by Dean Tong, MSc.
May 27, 2007
At a time in America when loving fathers are accused of sexual impropriety for bathing their sons and daughters; at a time in America when mother can secretly carry on a cyber affair with her lover, conspiring with the same to cause a fatherectomy by securing an ex parte Protection From Abuse (PFA) order based on a statement of fear of threatened bodily harm, at a time in America when anatomical incorrectness equates to pedophilia, visitor and deadbeat, and as Father’s Day approaches and dads continue to be unrepresented in bookstores and other mediums, it’s nice to know that the city of brotherly love – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – is elevating the awareness of dads.
It’s called Daddy UniverseCity (www.daddyuniv.com) and they’re located in Philadelphia and according to Joel Austin, their President and CEO, he’s “committed to helping fathers for the long haul.” According to their web site, they are single fathers, divorced fathers, married fathers, grand fathers, and step fathers, and they educate and empower newbies via articles and message boards to the challenges of being a father in 2007 America. They link to newdads.com, nolopress.com, and other informational sites and welcome you, father, to the world of dad 101.
Their light and soft approach to fatherhood is akin to Mr. Dad, himself, Armin Brott (www.MrDad.com), parenting expert and author of the book The Expectant Father. And, make no mistake. I’m all for “easing in” to fatherhood the brand new 22 year-old college graduate and the 26 year-old Iraqi soldier. But, in my world, the world of nasty divorces, bitter custody battles and utterly surreal abuse cases, exercising one’s “right” to be a father is not so black and white. In fact, it’s very much in the gray area.
On June 9th at the Philadelphia Convention Center from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Daddy UniverseCity will host its 2007 Fatherhood Festival and yours truly will be speaking at the same. For those who know me, I cut to the chase. I’ll be speaking to mostly fathers who have not yet encountered “heat in the legal kitchen.” I’ll be speaking to fathers who for the most part have no clue what the 3-Ring Circus is: Juvenile, Family and Criminal Court. But it’s important that those who will be fathers and who already are fathers realize that The Armin Brott Dad is probably more the exception than the rule today. And realize that your paternal rights are always in jeopardy until your children reach the age of 18, the age of majority.
I will speak to my expertise – protracted custody battles and false abuse accusations and how-to counter same in court and win. It’s not pretty. It’s not about mediation. In fact, it’s bloody and you could compare my presentation titled Falsely Accused: A Father’s Worst Nightmare, to America v. Iraq. But it is the way it has to be and it’s best, once war is declared, whether it be in Iraq, or in a Family Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia, that you go in and do your business and get out of dodge. For prolonged, contentious litigation is not in children’s best interests and in fact Dr. Richard Gardner said many years ago that a voluminous legal file is one criterion for a case of parental alienation.
So, at a time when many fathers have no place to turn for pointers, tips and general advice on paternal issues, the city that holds the National Constitution Center now also sponsors Daddy UniverseCity. Come one, come all, and come out to their fatherhood festival on June 9th. Empowering fathers to be better dads also empowers children. And isn’t that what Father’s Day is all about?