Our 296th Dad in the Limelight is Paul Moore. I want to thank Paul for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing him with all of you.
1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge)
My name is Paul Moore I am a college graduate in film studies at the University of California. In my free time I volunteer at an after school martial arts program helping keeping kids focused and out of trouble. I have one son named Arthur and I am an advocate for Paternal rights legislation change. I work as digital film consultant and last year I started @JustForArthur which is a digital time capsule and online forum for single dads.
2) Tell me about your family
I grew up in a Catholic household strongly influenced by Ecuadorian culture with two loving parents who are still together and one older sister so strong family ties have always surrounded me. Family first.
3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
My son Arthur is now seven and was taken from me and adopted away without my consent. The largest challenge was dealing with being a young father and fighting for what I believed was a natural right. California courts don’t see it that way. Arthur’s mother and I had been dating during my senior year in High School. During my freshman year in college, half way across the country, I received a letter requesting me to relinquish my parental rights. Believing family always came first I tried desperately to mend problems with Arthur’s mother while simultaneously fighting to maintain my rights as a father.
4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
If you are a father give everything you have in your spirit to your song or daughter. Don’t speak down to them but explain why we treat other human beings with respect and kindness. If you are an unwed father I also strongly suggest you seek strong legal counsel to maintain your parental rights as soon as possible. Also do what you can to maintain a healthy relationship with the mother. Successful children grow from that bond.
5) Seeing that you (or your position) are in the limelight, how have you come to balance parenthood and outside life? If you are currently not in the limelight per se, please still answer this in regards to how you balance parenthood and outside life.
While the traditional responsibilities of parent hood don’t apply to me I still maintain financial accounts to support Arthur and his mother should they ever need it. Call me traditional but I think a man should be able to provide for his family even if they don’t want it. Balancing volunteer advocacy for fathers in my situation and maintaining two full time jobs is difficult but when you believe in a cause you will find strength in places you didn’t know you had. One of my biggest joys and outlets is volunteering with children at a local martial arts studio around Arthur’s age. I get to enrich their life’s and without knowing it they fill a void in mine. It is very rewarding.
6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?
Telling people I have a seven-year-old son gets some extreme reactions. I look young myself, and many can’t believe it. Dating is non-existent. Not only because I have a son but also because I have a dedication to Arthur’s mother. I truly love her and just because she doesn’t want me in her life doesn’t mean I don’t want her in mine. Fellow fathers especially those in similar positions as mine are supportive and I have a small support group that I get together with to discuss issues and feelings. However I can’t schedule play dates or pick him up from school so it becomes difficult to interact with many other fathers on a typical level.
7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?
So far my experiences as a father have been limited to a virtual time machine on twitter @JustForArthur sharing insights, jokes, and lessons my father taught me. Compared to most that might seem feeble but at least when he is 18 he will have proof that I was here for him the whole time and only the courts kept us apart.
8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?
My most memorable experience as a father has been when my son was still an infant he got a court appointed attorney independently. As a result that attorney took a huge risk and gave me the only photo I have of him and for that I am so thankful. He took a huge risk doing that but he knew what was happening to me and Arthur was unfair and I can never thank him enough.
If you have any questions for Paul, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!