity ranking. The second story with the more objective and mundane title “Choosing jail over joint custody” evoked far less concern and resulted in the second story not even ranking in the TIME’s top-25 list.

Yes, motherhood, apple pie and women’s sole right to possession of their children do it every time, they turn criminals into saints. Women’s obligations and the rights of children and fathers come in distant last.

The mother for whom the TIME manufactered concern chose jail over revealing the whereabouts of a son to the boy’s alleged father. The mother had apparently thought that having a child, if not through immaculate conception but then at least without a father being a part of that child’s life (she even decided that the boy should not have his alleged father’s name) entitled her to government support payments. It normally would, but in Wisconsin not without a paternity test having been done to ascertain that the fingered man is actually the biological father of that boy she had.

The two stories in TIME, neither the popular first one nor the unpopular second one whose headline proclaimed that the budding welfare mom is breaking the law by interfering with a court order, did not report whether the expunged father is in truth the biological father or whether DNA tests proving his paternity were even done.

That would seem to be an extremely important issue from a practical viewpoint, but from the perspective of sainted motherhood, apple pie and Christmas it is not.

Let’s get real. The mother should be in jail at least until she quits breaking the law. Society should be kept safe from such women. It is unfortunate that it costs far more to keep such a welfare mom in jail than it does to simply put her on the dole, but in the long run it would be far cheaper for society to jail her and to keep her there until she no longer engages in her crime of defying a court order that grants a father access to his child. It seems that the vast majority of women would choose freedom of movement over their perceived right to choose to refuse to comply with court orders that grant visitation rights to alleged or real fathers of children.

The name of the criminal mother is April Griffin, not Virgin Mary. No amount of manufacturing concern by Time or by anyone else will change that.

Nevertheless, we should get to know whether the alleged father of the adamantly hidden child is truly the bio-dad. On average, chances are one in three that he isn’t. That is not just a minor detail, it is the major issue in the case. Could that be the reason why April Griffin is hiding the boy — to avoid incriminating herself in having committed the crime of paternity fraud?

–Walter

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1 Response to When motherhood gets you jail time

  1. Here is an update:

    Ask Mr. Dad: Protecting yourself from paternity fraud

    By ARMIN BROTT, McClatchy-Tribune News Service

    Dear Mr. Dad: My wife and I are about to get a divorce. We have a 1-year-old boy and she’s pregnant with our second. Here’s the problem: She’s been having an affair for the last two years and I’m concerned that the children aren’t actually mine. What can I do to protect myself?…
    Full Story: http://www.newsobserver.com/2172/story/1134629.html

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