Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Why Can't I See My Daddy?

I am a firm believer in kids needing both parents in their lives, even if those parents aren't together anymore.
And I also believe it is the right of the child to know both parents. When a parent decides to cut off contact between the child and the other parent, something is very wrong. Now, I am not naive, I fully understand that there are some situations where this may be a necessity (abuse, excessive alcohol/drug usage, etc...) but, outside of those special circumstances, there is no excuse to deny a child the right to know both parents. Eric Kalmus formed an organization,The Japan Children's Rights Network, to help. Here is his story:

"I was married in Dec. 1995 to Tomomi Ito in the Suginami-ku Tokyo ward office. Things started out great. She was a wonderfully happy woman, and I was excited to spend time with her. We had been dating for a short time probably 2 or 3 weeks and she became pregnant. We spoke about our options and in the end decided to have the baby. We were in love and couldn't imagine giving up our baby. After Tomomi was pregnant for about a month it was holiday season and we spent Oshogatsu (New Years) in her hometown of Omuta shi in Fukuoka Japan.
I spent time getting to know her parents, and they spent time telling her I was evil and she shouldn't have gotten married to a foreigner. Her father was very old school Japanese. It seemed he fought for the Japanese during World War II. His daughter had married the enemy. We spent two weeks for the holidays in Omuta and then retuned to Tokyo.
Shortly after returning to Tokyo she told me she wanted to move back home to have our baby. Without knowing that her family was against the fact that she had married a gaijin (non-Japanese) I agreed. I recall thinking that it would be a great experience. I also had no clue that she was planning living in the same house as her parents. Shortly after we moved to small town old Japan - home of the largest WWII POW camp.............."