A childless Georgia man serving jail time for unpaid child support was freed Wednesday.
Frank Hatley, 50, made child support payments for a child he believed to be his for 14 years. But in 2000, after paternity rumors surfaced, DNA eliminated him as the child’s biological father. Although the findings, the state said he owed $16,000 in back pay, that stemmed from missed payments before the ruling. After being jailed several times, knowing his story, a Cook County Sheriff alerted the Southern Center for Human Rights who advocated his release.
This sort of thing happens more than we know.
Men are pinned as being the father’s of children who aren’t really their own, too often. The Maury show, although it grabs some of the most outlandish people from society, does bring to light a bothersome fact: Suspected fathers aren’t always the true fathers. Some mothers hide this heartbreaking truth until their children reach adulthood.
It’s ridiculous that the government has to make some people take care of their children but I agree with it. “Deadbeat dads,” those who shirk their fatherly responsibilities, should be ordered to support their children, but the child support system needs reform.
There are a lot of good men who get caught up and catch charges because of a flawed child support system. If they can’t find work they go to jail. If they get a record, then they really can’t find work, so guess where they are going…back to jail!
When Hatley agreed to pay child support, he was under the impression that he was the child’s father. Since he isn’t, he should be left alone. It’s bad enough that he was forced to provide for someone else’s child, while the true father was out doing who-knows-what. If Georgia really wants its $16,000 it needs to bill the “deadbeat mom” or the biological father.