Monday, January 31, 2011

Quote from President Barack Obama (June 19, 2009)

“In many ways, I came to understand the importance of fatherhood through its absence-both in my life and in the lives of others. I came to understand that the hole a man leaves when he abandons his responsibility to his children is one that no government can fill. We can do everything possible to provide good jobs and good schools and safe streets for our kids, but it will never be enough to fully make up the difference. That is why we need fathers to step up, to realize that their job does not end at conception; that what makes you a man is not the ability to have a child but the courage to raise one.”

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Resource Spotlight: Dr. Linda Nielsen

Nationally renowned expert on father-daughter relationships, Dr. Linda Nielsen, has been teaching, conducting research and writing about dads and adult daughters for more than two decades.

Her most recent book, Between Fathers and Daughters: Enriching & Rebuilding Your Adult Relationship (Cumberland House, 2008) has been widely acclaimed as a groundbreaking resource for men and their adult daughters. Her previous book, Embracing Your Father: How to Build the Relationship You Always Wanted with Your Dad (McGraw Hill, 2004) was hailed nationwide as an invaluable resource for adult daughters to enrich or rebuild relationships with their dads.

Nielsen's newest book provides practical, no-nonsense advice for fathers and daughters. Exploring how your relationship got to where it is today, nationally renowned expert, Dr. Linda Nielsen, shows you how to create a more comfortable, honest, meaningful bond - and how to rebuild a badly damaged one.

Whether your relationship needs a minor tune up or a major overhaul, Nielsen's engaging quizzes, soul searching questions, eye opening research, and personal stories show you where you're going wrong and how to get more from your relationship.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Legislative Update.....

The American Coalition for Fathers and Children shared this information in one of their emails yesterday.

Just wanted to pass it along. If you are interested in more info, I encourage you to join their mailing list. (

The DADPR project

There have been a number of bills for shared parenting, and related issues, introduced already and more are on the way.  As you read about what is going on please be thinking about how you will participate.  In no particular order:

Maryland:  Judiciary committee member, Delegate Jill Carter last year introduced House Bill 925 calling for a presumption of equal physical placement and joint legal custody.  She is reintroducing the bill this year (it will have a different bill number but the language will be substantively the same).  It should be filed sometime next week.  Last year we facilitated 4 panels before the committee to testify in favor of the bill. 

New Jersey:  John Dibiase has worked with Representative Altonbello to introduce several good bills related to Parental Alienation and exclusion of Veteran disability benefits as a marital asset subject to property division.

Minnesota:  Last week Molly Olson of the Center for Parental Responsibility (CPR) was featured in this Minneapolis Star Tribune article.  We are looking forward to introduction of a Shared Parenting Bill very soon, possibly this week.  CPR is a long time affiliate of ACFC, Molly and her husband Michael have produced a number of shows on family law related issues which have aired for many years on Minnesota Public Access Television.  ACFC hosts a number of the episodes on our website also.  Click here to watch this invaluable content.  Visit CPR here.

Illinois Illinois Fathers is working with a number of state legislators and several bills will be introduced in the legislature over the next week or two.  Bills are coming related to joint custody, visitation interference and child welfare.  One bill in particular is the Steve Watkins Memorial Bill. 
Steve Watkins was murdered by his ex-wife’s grandmother as he went to pick up his daughter for visitation.  The story garnered national attention.  The purpose of this bill is to set strong penalties in cases of visitation interference.  You can read the bill here, the underlined parts of the bill are the new language.  This bill has been through legislative drafting and will be filed when the bill number is assigned.  

Wisconsin:  Steve Blake, leader of Dads of Wisconsin has reported this shared parenting bill by Rep. Don Pridemore.  Steve is a tireless campaigner for Shared Parenting.  Last year Steve and I spent some time with the leader of the Senate who provided lukewarm support for efforts to change Wisconsin law.  As a result of the November elections the ‘old guard’  in Wisconsin was replaced and our issues (and legislation) are receiving a more favorable reception. 

Iowa:  In the Hawkeye state Iowa Fathers are working to influence the Child Support scheme.  Iowa Fathers leader Bryan Iehl is requesting your active participation at the public hearings to change a system which places money ahead of parent child relationships.  Visit Iowa Fathers website and show your support by attending an upcoming public hearing.

North Dakota:  You’ll remember in 2006 we worked with our North Dakota affiliate on a binding ballot initiative for shared parenting that lost by six percentage points.  This year our North Dakota friends took the legislative route in an attempt to pass Shared Parenting.  The state Senate dispatched the bill very quickly, voting against parents and children, by a 43 -3 margin.  Over 91,000 people voted in favor of the Shared Parenting Initiative in 2006, it appears the state Senate wanted to kill this bill before the public had much of an opportunity to learn about it and weigh in on the discussion.  Look for another ballot initiative in North Dakota.

Virginia:  Virginia’s Shared Parenting legislation, House Bill No. 1787 met a similarly quick fate in its committee where it was tabled.  Tabling isn’t the worst thing that can happen to a bill, it simply means the bill will not be brought for a vote this year.  The alternative is having the bill voted down outright which would preclude being able to revisit it again at a later time.

These are just a couple of the current activities underway around the nation.  We expect additional legislation in a number of states soon including: Michigan, Tennessee, Oregon, California, Texas, Massachusetts, Arizona and Indiana.  In many of these states placeholder bills have already been filed and substitute language is under discussion.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Why would a WOMAN advocate on behalf of rights for MEN?

This is a common question that I get asked when I tell people about DADPR. They also want to know how I plan to get other women on board when much of what I want to help with also concerns women who are fighting on the other side of the fence on this issues.

My answer is exactly why I started this project, because parental rights for fathers is all about doing whats best for the child. If you don't agree that it is best for a child, and daughter in particular, to have a loving relationship with her father, then perhaps this project may not be your cup of tea. God Bless you.

However, as a woman whose life has been shaped by the role of BOTH of my parents being involved, I can't help but think of how my ideas about men, spirituality, relationships, success, education, and career would have been different without that male influence. I just can't imagine.

So why join the party?

Because every little girl had a Father at one time. Perhaps he raised you or you may have never even known him. Maybe he was a part of your life or you still have a longing to connect with that man who you've never even met. You may have had a PaPa, Grandpapa, uncle, mentor or other Father figure who was instrumental in some way in your upbringing. I'm saying all this to say that somewhere there was a Father even if he never lived up to the title. And I believe that it is innate for a little girl at some point in her life, even if briefly, to want to have a relationship with that person.

So I challenge those to get on board who had amazing Fathers or who had no Father at all.

Advocate because of the positive experience that you have had...........
because of the change you want to create for your daughters.....
because you are choosing to break the cycle......
because you are married to a man who you have seen treated unjustly in the family law court system......
because your Father stood tall and provided in all ways for you......
because you believe that "family" is essential to the lives of kids.......
and because you want to tell the world that Fathers deserve parental rights too.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Beginning......

As I lay here at 1 AM, the words of my husband resonate with my being and even counting sheep won't help my restlessness. "Honey, I think it's a great idea but I just don't think you will get much support seeing as though you are a woman fighting on behalf of men." Was he right? I think not.................

I'm not just fighting for men, I'm fighting for daughters of men. Daughters who deserve the right to have their Fathers ACTIVE in their lives. Men who deserve the right to be a Father. ..........

Every journey begins with a single step. Hello. I'm Tameka, the Founder of the DADPR project. I am a hard-working, vibrant, thirty something, young woman, wife, activist and most recently, stepmom to a sweet and precious Angel. Last but not least, I am a Certified Daddy's Girl! A few weeks ago, on New Years Eve, I begin to reflect on my life, passions, goals, and ambitions for 2011. I realized that, in the back of my mind, I'd been dreaming up an initiative but didn't have the guts to get it started. This initiative was driven by the trials that my husband and I were currently facing in the name of trying to protect his constitutional, parental rights as a father. Back and forth to court, time and time again trying to secure his legal parental rights only to be told that your daughter is too young for us to consider joint custody. What? Is there such a thing? too young? I was lost. With all the "dead-beat dads" in the world and a society that falls further and further behind in maintaining "family," along with the responsibility of the village in raising the child, is it ever really too early to foster and nurture a relationship between Father and Daughter?

Again, I think not..................
Thus, the DADPR project was born.

I am a daughter and I whole-heartedly believe it is essential for a daughter to have her Daddy in her life!

Welcome to our community!