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Fighting For Fatherhood

April 1, 2001 by: Tony Zizza

for: The Atlanta Journal-Newspaper "Other Opinion" Guest Column


Andrew Bowey and Carnell Smith have never met in person. They're two men who have perhaps heard of each other's fight for fatherhood through the media or supporters. They're two men who love their children like I have never seen fatherly love expressed before, save the love my own father has for me. And they're two men whose courage and compassion for justice is unmatched.

But here's the rub: what will Georgia do for these fathers and their children? Anything? Nothing? Something? Andrew Bowey and Carnell Smith may be immersed in what are now high profile cases, but the circumstances they started from are as routine as a good majority of us watching the Braves on the tube.

Let's take a look.

Andrew Bowey comes home one day to find wife and children gone. A note is not left, no message on the answering machine. Days later, the truth comes out. Frederique Bowey abducted the children to her native France. The Bowey's had contemplated divorce, but no final court orders were in place. The mother stole the children. The father is invited to France months later and brings the children back to Georgia where they live. The father is arrested like a drug kingpin for a charge of kidnapping his own children.

The father is still under house arrest provisions despite the fact a Cobb Superior Court judge gave him custody of the children weeks ago. Meanwhile, the mother came back to this country since leaving on that one day once to have a judge give her custody while the father remained in jail. The judge told her to not leave with the children to France. She did.

Amazingly, it is he who now awaits a federal extradition hearing on April 16th in Atlanta to face kidnapping charges filed by the French government. What are we going to do to help Andrew Bowey and the children he has custody of, but are still living in France with a mother who is in contempt of our court's laws?

Carnell Smith is a loving father who is the victim of an incredible crime: paternity fraud. He raised a child for years paying financial and emotional support without question because he of course believed the mother who told him he was a father. A wonderful bond was in place, happy family.

Then, doubts arise and a DNA test is taken. Carnell Smith is not the father, and the mother knew it. Devastation. Heartache.

What to do about a felony? What to do for Carnell and his present family who between paying child support and attorney fees are looking at six figure financial ruin? His paternity fraud case goes to trial on April 16th in Dekalb county.

Believe it or not, Carnell Smith stepped up and formed Citizens Against Patenity Fraud and went on a political warpath this last legislative session. What happened?

The House of Representatives approved a paternity fraud bill (HB369) by a vote of 163-0, but Sen. Tanksley stalled this bill, instead passing House Bill 130 which allows DNA testing on the deceased.

So, in Georgia there is no relief financially if you're not daddy, and there is no relief if you are wrongly charged with kidnapping your own children.

Are we living in America or not? How much longer are we going to stand by and watch these fathers lose everything?

Check out their cases on the world wide web:

For the Bowey case/Return Our Children, go to:

For the Smith case/Citizens Against Paternity Fraud, go to:

It's time to stand up for fathers and fight for fatherhood.





Tony Zizza
3108 Tree Terrace Pkwy
Austell, GA 30168
home ph: 770 944 0744
work ph: 770 952 4500 x28378

Zizza is a member of The American Coalition for Fathers and Children,
Reach Zizza via email


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