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Interesting Read from the UK - Food for Thought and Debate

Posted by on Nov. 20, 2013 at 8:03 AM
  • 18 Replies

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2510371/Britains-130-000-absent-dads-One-fathers-lose-contact-children-earlier-relationships.html

Britain's 130,000 absent dads: One in five fathers lose contact with children from earlier relationships

  • More than one in five men who live with second families never meet the children born during earlier relationships
  • Fewer than one in 12 say they see the children from first family every day
  • Almost 130,000 fathers have no contact with their children at all
  • Nearly a third say they do not have a close relationship with them

By Steve Doughty

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Serial fathers who leave their homes and go on to start second families are the men most likely to lose contact with their children, research has found.

More than one in five men who live with second families never meet the children born during earlier relationships, it said.

Fewer than one in 12 say they see the children from their first family every day and nearly a third say they do not have a close relationship with them.

In total, 129,000 fathers do not have any contact with their children and 300,000 do not pay to support them.

The way men abandon their children when they set up a new family was detailed in a study by the NatCen research group and funded by the Government’s Economic and Social Research Council.

It said fathers of second families are twice as likely to lose all contact with children as men who remain single after their family breaks up.

The findings underline concerns over the impact on children in single-parent families over the lack of men in their lives.

Earlier this year the Centre for Social Justice think tank found that a million children live in ‘men deserts’, in families without fathers and in neighbourhoods and schools where they rarely meet an adult male.

The NatCen report found that nearly a million men have children they do not live with - around one in 20 of all fathers.

Professor Margaret O’Brien of the Thomas Coram Research Unit which contributed to the study said: ‘It appears that some fathers may be losing contact with non-resident children when they start new families or when they are struggling financially.’

The report was based on a series of large-scale state and independent studies, including the British Household Panel Survey, which has followed the lives of more than 5,000 families for two decades.

It said: ‘One factor that is linked with fathers’ poorer contact with non-resident children is if other dependent children live with them - either their own or their new partner’s.’

 Some 21 per cent of fathers with a second or subsequent family say they have no contact with the children from their former relationship, the report said, and only eight per cent say they have contact almost every day.

Researchers said: ‘This compares with 10 per cent and 14 per cent respectively for fathers who are not currently living in second families.

‘This may suggest that as fathers go on to have a second family they can lose contact with children from previous relationships.

‘Only 69 per cent of fathers with ‘two families’ report having a close relationship with the children who do not live with them.

‘By contrast, 86 per cent of the fathers who have not had a second family remain close to the children from their earlier relationship.’

The figures for non-resident fathers who do not pay maintenance to mothers or otherwise support their children are much lower than those accepted in Whitehall, where it has long been thought that well over a million men do not pay to support their children.


by on Nov. 20, 2013 at 8:03 AM
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DDDaysh
by on Nov. 20, 2013 at 8:42 AM
1 mom liked this
Hmmm... I see some good things in there. After all, the support payments seem to be good, and well over half of the men have a close relationship still.

Yet it is troubling that merely starting another family seems to have such a dramatic impact! I wonder if a similar study has been done on non-custodial mothers, and if this is merely a "broken home" reality when the NCP gets distracted or whether this is male based and part of their "spread my seed" DNA coding.

Another question I have would be whether the results were controlled over time. Were the men who were "still single" that way because they had not been out of the home very long? It would make sense that time away from daily contact could potentially be responsible for the lessening affection and sense of responsibility. A man who just left his kids is probably more bothered by it than a man who hasn't lived with them in 10-years. Sad as it is to say, and as unacceptable as I personally find it, "out of sight, out of mind" is how some people view relationships even with their children!
Birdseed
by Platinum Member on Nov. 20, 2013 at 8:57 AM

I don't find the statistic about daily visits to be very surprising.  As much as we talk about following COs and such around here, it's no wonder that even a father who WANTS to be involved with his children wouldn't be able to if he is only CO'd to get EOWE--and that seems to be what most fathers get, regardless of their ability as a parent.  I also think that it's harder to visit daily with older kids who have ECs, friends, etc.

I did think that the 21% report having no contact was kind of mind blowing.  How do you just stop seeing your child altogether?  Or calling?  Just...poof!   As a SM, I would not be okay with a husband who stopped seeing his children. I sure as hell wouldn't want to have kids with him myself.  Yikes!

baparrot2
by Platinum Member on Nov. 20, 2013 at 9:02 AM

This will be wildly unpopular and probably get me bashed even though I don't really think it applies to the core members of this group but.....if I had to guess, I think a lot of men remarry and let their new wives dictate a lot of what happens. I think there are some SM's who form their new family and do a lot of coercion tactics to thwart the old family from being part of their new family.

Birdseed
by Platinum Member on Nov. 20, 2013 at 9:09 AM

I think you're probably right.  From a historic/anthropological standpoint, it used to be that SMs only existed when BM was dead and father remarried.  There was no "visitation" or "ex wife".  There was dead wife.  There is a definite human drive to compete for resources.  So even if it were kind of subconscious, I can see a new mom SM wanting to drive away the "competition" in order to provide for herself and her child(ren). 

All that said, it's still shitty.  I personally don't know of any situations like that but all of my SM friends IRL were older when they married into that world and were capable of supporting themselves and/or their own kids so maybe there was less of a feeling of competition?



Quoting baparrot2:

This will be wildly unpopular and probably get me bashed even though I don't really think it applies to the core members of this group but.....if I had to guess, I think a lot of men remarry and let their new wives dictate a lot of what happens. I think there are some SM's who form their new family and do a lot of coercion tactics to thwart the old family from being part of their new family.



annabl1970
by Gold Member on Nov. 20, 2013 at 9:10 AM
Having second family has a huge impact on relationship with previous kids no question about it.
I just don't agree it's only pertains to fathers. BMs are guilty too of pushing BFs of the picture to replace them with new husband.
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daddysgf
by and that's all on Nov. 20, 2013 at 9:11 AM

THIS.

Quoting baparrot2:

This will be wildly unpopular and probably get me bashed even though I don't really think it applies to the core members of this group but.....if I had to guess, I think a lot of men remarry and let their new wives dictate a lot of what happens. I think there are some SM's who form their new family and do a lot of coercion tactics to thwart the old family from being part of their new family.


baparrot2
by Platinum Member on Nov. 20, 2013 at 9:15 AM

What a great way of putting that! Light bulb moment. It IS so biological that it is almost out of our hands.

And yes you do know someone personally this has happened to. Me. Actually to our daughter. DD's dad has been more a Stepfather more times and for longer than he was ever a father to either of his children. He truly just bowed out on both of them. Oh, he's around here and there. But not involved and falls off of the face of the earth for months at a time. and then, its just a phone call to say hi.

Quoting Birdseed:

I think you're probably right.  From a historic/anthropological standpoint, it used to be that SMs only existed when BM was dead and father remarried.  There was no "visitation" or "ex wife".  There was dead wife.  There is a definite human drive to compete for resources.  So even if it were kind of subconscious, I can see a new mom SM wanting to drive away the "competition" in order to provide for herself and her child(ren). 

All that said, it's still shitty.  I personally don't know of any situations like that but all of my SM friends IRL were older when they married into that world and were capable of supporting themselves and/or their own kids so maybe there was less of a feeling of competition?



Quoting baparrot2:

This will be wildly unpopular and probably get me bashed even though I don't really think it applies to the core members of this group but.....if I had to guess, I think a lot of men remarry and let their new wives dictate a lot of what happens. I think there are some SM's who form their new family and do a lot of coercion tactics to thwart the old family from being part of their new family.




baparrot2
by Platinum Member on Nov. 20, 2013 at 9:20 AM


Quoting annabl1970:

Having second family has a huge impact on relationship with previous kids no question about it.
I just don't agree it's only pertains to fathers. BMs are guilty too of pushing BFs of the picture to replace them with new husband.

And a lot of the time the BF didn't get pushed out of any picture. He removed himself and then just plays the blame game with his new wife.

Older and wiser voices can always help you find the right path, if only you are willing to listen. - Jimmy Buffet
leegirl_jm
by Ruby Member on Nov. 20, 2013 at 9:20 AM

The study isn't surprising, people have one immediate family, it is very difficult to create and be equally available for two families, some will get left behind.

DDDaysh
by on Nov. 20, 2013 at 10:02 AM

I actually got brave enough to ask BF's most recent BM this question, in a round about way.  

I mean, after all, he had TWO kids he almost never saw.  I could understand his explanations about his first daughter, because it's easy to make up excuses about a sick kid needing to stay with her doctors/therapists, etc, and he used the "have to travel to get enough money to pay the medical bills" excuse with me.  And because she still lived with his parents, it isn't like he had NO contact with her.  

But how could she not have found it suspicious that he never saw this other child.  I figure for a while she might not have known about him, but his family knew about him, and child support sent tons of letters to every possible address they had on him.  

Sadly, the answer was pretty simple.  He told her that DS wasn't really his child, that he'd been young and stupid and signed a paternity affidavit and now was stuck.  And naiively, she believed him.  I was the evil whore who conned the "good man" into claiming this child that wasn't his and now wanted to live high on the hog off his CS.  lol..  She didn't start getting suspicious until he got really defensive about not letting her see any pictures of DS, and she started to wonder if maybe the reason way was because there might be some physical resemblance...  

So...  sometimes I think it is just that men are good liars, and women always think they can "fix" the bad boy.  You know, the whole, "he's really a good person, just a victim of his circumstances!" thing.  

Quoting Birdseed:


I did think that the 21% report having no contact was kind of mind blowing.  How do you just stop seeing your child altogether?  Or calling?  Just...poof!   As a SM, I would not be okay with a husband who stopped seeing his children. I sure as hell wouldn't want to have kids with him myself.  Yikes!


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