Single Dads Still Face Stereotypes

While single fathers may feel like they are alone, statistics show that is far from the truth.

The 2000 census shows there are 2.2 million households in America where dads are raising children without the presence of a mother in the home. That means the number of single father households rose a staggering 62% in just ten years.

In spite of the increase, dads with primary child custody are far from the norm, and stereotypes still abound.

In a June 19, 2012 story from National Public Radio (NPR), several single fathers discussed their situations and the joys of being a single dad. They also talked about the stereotypical reactions they encounter every day.

In the article, Brian Tessier, an advocate for single fathers, gives one such example from the workplace. "If a mom is in a meeting and all of a sudden she gets called because her kid is sick, nobody raises an eyebrow," Tessier continued, "But if a guy gets called because his kid is sick and he has to leave, it's kind of like, 'Where's your wife?'

While roles are changing, father's rights remain an important issue. Such rights have to be addressed in the individual's own circumstances. A teen father's rights during pregnancy may be different from those of a man with a five-year-old going through a divorce. Father's rights also can vary greatly state by state.

Gone are the days when there was an automatic presumption that the mother will always have primary custody of a child. Still, as the role of a single dad continues to evolve, it is important for fathers to take proactive steps to protect their rights.

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