Paternal and Maternal Abandonment

A mother’s love knows no bounds. It is said that there is nothing in the world that can be compared to it and millions of women across the globe would probably agree. However, this by no means minimizes or lessens the importance and essential role that a father also plays in his child’s life. A man’s role in the family and his influence on his child’s life is incalculable.

Society’s responsibility to its children is an ongoing issue that is highly debated. Many argue different points about the rearing of children, as well as the type of family structure that is required to produce healthy, happy and well adjusted children. Technological advancements have made the choice to have a child without a father figure easily available through sperm donors and artificial insemination.

One of the most important influences of a father on his children is how his behavior moulds their perception of what a man should be. The way he treats the mother of his children indirectly influences and suggests to his children how women are to be treated, how to deal with conflict, etc. Paternal abandonment is self explanatory; a father who deserts his child and has little to no constructive contact with them. The absence of a father can have many far reaching negative effects on a child’s psyche.  

Studies conducted in the United States added “father-deprivation” to many societal problems in children. A few common detrimental behaviors like running away, suicide and being institutionalized (psychiatric) were common amongst children who had no fathers present in their lives. Many who were troubled also succumbed to negative and criminal acts, such as rape and murder.

A U.K. study by the Institute for the Study of Civil Society Civitasalso backed up the US findings, showing the staggering statistics below for children who grew up fatherless. They are:

  • nine times more likely to drop out of school
  • eight times more probable to end up in prison
  • ten times more likely to abuse controlled substances
  • twenty times more probable to have serious behavioral issues

Though not as widely reported as cases involving paternal abandonment, maternal abandonment follows a similar pattern. As a mother withdraws, whether physically or emotionally from her children, she leaves a multitude of emotional, psychological and mental issues in her wake. By refusing to take responsibility of her children, she cuts off a significant and imperative relationship necessary to mould a child from the onset.

This type of child abandonment leads to:

  • feelings of worthlessness
  • confusion about why their mother is not around
  • feelings of guilt (thinking it’s their fault somehow)
  • inadvertent isolation and fear of abandonment (fearful of bonding with other anyone, especially adults)

 Relationships take a lot of work and commitment. However, life is also very uncertain and sometimes will not always work out the way it was initially intended. Families split up, men or women abandon and shirk their responsibilities and often children are the ones who are caught in the imbalance.

The conflict that occurs when a relationship fails between parents is a very common one and children are quite often the ones who are hurt irreparably. Men are often blamed and seen as the irresponsible ones and many argue that mothers are given favorability by the courts.

At Zeidman Family Law, we are aware of how delicate divorce and separations can be in your life.  Our experience and empathy helps us guide all of our clients through the legal maze that governs child custody, child access, child support, spousal support, divorce, domestic contracts, division of property and more.

Every case is different and we see our clients the same way.  At Zeidman Family Law, our professional and experienced Ontario lawyers view our clients as people who need our help and expertise during a time that can be tumultuous and highly emotionally charged.

Visit us online or call us today for a free initial consultation and allow us to help you through this time. We welcome all questions and concerns that you may have and look forward to offering our expertise in having a successful resolution to your case.