Thirty or so years ago, birth fathers of children born out of wedlock had few if any parental rights. Fortunately that’s no longer the case. But serious injustices remain for birth mothers and birth fathers and they are the (mostly) forgotten entity in adoptions. We could equalize the legal rights of birth parents in relation to prospective adoptive parents and adoptive agencies by requiring a 10-day waiting period before a birth parent’s consent can be lawfully given.
The 10 days is the same as required by the Indian Child Welfare Act. Requiring this increased period wouldn’t deprive birth parents or the court the opportunity to temporarily place an infant with prospective adoptive parents. It would, however, permit birth parents an opportunity to reflect after the child’s birth and before consenting immediately after the birth when, for example, a birth mother is in pain and under the influence of prescribed medication.
Also appropriate is to require truly independent representation of birth parents — whether or not a cause is contested.
Peter K. Schaffer, Oklahoma City
Schaffer is an attorney.
Not a ‘blob’
Elliott Doane (Your Views, June 14) erred when he said a fetus isn’t a baby. "Fetus” is a Latin word. It doesn’t mean blob, thing, mass or "it.” It means "baby” whether in uterus or out. Tests have shown fetuses recognize their parents’ voices before they are born — so much for Doane’s argument of where their oxygen comes from! As for them not crying, I suggest Doane watch the film "Silent Scream” which graphically portrays an abortion and depicts the baby jerking in pain to each probe of the abortionist’s instruments while opening his mouth and giving the film its name. The abortion issue isn’t about a woman’s right to choose. It’s about her alleged right to live any kind of a lifestyle she wants and not have to pay a penalty.
Douglas L. Moore, Oklahoma City
Due to allergies, I benefit when secondhand smoke is reduced, but I applaud U.S. Reps. Tom Cole and Frank Lucas for voting against the recently passed anti-tobacco bill in Congress. In the rush to "protect children,” we’ve lost sight of what this bill and others like it are doing to destroy a legal product. Is caffeine next? Sugar? If a product is dangerous, ban it entirely! Let’s stop playing these public relations games. So long as a product is legal, no governmental body should be dictating packaging, advertising standards or content with the goal of destroying its customer base.
Daniel Johnson, Oklahoma City
Charles Krauthammer (Commentary, June 12) offered an accurate description of our current commander in chief. Barack Obama delivers an eloquent speech that sounds good in the moment, but his words have a short shelf life. The more deeply his words are examined, the more ridiculous they become. He has the ability to make the most trivial observations sound like something deep and profound to his supporters.
Obama draws moral equivalencies that would be funny if people weren’t actually taking him seriously. He compared his grandmother who was concerned with her safety on the street with a preacher spewing hate from the pulpit. He compared the Holocaust with the current plight of the Palestinians. Comparing religious intolerance in Muslim countries with what women experience in the United States goes beyond ridiculous.
Krauthammer was right when he said that creating false equivalencies "is not moral leadership, but moral abdication.”
Tom Farmer, Shawnee
Regarding "Jobless work to find new opportunities in Oklahoma” (feature, June 14): Thank you for lifting up a variety of Oklahomans and their struggle with the tragic reality of losing a job. I do wish to correct one statement, however. While recounting the plight of a woman recently unemployed after 29 years with a "large Oklahoma City church,” the story said, "Because churches don’t pay unemployment tax, (she) is ineligible for unemployment benefits.”
I’ve served as minister for a mid-sized Oklahoma City church for eight years. Each year, we budget and pay unemployment insurance on our non-ordained employees.
Churches aren’t prohibited from this support. I ask the clergy of all congregations in this state to make sure their tireless employees are accorded this protection.
Rev. Mark W. Christian, Oklahoma City
Christian is the minister at First Unitarian Church.
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