After the Brits found out on December 25 that the tenth most wanted gift by the children is a DAD, on December 26, a few Bulgarian fathers took it to the streets with the message: ‘Children need their fathers on Christmas’.
The organization named “Бащи за отговорно родителство” (Fathers for responsible parenthood) organized a protest in the Bulgarian capital, Sofia, in which they dressed themselves as Santa Claus in order to draw attention to the constant state sponsored parental alienation that is enabled by the Bulgarian government.
Although their protest was not huge, it was very attractive as the dads with signs offered small gifts to random children passing by, reminding them to cherish their fathers.
The situation of separated or divorced fathers in Bulgaria is no different, nor less dramatic, than anywhere else in the European Union, but this is the first time when a fathers’ rights group was mentioned in the press. And by ‘press’ – I mean ‘press’ as a whole. Even this event got only three articles in the Bulgarian media, one in Serbia and one in Romania. Moreover, the Serbian and the Romanian media who reported this presented it as it’s an anomaly to demand equal rights for men, which adds up to the depression that these fathers have to endure thanks to the misandric laws that never stop favoring women.
Vasil Popov from Plovdiv, Bulgaria, told to the Darik News Bulgaria (the only press agency that reported from the protest):
Fathers are on the street, because for the most part they are the victims. After separation or divorce, fathers receive a restrictive regime which limits their contact with their children. If the mother does not want to allow child to maintain contact with the other parent, […], she gets the legal right to use the child against him. So she refers to a court order, not the paternal relationship, the relationship between child and parent. Personal relationships should not be regulated by a judicial act.
Basically, the law in Bulgaria presumes the mother to be the primary parent, regardless of whether she’s an appropriate parent or not, and the father is deemed as a secondary non-parent. Not long ago, the family law in Romania was the same and it literally said that the “state protects the interests of mothers and children,” while fathers were mentioned only when it came to child support.
It is really sad that these kinds of grassroots movements get little to no exposure. However, there is also good news: The Sofia Municipality chose to support the message that ‘Fathers for responsible parenthood’ transmitted which means that public officials of the capital city will petition the government to amend the legislation and give fathers more access to their children. With a bit of luck, next Christmas will find more fathers close to their children in Bulgaria, and this can only be a good thing.
Slowly, bit by bit, country by country, men are starting to see through the lies in the public discourse and are starting to stand up for themselves.