Men are often considered the “lesser” choice for child custody. Society seems to believe that women are somehow better able to take care of children than men, and that children should normally be placed with the mother after a divorce. In fact, this feeling is so prevalent that when a man does receive custody of his children, people tend to assume that something must be “wrong” with the mother. Are men actually good choices for child custody? Is there something to the prevalent attitude that the children’s place is with the mother?
Mothering: A Biological Imperative?
There is a great deal of study and debate on the role each parent plays in a child’s healthy development. The consensus is still that children are better off with both parents. Mothers and fathers each provide a unique perspective that influences both boys and girls to develop into healthy, well-adjusted adults.
However, there are situations in which it is impossible for a child to be raised by both parents. In those cases, is there a biological reason for children to stay with the mother?
In the past, mothers nursed babies. This was simply impossible for fathers. For example, If a mother died in childbirth a father had to find a surrogate mother for the child if the child was to survive the first year or so of its life. However, today, fewer mothers nurse, decreasing the biological need for a child to have a female parent. It is perfectly possible for a man to raise a baby alone from a physical standpoint.
What about emotionally? This is where the question becomes more complicated. Certainly children draw emotional development from both parents, but can a father supply this needed development alone?
The answer seems to be yes, in certain cases. More and more often, courts are allowing single dads to adopt, a harbinger for dads who go into court to fight for sole custody of their children. In many cases in which the fathers have adopted children alone, there seems to be little doubt that they have been successful in providing needed emotional support for both boys and girls.
The Men’s Legal Center is here to help you if you decide to seek custody of your children. It may not be an easy battle, but if you know your children would be well off with you, it may be a battle worth fighting.