A judge in Brazil recently presided over one of the most difficult cases of her career when an 18-year-old boy brought his father before the court for always being away from him and abandoning him emotionally.
The experience of growing up without a father had such a traumatising effect on the young man that as soon as he legally became an adult, he felt he needed to take his father to court and hold him accountable.
Writing in the legal section of Brazilian news site Metropoles, Judge Gabriela Jardon explained how she went into the courtroom with her mind already made up and knowing there was no way she could rule in favor of the plaintiff.
When asked to give an explanation for his actions, the father said, “Judge, I cannot be forced to love someone. I always took care of him financially, but the rest I never earned and I cannot be forced to give.”
But when it was time for the boy to make his case, the judge told the father that he could leave the room but he insisted on staying. The sobbing boy, who could hardly contain his emotions, listed all the suffering he had been though for being an ‘orphan; even though his parents were alive. He said that all the times his father agreed to come to school meetings; he never showed up or even answered his calls. After trying tireless to win his father’s love, the boy claimed that he had to “kill” him in his heart to lead a normal life.
Even though the young man is now in college, has a girlfriend and lots of friends, he still felt he owed it to himself to bring his father to court and hold him accountable for emotional abandonment. He however, did not ask for any form of financial compensation.
“There is no legal obligation to love, but there are paternal duties, clearly stated in more than one law. Even without love, you have to take care of your children, be there for them, and that means a lot more than paying child support,” the judge, who presided over the matter said