All children need a father

The front page of the May 22 Deseret News carried an excellent story on fatherlessness in the United States. The experts interviewed for the story explained clearly the heightened risk to children who are raised without their fathers when the absence is due not to death but to divorce or abandonment or, increasingly, because the father and mother never married.

Our public policies do not always help the situation. No-fault divorce, by allying the state with the person who wants out of a marriage and refusing to take into consideration behavior that breaks up a marriage, sometimes allows fathers and children to be separated when the father has done nothing to harm his marriage.

The increasing acceptance of same-sex marriage constitutes an endorsement of the idea that fathers (or mothers, though usually fathers) are merely optional to a child’s well-being. Assisted reproduction laws dramatically undercut the principle of paternal responsibility. These laws promote the legal fiction that a father is not really a father if he creates a child through the intermediary of a fertility doctor. These laws allow a class of fathers to intentionally desert the children they create so as to facilitate the desire of another adult to have a child without a man around.