Thursday, August 11, 2005

Soldier's mom says deadbeat dad shouldn't get death benefits

From WQAD's net news:"MILAN, Illinios -- Should the biological father of a soldier killed in the line of duty receive death benefits even though he never met his daughter?

Sgt. Jessica Housby of Rock Island was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq in February. The unmarried 23 year old was raised by her mother and stepfather."

According to the State of IL, a man who never saw his daughter, who never contributed anything more than a single cell to her life and upbringing, is now entitled to half that young woman's death benefits.

She died serving her country, the male biological progenitor did nothing to get her there, and somehow, IL says he deserves some of the $274,00 she left behind. Hmmm.

If you chose to do nothing for the child you brought into this world, you have no claim to any rights, once that child is an adult. The only excuse the State of IL could have is if Sgt. Housby had left a request, somewhere, in her paperwork, that he be given something. If she left no such instructions, then the entire of what she left behind shoud go to those who were responsible enough to stay with her and raise her, i.e. her real parents.

Yes, it's possible that the deadbeat sire, now in jail, could, as he says, "turn his life around" with $137,000. So could I. And I have almost exactly the same legitimacy to a claim, here. I didn't raise this girl. I contributed no real assistance. Why don't they just send me the check? Or, maybe they could send it to some other total stranger. It makes as much sense as sending it to the jailbird sperm donor.

I know whereof I speak. Long years ago, I signed away the right to raise my own child. I did so because I was completely incapable of caring for her (being incapable of caring for my unbalanced self). The people who actually raised are her parents, and they deserve all the devotion a parent can earn. Whatever acknowledgement I may receive from her is strictly a gift. I have no expectations, I afford myself no hopes, because I am entitled to none.

Such is the status of any person who walks away from a child.

Sgt. Housby's father is still married to Sgt. Housby's mother. He deserves what recompense there is for his loss. The other man walked away, and earned nothing.

Update/correction: Sgt. Housby's real father, the man who raised her, passed away two years ago, according to a friend of the family interviewed here. My opinion of the "rights" of her sperm donor remains the same. Sgt. Housby's mom should receive the entire amount, and can share it with the remaining family -- Sgt. Housby's brother. The male progenitor should receive not even a nod.

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