IHAVE TO disagree with the entire second half of Fatimah Ali's May 26

"Deadbeat Dads"

op-ed.

Why try to fix a marriage that is so broken just so the children can have both parents at home? Don't you realize the toll it takes on your children to see the two of you constantly arguing? Maybe when they are younger, you can get away with it, but as they grow, is that the life you'd want them to see - vs. a quiet stable home with one parent?

As far as having both parents in the house so one can work and one stay home, that's never going to happen. We all have to work - if we're lucky enough to have jobs. It's not just women who are affected by this. There are plenty of single dads facing the same problem.

A child can grow up good or bad regardless of how many parents are at home. And why is race a part of this? I'm a white single mother of three and have friends of all colors and walks of life also single with children. Trust me when I tell you that it was not by choice. (Or empowerment.)

When you decides to have children, the thought of doing it all alone usually isn't in your mind. Maybe you should praise ALL single parents who stood up and did the right thing by their children regardless of how hard it was for them.

Were you ever married or lived with a man while your children sat there and watched daddy beat the life out of mommy, and all mommy was worried about is taking those hits so it would be over quick, and her poor children wouldn't have to watch anymore?

But, hey, as long as daddy is there, they'll have two parents and life will be good.

Debbie Frommer, Philadelphia

I'M A SINGLE dad of three, two who live with me fulltime, and one over whom I'm in court with the mother every couple of months just to do the very thing I hear women complain about.

I want to be a father to my child. I have to fight, yell and pull teeth just to have my child. I finally got a court order to have her, but it's still unfair.

I was ordered to pay support even though I supported my child greatly, just like her brother and sister. There are lots of men who want to do the right thing but have to jump through hoops to do so.

Many woman put up roadblocks so they can parade around in the "single mother struggle role." The laws appear to be stacked against us men. We're damned if we do, and damned if we don't. I'm not saying every man does or wants to do the right thing, but there are a lot of us out here that go through hell to do just that.

I ask Fatimah Ali to do an article on the struggling single father with children and how the laws are not equal for men and woman concerning custody and child support. Every man is not a "deadbeat." I'm proof!

Rob Thomas, Philadelphia

What's that you say, Fatimah? Broken families result in higher dropout, incarceration, teenage pregnancy rates, on and on. Wow, an epiphany!

Bet you could even find a correlation between the absentee fathers and higher gun-violence rates! Us two NRA wackos figured that out years ago, ain't dat sumpin?

Shawnita Armstrong-Catto

Joseph J. Catto

Philadelphia