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Friday, October 20, 2006

Rick Fredrickson wants to be Dad

While DNA tests have proven that baby Liam is biologically Rick Fredrickson's son, Rick wants to be his dad. Rick (of Saskatoon, Saskcatchewan) had an off and on relationship with Liam's mother Oriole Bird, during which time Liam was conceived. However the mother did not inform Rick of his impending fatherhood (and in fact claimed in documentation, to not know who the father was-a lie disproved by her relatives that all very well knew Rick was the dad), instead arrainging for a family friend to take the child. Close to the child's birth Rick did find out about baby Liam through Oriole's stepbrother and since then has been trying to get help to get custody of his son. Liam was born in April, DNA tests proved Rick's fatherhood in July, yet here we are in October and Rick has yet to meet his son. Nicola Sherwin-Roller and her husband are refusing to relinquish custody and have made demands that Rick must abide by before they will let him see the child. Even after a judge ordered visitation rights to Rick and Barb Hesketh-Jones (his fiancee) last month. I would like to know why has this couple not been looked at for contravening a court order?

The first issue that the Roller's stated in their case against Rick, was that Children's Haven (the access facilitator) had voiced concerns about Rick's fiancee being in on the visits. The insinuation was that the facility did not want anyone other than Rick to visit. Then the Rollers went on to demand that Rick not refer to himself as "Daddy" or take any pictures of his son. It is absolutely absurd that this couple is not only depriving this man of his rights as a father but want to downgrade him to a strange man that visits Liam once a week for an hour, while at the same time making a demand for child support. They said through their lawyer that they don't 'need' the money, but they want it anyway. Because they were given custody by the mother, they feel they have the same rights as the mother. I beg to differ and would really like to know why the courts have been messing around this long.

Are the courts waiting until the child is old enough to remember it all and be thoroughly traumatized? Give that child to his father now and let the Rollers (who have NO biological connection to him) try to fight for custody or visitation rights. I mean really, this one is a no brainer.

Now I refer back to the insinuation made by the Roller's that Children's Haven was against Rick's fiancee Beth being involved with the child. Through Children's Haven's own lawyer (Marty Popuscul) we learn that they have denied staff had any issue with Beth attending the visits. Haven reiterated that their purpose is infact to help children and their parents be together. Not to hinder the process. The general policy of restricting visits to "just parents" is not carved in stone and in this particular case would be changed, due to the Court Order. Nicola proved by insinuating such things, that she is not beyond distorting truth to further her own agenda (which I really question as to whether or not includes Liam's best interest)

Perhaps Nicola thought that her personal connection with the facility would help her, as she stated in a sworn affidavit that she was a regular donor and at one time sat on the board for the facility (in the 90s). The only thing that that proves to me, is that the use of this particular facility is indeed a conflict of interest and the court should designate a different facility.

Nicola's lawyer also tried to pressure Rick's lawyer in to stopping him from going to the media. I hope that Rick and his lawyer completely disregard these "requests". While the media can often be a hinderance, in this particular case I believe it could help. Perhaps a "well to do" benefactor or legal experts will see Rick's story and step forward to help him.

Far too often in this day and age, fathers and mothers are walking away or doing far worse to their children. Here is a man that wants to wholeheartedly take on the responsibilites of fatherhood, but is being hampered by a couple that has no biological connection to the child and a court system that moves at a snails pace.

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