Starting the change | Politicians told to stop being deadbeat dads

While urging his parliamentary colleagues to start the change by ensuring they too support their children, Member of Parliament for Kingston Central Ronald Thwaites said it is a shame that parliament has not taken legislative steps to ensure all fathers’ names are affixed to their children’s birth certificates.

He said: “There is no pride in this parliament to the fact that, years and years after recognizing its importance, we still have no legislation mandating that fathers names are on the birth certificates of their children. I consider it a shame that we have not yet done this.

“That is one significant but no adequate way in which we encourage fathers – men – to stand up for their responsibilities,” Thwaites told the House of Representatives on Tuesday, November 20.

He noted that he was not attacking anyone personally when he told politicians to ensure they too are not delinquent fathers.

“Well done is always better than well said,” Thwaites declared. “…You can’t be a leader and you can’t be a great political pundit as a man if you are not taking care of all the children that you have brought into this world.

“Bringing a child into this world is not a mother’s prerogative; it is a male and a female; and some of the most sensitive issues that are being discussed elsewhere in this parliament often fail to recognize the importance and the participation of the man,” Thwaites added.

He also lamented that parliament has not taken any notable step to address what he described as the deep cultural antecedents to the issue of delinquent fathers. He noted that, after the slave trade, a man’s main role was to – among other things – have many women and children.

“We have never set our national perspective solidly against this,” he said.


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