“Deadbeat” isn’t even the right word.
In the great state of Tennessee, three men have provided sperm for 78 children by 46 different women.
How do they pay child support for all of those kids they “fathered”? They don’t.
In a story that just makes black people look bad, Mail Online records the “Deadbeat Dad Roundup:”
- Desmond Hatchett, 33, of Knoxville, has 30 children by 11 different women. (You remember him, right?) He asked for his child support payments to be reduced – even though his paycheck stretched to just $1.49 per child per month. He holds a county record for his number of children and is currently in jail for aggravated assault. He told Fox2Now.com: “I had four kids in the same year. Twice.” He said he does manage to remember all their names, ages and birth dates. Hatchett first appeared in court on missing child support charges in 2009, when he had 21 children. He said he would not father any more – but has had nine more in the past three years. ”I didn’t intend to have this many, it just happened,” he said.
- Richard M. Colbert from Memphis has 25 children by 18 different women. He claims he does not have to pay for any of them as they are all adults. He added, he feels lucky. “Everybody’s not able to have children.” Another man who shares his name said he regularly gets calls from women and children asking for money.
- Terry Tyrone Turnage, also of Memphis, has 23 children by 17 women. He recently filed a petition in court to lower his child payments but never turned up for the hearing. One mother said he had been ordered to pay $279 a month – but the most she had ever seen was $9.
Of course, no woman in her right mind would have a kid with a man who already has children in the double digits. Latoya Shields, one of Turnage’s many babies’ mothers, told WREG in Memphis that she was “floored” when the prosecutor told her that Turnage had 20 children. She says that, though she spent eight years with him, she thought he only had four children.
Now, I can’t imagine what the warnings signs would have been, but I have to believe they were there. Her child was his twenty-first child and he had two more kids by other women after that! She had to know something. I think she was living in denial. LaToya said Turnage was supposed to pay her $259 a month, but the most she has seen is $9 as well.
Attorney Warren Campbell told Action News 5 if a person does not pay child support, the state ends up paying and there is no legal way to stop people from having children.
So many questions remain: Why did so many people choose to have unprotected sex with these men in such a short period of time? Are we going to hear about an AIDS epidemic in Tennessee and be able to track it back to these three men? Do Colbert’s 25 adult children know each other? Did the judge laugh in these men’s faces when they asked for a break on child support?
You would think in a day and age where condoms can be had easier than a stick of gum that people wouldn’t still be getting pregnant willy-nilly by men they barely know.
LaToya said all she wants is for her daughter to know her father. I’m sure the other mothers are telling her to get in line.
Alissa Henry is a freelance writer living in Columbus, OH. Follow her on Twitter @AlissaInPink
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