One thing the opponents of joint custody say is that mothers have a special skill; a special ability to love and care for children, that they're much more attached to children then fathers. Well, according The Motherhood Study, most mothers do think that, "Mothers see their contribution to the care of their children not only as extremely important, but also so unique that no one else can replace it. Nearly 93% of our respondents agreed with that statement, with nearly 83% saying they 'strongly' agree." I wonder if they're aware that 87 per cent of fathers surveyed in 1994 said they agreed or strongly agreed that 'watching children grow up is life's greatest joy,' according to Fatherhood: Research, interventions and policies by Peters, Peterson.
They must not have met fathers like Jeffrey, who described his time with Deonna to me like this, "Even though my little darling is getting quite heavy now, I still carry her 1.2 miles around the neighborhood each time I'm parenting her. This 'bonding time' is so special to me and I refuse to use a stroller as I wish to hold her up close to my face so we can walk along and 'converse' and 'look at all the pretties', (trees, flowers, other walkers, airplanes, etc.) I think she likes it because daddy can still hold her up high for extended periods of time - something she doesn't get too much these days at 21.5 months of age." Then he added, "I recall walking this very same trek around where I live every night when I was prevented from being with my baby, balling my head off and praying for divine intervention."
And if they doubt that fathers can love children as much as mothers do, they have obviously never met Bill Numerick, a 26-year-old father who is in love with a son he's never even met. His ex-girlfriend married another man before she gave birth to their son just over two years ago, and due to the current laws in Michigan her husband was automatically named as the father. Bill has been fighting to be a father to his son ever since. Bill is rightfully proud to be part of shaping a new bill, (Senate bill 0436), that will prevent this from happening to any other father in Michigan. He told me, "One thing I dread to imagine is Caleb thinking that I don't love him and that I just walked away without a second thought. To me that is one of the most freighting things I can imagine. As close as I am to my father I couldn't fathom the emptiness I would feel had we been kept apart while I was growing up." You can get updates on Bill and Caleb on Bill's web site.