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voluntary termination of parental rights - Page 4

post #61 of 190

Smithie, I've read your views on paternal rights and responsibilities before and I've always disagreed with you. I think I probably still disagree with you, but I finally understand what you mean, and I guess I don't disagree nearly so much with your reasoning, I just come to a different conclusion. But you've definitely made me think and examine my own beliefs on the subject... and considering I am generally very pro-father's-rights, that is saying a lot! 

 

Anyway, thanks for so clearly explaining your views on the subject. It's really had me thinking the last couple days!

post #62 of 190

I honestly can't say that I see your views as pro-woman or pro-child, Smithie. I don't believe that a woman holds all the cards about whether or not to bring a child into the world. The man takes that chance when he decides to put his sperm inside of her. If he doesn't want to risk reproduction, he shouldn't be putting his penis inside of women.

 

Children deserve to be supported. Society in general deserves, IMO, for people to support the children they create. There are already enough people who use government assistance to take care of children.

 

I understand your reasoning, but I think that if the states were to enact legislation that didn't hold men accountable for procreation, it would be disastrous on an economic level.

 

You're calling it coerced paternity. I'm calling it the natural consequence of behavior. Nobody forces unwilling men to take visitation, but that doesn't abdicate them from the financial responsibility of their actions. It's like if you finance a new vehicle....you can choose to take the bus if you like, but you still have to pay your car loan.

post #63 of 190

 

"If he doesn't want to risk reproduction, he shouldn't be putting his penis inside of women."

 

But see, that's the EXACT SAME THING I've had screamed in my face by anti-choice people, switched around so that it applies to the female's sexual participation. That's where the whole thing falls down for me. If it's evil and ugly to force the woman, it is evil and ugly to force the man. We have another, better option - we can contribute as a society to the support of economically vulnerable people who DO want to be parents and who are going to at least try to do a decent job of it, and leave the deadbeats out of the picture. And think about just exactly how much of a deadbeat we're talking about here - we are talking about somebody who would decline to be listed on his child's birth certificate. That's certainly a subset of of all men who participate in unwed babymaking!

 

In terms of economic consequences - eh. We spend so little on social welfare programs compared to other items in the budget that I don't think it would really make a difference either way. And I've never understood the reluctance to support poor children (directly and indirectly) with taxpayer dollars - it just seems pragmatic to me, as a person who wants to grow old in a nation peopled with healthy, well-educated, socially conscious citizens.

post #64 of 190

Honestly, I wish my DD's father HAD turned his rights at birth rather than be absent and then decide to swoop in later.  SO has been there since 9 weeks and is more her father than bio can ever be but if something happens to me, there is nothing he can do.  I agree, that men shouldn't go about having sex with women unless he is ready to possibly be a GOOD father.  That being said, after I threw out my husband (the only man I'd ever been with) I had a couple incidents with men that I'm sure would not have stuck around had that happened.  To be fair to them - I was already pregnant and we both knew it - BUT he had to trust me that I really was pregnant and not lying.  The legalities of sex does need to be taught in school.  I started having sex when I was 15.  My husband (bf at the time) was 18.  Technically until I got married at 17.5, it was statutory had my parents wanted they could've pressed charges (assuming they knew of course).  It wouldn't have mattered that I was an intelligent teenager and a fully consenting party.  Contraceptives weren't really taught either.  We were lucky nothing happened when I think back on it.  My graduating class of 146 had 13 parents in it (2 were the mom/dad) - one of whom had been a mom since she was a sophomore.  Fault also lies with the parents - it is THEIR job to teach their children about sex, consequences, parenting, and contraceptives.  I'm sure at some point my mother figured out I was active.  Instead of teaching me about birth control and condoms or making sure I had protection, she pretended to be oblivious to it.  I feel horrible for the father's who don't get to be because the mother decides to terminate.  I also believe that abortion should be strictly regulated as to the WHY.  I firmly believe the choice shouldn't be taken away for the sake of choice but I think regulations need to be placed on it as to the circumstances surrounding the reason for it.  Will this ever happen?  Absolutely not.  Most people seem to view abortion as a form of birth control.  If it was only allowed for specific legitimate reasons I'm sure people would get a lot smarter about their activities but it's always in the back of their mind (the people who would do it) that, "Hey, if I DO get pregnant I can just terminate."  I also really wish that woman were able to name the legal father of their children.  As in my instance, bio was absent for over 16 months and even now is intermittent.  SO has been with us and supporting both of us since I was 9 weeks pregnant through an incredibly difficult pregnancy.  Why is it fair that dd and I are tied to this person and SO is screwed out of the legal rights for what he's been doing already?  Yes, I know, I took that risk when I had sex (to be fair, we were married and we didn't think divorce was in sight - just a rough patch, kwim?).  That's all well and good BUT why is it fair he gets to be absent for a year and a half and maintain his rights?  IT'S NOT.  When he didn't show up by the end of month one I should've been able to terminate his rights and transfer them to SO.  He KNEW I was pregnant from week 4 and absented him self until 16 months.  That's over TWO YEARS he chose not to show up and take responsibility.  It's not right that he can do that and then show up later demanding to be an equal. 

post #65 of 190
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post

 

"If he doesn't want to risk reproduction, he shouldn't be putting his penis inside of women."

 

But see, that's the EXACT SAME THING I've had screamed in my face by anti-choice people, switched around so that it applies to the female's sexual participation. That's where the whole thing falls down for me. If it's evil and ugly to force the woman, it is evil and ugly to force the man. We have another, better option - we can contribute as a society to the support of economically vulnerable people who DO want to be parents and who are going to at least try to do a decent job of it, and leave the deadbeats out of the picture. And think about just exactly how much of a deadbeat we're talking about here - we are talking about somebody who would decline to be listed on his child's birth certificate. That's certainly a subset of of all men who participate in unwed babymaking!

 

In terms of economic consequences - eh. We spend so little on social welfare programs compared to other items in the budget that I don't think it would really make a difference either way. And I've never understood the reluctance to support poor children (directly and indirectly) with taxpayer dollars - it just seems pragmatic to me, as a person who wants to grow old in a nation peopled with healthy, well-educated, socially conscious citizens.


The problem with this however, is that your solution is overbroad.  Meaning, it excludes people it shouldn't, and includes people it shouldn't.  I'm trying to explain and I'm not doing a good job.

 

It doesn't account for the men who REALLY want to support and be part of that child's life, but under your reasoning don't have that right - it gives the mother SOLE say over a child that she did not create herself.  What if your ds had a child, (in a place that uses your rules) and the mother didn't want him in that child's life.  THATS YOUR GRANDBABY - that your son now desperately wants, but has no rights to.

 

Now, it might seem to make sense to allow a man to elect to be a "deadbeat" - but what are the consequences of that?  He now has no incentive to use safe sex to protect against pregnancy outside of marriage, b/c the pregnancy doesn't affect him.  He would be able to impregnate as many women as he wanted (have you heard about the guy in TN who has 25 or 26 kids and can't afford to pay for them - you think the government should be held responsible for his penis and sperm?)  The woman however has to be completely on guard and make 100% certain that she doesn't get pregnant before she's married or she has no financial support. 

 

What about rape victims?  A man should be able to rape a woman, and not be responsible for a resulting child?  (remember, the GOP is trying to re-define rape as being "forcible" for the purposes of seeking an abortion - so that choice may be taken away from women who did not physically fight back during an attack)

 

The second bolded part has me confused - do you think men should be able to elect to be on the birth certificate or not?  It seemed like you were saying in previous posts that the man shouldn't have ANY rights whatsoever, and NO responsibilities whatsoever.  If he wants to be on the birth certificate how is he supposed to do that if he's not married?

 

What happens when a married man has sex and creates a baby that he doesn't want - we're now making classifications based on marriage (which has a legal consequence - I believe that would be a constitutional violation).  What happens when a married woman wants an abortion?  The man STILL has no say in that - and theres another constitutional violation if we change it - we can't give different rights to people based on their "status" unless they are "rational basis" rights like tax breaks - fundamental rights need to be the same for all or we're headed right back down the "women are property when married and children are illegitimate when born out of wedlock".  It's a slippery slope, and there is no "perfect" answer.

 

As for the first bolded part, I do not believe in abortion as a method of birth control.  I am Pro-Choice - but b/c I believe it is a MEDICAL PROCEDURE that should be left between a woman, and her doctor.  Other medical procedures are not nearly so highly legislated or debated (heart surgery anyone?  should it only be available in certain special extenuating circumstances?), and so abortion should not be legislated either.

 

post #66 of 190
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post

 Forced birth and coerced paternity are two sides of the same sex-as-punishment coin. 


No they are not at all. Forced birth is subjugation involving a physical trauma and lifelong responsibility. Coerced paternity is a financial commitment like taxes. Not even remotely similar. 

post #67 of 190

There are no good answers.  A woman, after finding out she is pregnant, has the option of saying, "I don't want to be a parent" and choosing either abortion or making an adoption plan.  Alternatively, she can opt to parent the child.  A man, upon hearing a woman is pregnant (with his child) must wait to know her decision.  If she chooses parenting and he wants to be a parent--great.  If she chooses abortion or adoption and he's in agreement, that's good, too.  There-in lies the issue.  If she chooses adoption, and he wants to parent, he can petition for custody (then the tables might be turned on the issue such as that at hand from the OP--now mom might be paying dad child support because he's raising the child--whether or not she has anything to do with the child's day to day life unless there is a stepmother available to adopt).  If she chooses abortion, and he wants the child--too bad, so sad.  If she chooses to parent, and he does not want to parent a child with her or at this time, well that will affect him for the rest of his life, as well as the standard of living for his future wife and (wanted) children.  Imaging wanting only to be a stay-at-home-mom but be unable to because he's paying child support to another child on the other side of the country whom he has never seen because of a one-night-stand or a failed relationship or a "friends with benefits" situation--so your income is necessary for your family's day to day life.

post #68 of 190
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2lilsweetfoxes View Post

There are no good answers.  A woman, after finding out she is pregnant, has the option of saying, "I don't want to be a parent" and choosing either abortion or making an adoption plan.  Alternatively, she can opt to parent the child.  A man, upon hearing a woman is pregnant (with his child) must wait to know her decision.  If she chooses parenting and he wants to be a parent--great.  If she chooses abortion or adoption and he's in agreement, that's good, too.  There-in lies the issue.  If she chooses adoption, and he wants to parent, he can petition for custody (then the tables might be turned on the issue such as that at hand from the OP--now mom might be paying dad child support because he's raising the child--whether or not she has anything to do with the child's day to day life unless there is a stepmother available to adopt).  If she chooses abortion, and he wants the child--too bad, so sad.  If she chooses to parent, and he does not want to parent a child with her or at this time, well that will affect him for the rest of his life, as well as the standard of living for his future wife and (wanted) children.  Imaging wanting only to be a stay-at-home-mom but be unable to because he's paying child support to another child on the other side of the country whom he has never seen because of a one-night-stand or a failed relationship or a "friends with benefits" situation--so your income is necessary for your family's day to day life.



This is so offensive.  Seriously?  My ds is supposed to go without so some lady can be a SAHM?  Thank goodness his dad won't marry someone like that since he actually does want to parent.  Adults need to be able to handle disappointment, and if being a SAHM is that important, don't marry someone with another child.

post #69 of 190


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by 2lilsweetfoxes View Post

There are no good answers.  A woman, after finding out she is pregnant, has the option of saying, "I don't want to be a parent" and choosing either abortion or making an adoption plan.  Alternatively, she can opt to parent the child.  A man, upon hearing a woman is pregnant (with his child) must wait to know her decision.  If she chooses parenting and he wants to be a parent--great.  If she chooses abortion or adoption and he's in agreement, that's good, too.  There-in lies the issue.  If she chooses adoption, and he wants to parent, he can petition for custody (then the tables might be turned on the issue such as that at hand from the OP--now mom might be paying dad child support because he's raising the child--whether or not she has anything to do with the child's day to day life unless there is a stepmother available to adopt).  If she chooses abortion, and he wants the child--too bad, so sad.  If she chooses to parent, and he does not want to parent a child with her or at this time, well that will affect him for the rest of his life, as well as the standard of living for his future wife and (wanted) children.  Imaging wanting only to be a stay-at-home-mom but be unable to because he's paying child support to another child on the other side of the country whom he has never seen because of a one-night-stand or a failed relationship or a "friends with benefits" situation--so your income is necessary for your family's day to day life.



This is so offensive.  Seriously?  My ds is supposed to go without so some lady can be a SAHM?  Thank goodness his dad won't marry someone like that since he actually does want to parent.  Adults need to be able to handle disappointment, and if being a SAHM is that important, don't marry someone with another child.


Amen to this, about 1000 times over!  This thread has been very illuminating.

post #70 of 190

 

Since your ex wants to parent, Super_Single_Mama, it's nice for the both of you that you put him on the birth certificate. But I do not think you should have been legally obliged to unless your were a family (married, domestic partnership, whatever) at the time of the birth. YOU chose to carry your son. YOU shouldered the medical risk. HE ejaculated. Your respective roles in this process, and the options afforded by your differing biologies, make it seem crazy to me that he'd have equal rights to a baby you gave birth to. Even farther along the crazy spectrum is the idea that a RAPIST would be put on the birth certificate, indentified as the father, expected to pay support etc. If ever there was an example of a scenario where the social welfare system should kick in and the entire concept of fatherhood kicked to the curb, it's the example of the woman who became pregnant from a rape and carried the pregnancy to term. 

 

If my son someday happens to get a girlfriend pregnant, I wouldn't want her to be legally forced to coparent with him, and I wouldn't want him to be legally forced to send her checks for 18 years. Both of them might DECIDE to do so. People decide to do so all the time - single woman names a father, that guy signs affidavit of paternity, okey dokey. But a man who wants guaranteed paternal rights need to marry before he makes babies, and a woman who wants a guaranteed coparent needs to marry before she makes babies. There is currently no other method in our society (except domestic partnership in some states) for two unrelated adults to enter pre-birth into a binding legal contract that identifies them as a family and the parents of each other's offspring. Absent a preexisting commitment, both parties deserve a choice. 

 

I will never understand why single women are so gung-ho to pursue exes who are denying/avoiding paternity. How much money are you really likely to get? Is it worth the risk of sharing custody with the kind of man who'd deny paternity? The situations where the state pursues deadbeats are very different - that's not at the mom's instigation, she's just accessing services and telling the truth when asked to name a father. I understand not wanting to lie to the government. I just don't think it's the government's place to ASK in the first place for a list of all the guys a woman in need has UAVed the year before. It's irrelevant, and it's an invasion of privacy, and I wish they'd stop doing it and focus on helping our new citizen and the person who decided that he/she would be born. 

post #71 of 190

Smithie, are you even READING my posts?  Your responses don't even make sense.

post #72 of 190
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post

 

Absent a preexisting commitment, both parties deserve a choice. 


Pre-existing commitment occurs when they HAVE SEX.  Period.  At that point in time both parties accept the consequences of their actions.  Like I said before, those consequences may be VERY DIFFERENT for each couple - but they are consequences nonetheless.

post #73 of 190

I know this isn't what you want to hear but just because the mother is crazy, or maybe because the mother is crazy, he needs to step-up to the plate and be a parent to the child. The easy way out is making excuses that the baby would be better off without him. The super-hard way is to admit that the baby needs his dad in his life. You are both making excuses right now to take the easy way out. 

post #74 of 190

So, am I correct in thinking that the OP got deleted because the thread wasnt appropriate, but the entirety of the thread didnt get deleted because it brings up another issue that the mods believe to be (and so do I) a valid topic of discussion?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #75 of 190

You can't just give up your rights to a baby to get out of paying for them. If you could do that than every dead beat dad out there would be doing so. Instead they are being sued for child support. He is partially financially responsible for the child until it becomes an adult...so he may as well get used to it.

I personally think that your fiance just has to step up to the plate and pay some money for his kid. It doesn't matter that he doesn't get along with the mother. I doesn't matter that he never wanted to have a kid with this woman. It's too late for that now. He is a father and he needs to deal with it. The longer he puts it off the harder it is going to be on him and the child. Is it going to negatively effect his finances? Sure. But that's life.

Even if he doesn't have contact with the mother. I would suggest seeing someone and getting cheques sent to the mother through her parents or mutual friends. 

post #76 of 190
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View Post

So, am I correct in thinking that the OP got deleted because the thread wasnt appropriate, but the entirety of the thread didnt get deleted because it brings up another issue that the mods believe to be (and so do I) a valid topic of discussion?

 

I think something else happened to the original post because it was missing long before the conversation took this particular focus.

 

Smithie, I can agree that if a child is conceived and one of the "parents" decides they do not want to be a parent, they should have that right to legally terminate their own parental rights. I agree that it isn't in the best interest of children to have a "parent" who didn't ever want them and wasn't ever interested in parenting them. I think it is crazy that if one parent wants to parent alone and the other person doesn't want any involvement at all, that they are not legally able to make that decision. I think requiring that someone else be available to adopt the child in order to terminate one parent's legal rights reflects a pretty disrespectful view of single parents.

 

What I don't agree with is that full rights and responsibilities should automatically sit with the mother. If both parents agree that one of them can legal "opt out" of his or her involvement in all aspects of the child's life, that is one thing. But a mother should not be able to just decide she doesn't want the child's father involved and terminate his rights any more than a father should be allowed to make that decision about a mother.

post #77 of 190
Quote:
Originally Posted by aricha View Post

Smithie, I can agree that if a child is conceived and one of the "parents" decides they do not want to be a parent, they should have that right to legally terminate their own parental rights. I agree that it isn't in the best interest of children to have a "parent" who didn't ever want them and wasn't ever interested in parenting them. I think it is crazy that if one parent wants to parent alone and the other person doesn't want any involvement at all, that they are not legally able to make that decision. I think requiring that someone else be available to adopt the child in order to terminate one parent's legal rights reflects a pretty disrespectful view of single parents.

 

What I don't agree with is that full rights and responsibilities should automatically sit with the mother. If both parents agree that one of them can legal "opt out" of his or her involvement in all aspects of the child's life, that is one thing. But a mother should not be able to just decide she doesn't want the child's father involved and terminate his rights any more than a father should be allowed to make that decision about a mother.


But what happens when the parents disagree?  This is whats killing me here, You're both saying that a parent should be able to unilaterally terminate rights, but then you say they should be able to if both parents agree.  If both parents have to agree, then a parent would not be able to unilaterally terminate rights. 

 

Your last sentence makes sense.  I think its just about the only thing in this entire thread that does make sense.

 

And parents ARE able to make the decision that one can parent alone.  If the father doesn't want to parent, and the mother is fine with that she doesn't have to put him on the Birth Certificate or pursue child support.  If she later needs assistance, the state will ask for the name of any putative fathers and pursue child support - but thats b/c the state should not be required to pay for a child that should be supported by both parents.  If the mother doesn't ever need government assistance, then it never becomes an issue (and a future step parent would be able to adopt based on abandonment by the father, or something)

post #78 of 190

 

Quote:
But a man who wants guaranteed paternal rights need to marry before he makes babies, and a woman who wants a guaranteed coparent needs to marry before she makes babies. There is currently no other method in our society (except domestic partnership in some states) for two unrelated adults to enter pre-birth into a binding legal contract that identifies them as a family and the parents of each other's offspring.

 

So what I really want to know is, how does the above statement NOT translate to:  "Men can have as much pre-marital sex as they want and not face consequences, women on the other hand had BETTER keep it in their pants b/c otherwise they have no right to child support, and no right to any form of help raising their child."

 

This translation is not good for my future dd's (if I have any) and I don't want my son's to grow up with this sort of a sense of entitlement.  It's not good for "men" either, and it certainly isn't good for society or for children. 

post #79 of 190

Quote:

Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post


But what happens when the parents disagree?  This is whats killing me here, You're both saying that a parent should be able to unilaterally terminate rights, but then you say they should be able to if both parents agree.  If both parents have to agree, then a parent would not be able to unilaterally terminate rights. 

 

Your last sentence makes sense.  I think its just about the only thing in this entire thread that does make sense.


Sorry, I wrote the whole post, lost it with some site glitch, then tried to recreate it. I thinl I was more clear the first time.
 
I think if both of them agree-- for example mom wants to be a single parent with NO ties to dad (including no financial ties) AND dad is not interested in parenting now or ever, they should have the right to make that decision and the "parent" who doesn't want to have any involvement should be able to just not be involved.  But if they don't agree then the one who doesn't want to be anywhere in the picture or the one who doesn't want the other parent around is out of luck. No one parent should be able to just decide that the other parent shouldn't be involved and a parent should be able to just walk away if the other person needs or wants their help. That part is no different than what exists today. My argument is that if both parents agree, they should be able to sever ties legally regardless of their current or future financial means.
post #80 of 190
Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by 2lilsweetfoxes View Post

There are no good answers.  A woman, after finding out she is pregnant, has the option of saying, "I don't want to be a parent" and choosing either abortion or making an adoption plan.  Alternatively, she can opt to parent the child.  A man, upon hearing a woman is pregnant (with his child) must wait to know her decision.  If she chooses parenting and he wants to be a parent--great.  If she chooses abortion or adoption and he's in agreement, that's good, too.  There-in lies the issue.  If she chooses adoption, and he wants to parent, he can petition for custody (then the tables might be turned on the issue such as that at hand from the OP--now mom might be paying dad child support because he's raising the child--whether or not she has anything to do with the child's day to day life unless there is a stepmother available to adopt).  If she chooses abortion, and he wants the child--too bad, so sad.  If she chooses to parent, and he does not want to parent a child with her or at this time, well that will affect him for the rest of his life, as well as the standard of living for his future wife and (wanted) children.  Imaging wanting only to be a stay-at-home-mom but be unable to because he's paying child support to another child on the other side of the country whom he has never seen because of a one-night-stand or a failed relationship or a "friends with benefits" situation--so your income is necessary for your family's day to day life.



This is so offensive.  Seriously?  My ds is supposed to go without so some lady can be a SAHM?  Thank goodness his dad won't marry someone like that since he actually does want to parent.  Adults need to be able to handle disappointment, and if being a SAHM is that important, don't marry someone with another child.


That's why *I* didn't.  I was actually engaged to some guy who had kids from a previous relationship, and I saw how much of his income went to that child.  While I don't begrudge taking care of any child, I realized that if we were going to marry, unless I worked--and then I feared the state would compute my income in determining his child support--(ie, he earns $35K a year, I earn $40K a year, so they consider more of his income in the child support calculation) our standard of living would be way below the poverty line--but we wouldn't qualify for anything because our income was too high.  By the way, the mother's income was about $30K per year--until she chose to quit her job  and she was living with her boyfriend who made close to $50K.  That is neither here nor there.  Being a SAHM *was* that important to me.  Having at least 2-3 children was important to me.  I don't know if I'd have had even one child with him, unless it was a surprise.  But, no matter how we worked the numbers, it would not work out.  (Unfortunately, I married someone with aspirations of being a writer and who, since getting out of the army almost 8 years ago, refuses to work a traditional job until the whole writing thing takes off--so I don't get to be a SAHM, and I'll be (pleasantly) surprised if I get to be a SAHM by the time my youngest is in high school or college (can you tell I'm pissed about having to re-enlist--again.  DH swore the last time was the LAST time).) 

 

As for marrying someone with a child, what happens if the couple doesn't even find out about the child until after the marriage and when the wife is pregnant or the husband has an affair and gets the OW pregnant? 

 

Why should the wife be financially punished for that (with the loss of her husband's income--money that should be going to the benefit of their family?  I know someone (who didn't find out about the child until after she had children) and for her, seeing that child support check every month on the bank statement just upsets her, especially when she can't afford to buy her own children shoes.)

 

***

 

But, anyhow, the italicized portion was the important part I was trying to say.  The part that (by the way, I'm sorry that phrase was deemed offensive.  That was not my intention, it was more looking at it from another angle, which I explained above) was at the end was just an aside.

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