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Kentucky Bill BR57 – Make The Call

December 5, 2008

Some thoughts for the weekend…

If you don’t remember James Rhoades, you can refresh your memory here, here, here, here, and here.

I do remember James and think of him often.  I have not kept up on the happenings in his fight to participate in his son’s life because of the craziness of my own, but I got an e-mail from him just the other day.  I was glad to hear from him, but saddened to read about the unbelievable miscarriage of justice in the State of Kentucky.

James’ own brief summary of what’s happened since April of this year is as follows:

In April of 2008 the KY Supreme Court ruled in Ricketts v Rhoades that biological fathers have no rights to visitation or custody regarding their children if the mother is married to another man at conception. The court said, even when paternity has been proven through court ordered DNA testing, the father still can’t have his petition heard by the Family Court.

The very backward KY Supreme Ct ruling threw the fundamental rights of fathers, children, and women out the window by saying you’re a father is not a father if he has a child with a married woman, by saying a child must wait until he or she is 18 to know the truth and have a relationship with his or her biological father, and by saying women and the children they conceive are the property of their husband.

After Kentucky’s highest court handed down its absurd April 24, 2008 4 to 3 ruling, I promptly petitioned the KY Supreme Court to re-hear the case. Six months later, on October 24, 2008, the Court again decided 4 to 3, I still have no right, as a biological father, to petition to be in my son’s life.

My best hope to see my 2 1/2 year old son again, who I haven’t seen for 19 months, is at the Kentucky Legislature. A Louisville state representative, Darryl Owens from the 43rd district, pre-filed the following bill on October 8th, BR 57 , to be voted on in the 2009 legislative session. This bill changes the existing language to determine a father’s paternity when a child is born to a married woman and fathered by a man other than her husband. Basically, the bill seeks to move the archaic perception of “presumption of paternity” and “out of wedlock” into the 21st century. The change in the statute’s language would allow a father, who can prove he’s the father of a child born from an extra-marital affair, to petition for custody and visitation in the courts of Kentucky.

However, the only way the bill will pass is if the people contact Kentucky legislators. The KY Supreme Court has declared the truth doesn’t matter but I don’t want the lawmakers of Kentucky to do the same.

Like so many other fathers in America, I’m just a father who loves and adores his child and who desperately wants to participate in his son’s life.

So please contact the Kentucky Legislative Message Line at 1-800-372-7181 and ask that the whole KY Legislature vote YES on Bill BR57. Help encourage the legislators to give all children the same rights, i.e. the right to know and have their fathers participate in their lives, no matter how they were conceived.

Please do.

Make the call to the Kentucky Legislative Message Line at 1-800-372-7181 and ask that the whole KY Legislature vote YES on Bill BR57.

Do it for James.

Do it for his son.

Do it for fathers across Kentucky and across the nation.

Do it for the children that deserve to know them.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. December 6, 2008 4:27 am

    I remember James’ saga and I live in Indiana and I have seen the news reports on his case.

    Of all the people that he had a child with, it was one who is closely tied to the “court community” and the Good Old Boys Club is alive and well in Kentucky…at least, someone is trying to change the laws that keep things in a “backward” state of affairs.

    I agree, write the letters and also address the other abuses that are in our society regarding father/child issues.

    This is a story that is forcing a man with a differnt name from the actual father to support a child that isn’t his…

    I believe that our society is calling “wrong/right” and there is little justice for fathers in today’s world…if you are a man and fathered a child, you are a scum bag no matter the state of marriage or not…no wonder our children have trouble with authority and other “father hunger” issues…

    No matter what the courts say, they are setting this child up for serious emotional problems as he grows older and learns the truth and the lies…how sad and how unnecessary because the bottom line is that the mother and her legal husband are the ones who are avoiding the real issue of paternity…

  2. December 7, 2008 4:28 pm

    The lady who answered the phone and took my address was befuddled by my zip code. I had to explain to her that even though I am not a resident of Kentucky, what happens there affects us all.

  3. December 8, 2008 6:08 am

    The lady that answered the phone for me was very sweet and asked who I wanted it to be broadcasted to specifically. I asked if she could broadcast it to them all… and she said that she was able to do that for me.

    It makes a difference and TG is correct, what happens there will and does affect us all.

  4. December 10, 2008 12:26 pm

    Hey Stephanie,

    I’ve been following your blog for quite awhile. Please email me the password so I can continue to read.

    simpliekrazed at yahoo dot com.


  1. Hazel

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