Philly's most wanted

Discussion in 'Black Men - Fathers - Brothers - Sons' started by dustyelbow, Jun 22, 2006.

  1. dustyelbow

    dustyelbow Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Oct 25, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Someone in the community will be taking matters into their OWN hands.

    Happy Baby Daddy's Day

    WEB MISTRESS: Fadia Ward hopes the Internet is the key to solving child-support woes.

    Nobody smiles outside the Family Court building near 11th and Market streets. Not the guys led out of the dented-up prison-transport van into their building of dread. Not the young Asian-American woman leaning against the wall outside, lost in the cigarettes she huffs. Not the two African-American women holding a conversational scream as they storm off. And not the lawyer in the wrinkled suit meeting a client for the first time.

    Fadia Ward isn't smiling either as she and her 10-year-old daughter stand a few feet from the front door. Having both been here before, they know this is nobody's happy place. Especially for a 27-year-old mother of four who, thanks to lupus, can't hold down a job.

    In the past, Ward came to fight for the $21,000 she says two of her four "baby daddies" currently owe her and her 3-, 7-, 10- and 14-year-old kids. Today, Ward and 10-year-old daughter Nahjeera, a doll who draws wedding-gown designs but can't afford to go to modeling school, are literally taking matters into their own hands.

    When they espy someone who fits the profile of what Ward calls "a mad-*** baby mama," Nahjeera skips over and hands them a flier. It reads:

    Please take the time to visit my new web site. It's only for women who's not scared to put their baby daddy on blast. … Is your baby daddy there?

    If you can't muster any compassion for a woman who had her first child at 13, and three more by 24, stop reading. Ward already knows some people won't like her, or her plan. Her Web site invites women to post pictures of the men who knocked them up and the stories of how they took off without living up to a father's responsibility. But that's not about to stop her.

    "I want to humiliate them," she says, explaining that the Family Court security officer who told her she'd get locked up was probably a deadbeat dad. "They have to get their acts together."

    One of the city's 125,000 active child-support cases, Ward has undergone 24 surgeries and, since she's a single mother with no backup, her kids land in foster care each time. She's worried about what that's going to do to their development and pissed the **** off because each kid has a father who could, make that should, take care of them during those recovery periods.

    But what really gets her is her claim that the city's child-support enforcement arm—the court system, Sheriff's Office and District Attorney's Child Support Enforcement Unit—hasn't done enough to haul in the two men who've already been found liable to pay her.

    Ward says she finds out where the two baby daddies are and tells the authorities. Since they can't send someone out instantly, the men glide back into the shadow world where the city's ability to scour tax records to find them isn't enough.

    Though she's proud of what her 17-person office has accomplished, Maria McLaughlin, head of the DA's unit, admits people like Ward's baby daddies have ways to elude them. If they're working under the table and not winning the lottery, getting stopped by police, filing a personal-injury lawsuit or applying for passports, they're not on the books and hence, out of reach.

    "I couldn't even tell you," how many deadbeat dads are out there, says McLaughlin, whose office, along with Family Court, collected some $150 million in back child support last year, including $30,000 from Beanie Segal in one sitting. "Sooner or later, we get them."

    Still, her office is overtaxed, which is why, when asked about Ward's site, she says, "Women like her can't do anything but help us."

    But little will change until the city better funds McLaughlin's office, and a deadbeat dad decides to be the kind of man who wouldn't make the woman he impregnated decide whether she should pay the water or gas bill that month. For Ward's part, she thinks people need to say "enough's enough," that a mother shouldn't have to publicly humiliate men to get something done. But if that's what it takes, she's gonna do it, whether people think she's crazy or not.

    "Maybe a bunch of angry women can make a difference. We have to have an army!" says Ward, who dreams of the day she's on Oprah talking about the site. "Ultimately, I want to bring families back together, to show men that they don't have to get married to be the strong head of a household. It's gonna happen. It's gonna happen."
    Her methods maybe suspect.

    But the very least, she is putting the Internet to use and make some money on the side.

  2. abstract219

    abstract219 ...standing on the shoulders of giants MEMBER

    United States
    Sep 21, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Behavioral Health
    Philadelphia PA
    as a resident from philly.....i...i....i just dont know whether to laugh or cry...that website is either a joke, or a shame....