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Monday, 29 March 2010


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Thomas Pellow

Yes, the BBC 2 TV series 'Who Needs Fathers?', starting Wednesday, should remind anyone who doesn't realise it: fathers need, but don't get, equal rights with mothers.

No more discrimination for mothers: it's discrimination against fathers.

It should be an Election issue.

As 'Telegraph' reviewer Cassandra Jardine says:

"Watching a preview of.. BBC series 'Who Needs Fathers?', I felt ashamed to be a woman."

John Kimble

Nice to see the BBC finally getting round to looking at this issue. Only 10 years too late (and that's being generous)

Edward W

Thoughtful programme that seemed less about the children (who seemed immune to the 'normality' around them) and more about the grief that a mother can put an ex spouse through.

I wonder whether it is reflective of society as a whole or just a glimpse of how bad it can get!!

Grant Storey

I have to say I was delighted to see the issue getting aired and some attention. I tried contacting Jane Moore (Journalist and Presenter) last year suggesting it get some kind of address.
It's incredible how big an issue this!!

Children shouldn't get caught up and miss time, love and affection from either parent when couples, married or not, sadly split up.
I too think it should be an election issue as I believe it to be quite a fundamental element in society and significant in the the child's and Father's rights, the scale of the problem, and the biasedness of the system.
It is torture being apart from your child/children and I thought the programme portrayed this well with regard to the father of four. I very good example to use and showed the mother lie too. Displaying how restricted you are in your attempts for contact. It's so sad.
To comment on Edward W's thread.... the effects on children I believe is more often less displayed visibly in the early stages and effects tend to come to light in people's personalities from growing up without Father's in their lives. Highly detrimental and emotional effects are common from my experience growing up seeing people around me with behaviour problems.


I have never been divorced, nor do I have any children (unfortunately).. but I have been privvy to nearly 5 years of CAFCASS and family courts dealings due to a family relation.

I have never come across such a brutal way of dealing with a human being and such a one sided perspective, where the Father has to fight tooth and nail for his and most importantly his Children's rights. All the birth mother needs to do is to lie in court or to a CAFCASS officer and the Father is virtually excluded for any of the decision process of bringing up their children.

It appears to me that the wife abuses her position to nearly eliminate total contact with the Father. And then CAFCASS will further this claim by making statements such as " the Father has a good relationship with his Children therefore contact 1 day per fortnight is sufficient"...!!

One would really questions if it is wise for any man in the UK to have Children in a system where their parental wishes and rights are virtually ignored. Generally the man does not stop loving his Children and the desire to nurture them and be fully engaged in the bringing up is strong... Their relationship broke down and husband and wife stopped loving each other (for whatever reason)..surely that should not mean that the wife and the system take 50/50 parental rights away from the Father??

dilraj mann

I will be sure not to ever use Juliettes's Interiors for any of my furniture needs. What a completely despicable woman.


I was also incredibly glad to see this issue finally being raised and explored fully. The Family Court system is outdated, sexist and hideously lazy in terms of investigation and pro-child action. There just seems to be a lot of protocol adhered to and so much automatic bias towards the mother. A woman can concoct the most feeble of 'reasons' as to why she is with-holding a child from their father and is so rarely held to account for this kind of behaviour, even with warnings and court orders in place. This effectively means that children continue to suffer and feel the effects of one parent's absence which is wholly negative and incredibly damaging to them in the long run. Only in late 2003 did the law change where Parental Responsibility is concerned - before then unmarried fathers had no legal rights whatsoever where their children were concerned!! That meant no say in religious, educational or health matters. It even meant a Dad could not legally take his own child to most indoor play centres or even authorise a blood tranfusion or medical care in case of emergency! Unjust, backward, WRONG. Many Dads are still struggling now to get PR through court for children born pre-2003. The Law needs to catch up and fathers' rights need to be protected to prevent thousands of children experiencing the pain they do when one parent uses them as a pawn against the other. TIME FOR POSITIVE CHANGE.


I am astonished at the way some women behave in access situations. I am a single mum and the show has yet to highlight some of the reasons why we are forced to escape relationships and cut all contact with fathers in some cases before the child is born! So not all of us Mums are despicable cases like Juliette who plays constant mind games - some of us have had to severe all contact for the safety of ourselves and our children and therefore we are much better off without this negative and at times dangerous contact in place. In these situations we or at least I for definite make 100% effort to ensure my children have strong, positive male influences in their lives through relatives, activity groups such as Cubs, Scouts, Football (not endless male 'uncles' before anyone pipes up) to make up for any losses people may think they are party to not having a father in their life but at the end of the day what would you rather have a violent thug of a negative father or life?!?

Trish Lee


I'm glad you were interested in the programme. My name is Trish and our search was featured in the second shown (should have been the third) of this series. Clearly in some cases there are reasons as to why a Father might not be able to be kept in the picture - but for me the key focus should be around the children. Children should at least have the right to know who their Father is even if they can't find an excuse for a Mother to allow a child to grow up without any information about their Father. Growing up without even knowing what your Father looks like just cannot be fair.

Trish x


I agree with that Trish, mine know who he is but have also experienced visits with him after everything he put me through which were negative and destructive hence since they have now decided they no longer wish to have contact. One day he may realise his behaviour has led to such losses and change for the better but after all this time (over 10 years) I very much and sadly doubt that very much. I watched your episode last night and was delighted that it all worked out positively for Matt.

John Kimble

Wow, nice to have actual participants from the programme posting here. Welcome to the blog Trish.

I wonder if Juliette from episode one will be along next?


Does anyone know the real reason why Part 3 of "Who Needs Fathers?" was not shown on BB2 last night Wednesday 14 April? It was replaced by "Coast". What excuse does the BBC offer for this inexcusable decision?


I would like to know what their excuse was to! Very cross and disappointed after making sure I remembered to record it! It had obviously been a last minute change as the DVD had Who Needs Fathers in its memory but sure enough on playing it - Coast! Not good enough what do we pay for our licence for!!

John Kimble

Hi Jen and Sandy - I've written a post addressing the missing episode:

David Etheridge

What about the mothers in this my son in law recently walked out on her leaving us with 2 boys 8 and 2 and eventually admitted his affair with another woman.
Since that day he has done nothing but mentally abused her cut her money down to nothing even to the stage where he refused to buy the boys summer clothes.How can she be happy when he calls and wants the children and she hands them over knowing what he is doing to the family.There is always 2 sides and the mother has nothing to fight with if he decides that he is not going to pick them up on the day we are left to sort it out.Not all fathers are as they are portrayed in this programme

Trish Lee

Hi John - I'm intrinsically nosey - so I decided to see what I could find out about the programme, and I think the issues it raises and discusses are really important for Families - children, Mums and Dads.

David - Of course all Fathers aren;t the same as the one's in this programme - I think the main issue here though is that many are just like the one's in this programme. People are people - some good, some bad, some selfish, some selfless etc etc... However, what is clear is that there are too many 'good' dads that get pushed out unfairly (I think fairness is an important word to remember in these situations), and that the children can also suffer (in a variety of ways) as a result.

I think it's important to remember that as Human Beings we make decisions and behave in ways that we later come to regret. Some Dads (and Mums) may choose to walk away for any number of reasons. The thing to remember is that life moves on and I guess some people can forgive more easily than others, and equally some people like to make people pay for those choices until the end of their days - but for me it should be the child that makes that choice in the end - not the Parent with custody. Jen seems bob on with that one - I have a friend who is in exactly the same situation and now her children are at School leaving age they're less and less interested in their Dad as a result of his personality and actions - and well really that's their choice.

It's never easy when couples split up, children or no children, and as with everything, some people deal with it better than others, but I just hope that some Mums who are currently, or are considering freezing out Dads, think twice.

We haven't even got on to the issue of also holding out on information as children grow up, or have grown up. I find that particularly unfair and selfish. I can deal with painful separations and subsequent difficulty in managing access to dhildren, but I think that refusing to give information is particularly unfair... almost cruel in fact.

Trish x


what about those mothers who take their children to another country to live where they cannot speak the language and have just started school yes cafcass seem to be one sided and thats on the mothers even though they lie cheat and do everything to make it difficult for the father, and they still get custody, the father is hardly heard.


My situation is the opposite, the father has the kids and is playing the (mother) game on me. I am only a rare few of mothers that is the non-resident parent. I will be going back to court soon which is now a final hearing. I am stress to the eye ball of what games my ex is going to play next.

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