Father, 29, in child support court says he has 21 kids

By: Amber Miller Email
By: Amber Miller Email

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- On paper, he has 20, possibly 21 children.

With a minimum wage job, he can't afford to support them all.

What is the state to do?

Desmond Hatchett, 29, told WVLT he wasn't out to set a record, though he certainly holds it in Knox County Juvenile Child Support Court.

Hatchett's children range in age from newborn to 11-years-old.

There are at least 11 mothers; probably several more.

Constitutionally, there is nothing the state can do to limit him from having more.

"I had four kids in the same year. Twice." Desmond Hatchett told WVLT.

On Friday, his name appeared on the docket 11 times. Representing about 15 of his 21 children.

"Can you keep up with it all?" WVLT asked Hatchett.
"Yeah," he said.
"You know all their names, and ages and birthdays?"

Hatchett's name is pretty controversial at the old courthouse.

"The children can't be supported all by Desmond, so the state of Tennessee has had to step in," Hatchett's attorney Keith Pope said.

It's your tax dollars at work.

WVLT spoke with one mom who has two children with Hatchett.
She is supposed to get $67.50 a month. But many times, she gets a lot less than what she's owed.
They all do.

"It'll make it through half the month," the unidentified mom said.

She told WVLT, Hatchett is the father of her two sons. She says her 4-year-old is expensive enough on his own. "He's a heavy milk drinker. And milk is not cheap," she said.

"It's frustrating, but usually, when I ask he give it to me," she continued.

It's due process, the state is only allowed to take 50 percent of Hatchett's paycheck.

That's 50 percent split multiple times.

"You look at when they filed, how many children they have. He has several mothers that he has two children with. And, it's tough," Pope explained.

Still, Hatchett said the women knew what they were getting into.
They were all aware of his large family.

One said, she doesn't like it but she deals with it. "It's about the kids. Not the parents," she said.

Hatchett agreed he should do what's best for the kids.

"Do you intend to keep having children?" WVLT asked.
"No." Hatchett replied.
"You're done?"
"I'm done. I'll say I'm done."
"What made you say that?"
"I didn't intend to have this many. It just happened," Hatchett said.

Desmond Hatchett spent part of Friday afternoon jailed while a child support referee decided how to split up the $400 he brought to court.

If he doesn't pay what he owes, he will go back to jail because he is on an automatic jail order.

The mothers of Hatchett's children are supposed to get anywhere from $25 to $309 a month, but when his paycheck is garnished amongst them all, some women only get a $1.98 a month.

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  • by LaVance G. Location: Anderson S.C on Oct 1, 2010 at 08:30 PM
    I feel that the man is trying. Instead of throwing some one in jail they should except what he can afford.It's ridiculous how they do these men. They cant take what they don't have. Plus poverty has the best over most young fathers. I'm a young father on the verge of being put on child support. The mother knows I don't have much. I Have no support what so ever. But I'm willing to spend time with my daughter so she'll know her father. But still she puts me on. I love my daughter and I would give the world to her and the system is doing nothing but tearing my family and me apart. I have bills to pay and other children. The money the court system takes from me is money I could have invested into a better future for school for me and my children
  • by Mercy Location: North Carolina on Jan 5, 2010 at 06:54 PM
    If this man can't afford to take care of them with the job he has, sounds to me like he needs to get him SOME part time jobs. There are single parents out here that have two and three jobs. Why can't he..somebody is hiring some where..If he see's how hard he has to work to take care of those children it could be a deterent.
  • by Qbnchk Location: California on Jan 5, 2010 at 05:27 PM
    Anonymous from North Carolina makes sense... Why should they put this guy in jail when he needs to obviously keep the small job he has. It's sad to say but atleast this kid is trying to in some way so the best he can, as twisted as that sounds. Instead of sentencing him to jail...sentence (force) him to take and complete some type of vocational training. Is our judicial system is so jacked up...they can figure that out? Putting him in jail will not fix a thing...the kids are here and they need taking care of...lead this horn dog in the right direction instead of judging them all. We are so wuick to point fingers but carry our own skeletons right?? lol...more concerned on having a bigger foot than a bigger heart.
  • by Maria Location: Miami on Oct 28, 2009 at 08:37 AM
    I agree with one of the posts, why are we so quick to judge the mothers. Yes, I believe in having control of your body, especially as a woman because it is harder for us to have to raise children on our own and maintain financially. But did they know about his other kids? Did he lied to them? I mean, we dont know the facts, and judging does not help anything. Lets use the tax dollars wisely. If the mothers do not have an education, maybe we can help them go back to school, so they don't have to depend on this guy for financial assistance. I had my daughter at 18, my son at 22, and I been judged terribly. I am now on my late twenties, finished my engineering degree, and I am an officer in the greatest military in the world, USA! My kids are highly educated, extremely respectful and very very happy. And they are my inspiration to everything I do.
  • by Nicole Location: PA on Aug 18, 2009 at 11:51 PM
    I'm tired of people who think they are better than others saying those who are not well off or educated shouldn't have children. These women should have used some sense before laying down with this man, YES! But some women that's not the case. Reproducing is a right of life. And just because you don't pull 6 figures a year with a Master's degree doesn't mean that you shouldn't bring a life into the world. And many people are on public assistance now-a-days but you can also blame that on the economy. I've been out of work for over a year and can't even get a job flipping burgers. And I'm a single mother of 2 in the military with an education and that still isn't getting me anywhere. So to people like LaTonya from St. Louis get your nose out of the air because just like that you could be in a similiar situation relying on the government to provide for your family. And welfare isn't all that glamourous and my children don't get "showered" with anything!
  • by LaTonya Location: St. Louis, MO on Jul 16, 2009 at 03:15 PM
    You always hear people saying the man should not have any children if he cannot support them. well the unemployed, uneducated women shouldn't have any children they cannot support. I am married and my husband and I both have good jobs, we are at the lower end of middle class. If we miss a paycheck we are in trouble. We don't qualify for any type of welfare assistance. I looked into putting my children into a particular private school that offered scholarships. Well, come to find out the scholarships are for families who are on welfare. O.K, so I heard about a summer inrichment camp for children that also offered scholarship and tuition assistance to WELFARE families. This is ridiculous to me. I know so many women who don't do anything but sit on their behinds all day having babies. Their children are showered with all these great resources that I could never afford for my children, free of charge. Their kids are in daycare all day while they are at home or in the mall.
  • by Anonymous Location: North Carolina on Jul 1, 2009 at 08:06 AM
    I have a Master's in Sociology so don't assume that I dont know what I'm talking about The comments ya'll made are stupid. Yes the women should have used some type of protection. Just because he did this doesn't make the women nasty, std infected stupid or uneducated. Nothing in the article states they didn't have jobs, were uneducated, and had no resources. So stop assuming and stereotyping these ladies. No need in putting him in jail either he really can't make any money to pay child support there. Well yes the taxpayers may be footing the bill here but if you needed the help regardless of how many kids the man has you would want it also.You all should shut up and stop drawing conclusions about people.The man needs some help he clearly has a problem he can't take care of all those children so instead of putting him in jail spending more tax dollars put him in school so he can get a better job. Trade school is always a good option. Electrician barber,cable installer all pay well.
  • by In need of baby Location: NC on Jun 21, 2009 at 11:58 AM
    WOW! my husband and I have spent over $40,000 trying to have 1 baby and he has 20 possibly 21, I'll take the last one. This is frustrating to read especially for women like me, who would love to have babies just one.
  • by castrator Location: market square on Jun 19, 2009 at 02:25 AM
    Send him to Gitmo or to live with Barney Frank.
  • by Jessi on Jun 18, 2009 at 10:27 AM
    Maybe this is where swine flu originated!


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