Over the weekend, NFL player, Adrian Peterson disclosed the death of his son, a 2-year-old child, who he just recently learned was his biological child. Ashley Doohen, the child’s mother, left her son under the supervision of her boyfriend, Joseph Patterson. Patterson, 27, who has a history of domestic incidents, called 911 about 5:45 Wednesday to report the child was choking in his apartment, where he had been caring for the boy, authorities said. The child was unresponsive when Sioux Falls Police and EMS arrived.  Patterson was arrested because the child had injuries that were determined to be consistent with abuse, police said. Patterson was initially charged with felony counts of aggravated battery of an infant and aggravated assault. On Friday, South Dakota State’s Attorney Thomas Wollman told authorities that his office will be “looking at additional charges” in light of the child’s death.

The death of this 2-year-old can serve as a cautionary tale when dating as a single parent.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or woman with children and dating, there should be a vetting process to determine who’s worthy enough to bring around your children. By worthy, I mean,  doesn’t have a criminal history involving abuse.  In Patterson’s case, he had a previous history of abuse. Patterson had a restraining orders against him after he had beat the  3-year old of an ex-girlfriend so hard that he needed ice for the welts.  The charges in that case were dropped, he also was charged in 2004 for violating a restraining order and again in 2012 for aggravated assault.  He spent 5 days in jail just last year for simple assault. Would you feel safe in bringing a person with a history of violence around your children?

In order to ensure the safety of her children, a friend uses background checks before she introduces anyone to her children. Nowadays background checks start at $9.99 or you can even check the state court systems for free. If many people use them before hiring babysitters, why shouldn’t one be used in conjunction with dating?

The practice of checking a potential mate’s background can be something everyone can add to their dating protocol, even if you don’t have children. Nowadays you can never be too safe.

Clutchettes, have you ever checked a date’s background? 

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  • The RealKay

    That poor baby! Whenever I think of a child being harmed, it makes my heart ache. It makes me want to grab my baby and just hold her. I’ve dated men in the past with children and it would amaze me how lackadaisical and nonchalant their attitudes were regarding people meeting and being around their children. Even though I wouldn’t harm a child, I’d still be surprised at how easy some of these men would let people they don’t know very well have access to their little ones. And I’ve known some women who only briefly date a guy and they have the man spending time around their children. I think I’d be a little too paranoid for all that. And a clean criminal history isn’t a guarantee some person isn’t sick and twisted either. It could just mean they’ve been smart enough or lucky enough not to get caught.

  • Wanda

    This whole having your boyfriend or new intimate partner around your children is an entirely new phenomenon.

    Child care should be left to family members and care professionals.

    50 years ago, it was completely unheard of for a child to be killed by a boyfriend. Now it happens regularly. SMH.

  • Background checks are good rather you have a kid or not. You can’t be too sure about people. Yesterday, I just found out about Google imagine search (yes i know I am behind). Also can we add that the mother wasn’t the best person either she didn’t get that once you have a child it becomes about them not about you.

  • Miss A

    Why are some folks are making excuses for this …..female. It doesnt matter who introduced her to this animal! She shouldnt have moved in with him so fast with a young child THEN let the man babysit? Why wasn’t he working? Why didn’t she get a family member to babysit that child?? It just bothers me to no end how desparate some women are to have a man! And she is loose anyways for pulling a Maury Povich because she accused someone else of being the daddy first! Then she tagged the athlete….I feel so bad for that innocent child, but lock her behind up as well for being desparate and dumb! Ohhh this makes me so mad!!!!!!!