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#91 of 190 Old 02-06-2011, 12:07 PM
 
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As for the men who impregnate women against their will, the woman still has choices:  abort, adopt, raise.  I agree that those "men" should have consequences.  Also, men who "trick" women into having a baby:  the whole "I love you forever" promises and all that, then when she's pregnant or has had the baby, walks out on her:  he should have consequences, too.  But, what about women who get pregnant against the man's will.  Maybe by saying she's on birth control, but lying about it.  I understand about birth control failure.  I'm talking about user-level failure (ie, not using it at all) and then lying about it and tricking a guy into impregnating her--perhaps he had one foot out the door and it was a desperate attempt to "keep her man". 

 

But women can get pregnant even when using birth control 100% correctly.  So this doesn't fly.  When a man has sex with a woman, he assumes the risk that a pregnancy will result and a baby will come of it.  You don't want babies, don't have sex.  Goes for women too.

 

Maybe she just wanted a baby.  But, I could see that in court devolving into a whole he-said/she-said as they try to untangle the whole fiasco.  Her:  "he told me we'd be together forever, that he wanted me to be the mother of his children.  Then, he left me for this other woman [indicates her ex and the woman standing with him] and is now denying the child he and I created together in love."  Him:  "I bought and paid for her birth control pills.  I watched as she took them every evening as we brushed our teeth together.  How was I to know she was spitting them out?  We talked it over and she knew I didn't want any children until after XYZ event.  Convenient how, just after we broke up, she was 2 months pregnant."

 

Yup, it would be a huge he said/she said, and the court wouldn't have a clue who to believe.  And, as I said above, birth control can fail anyway, so there's really no way to know if she would have gotten pregnant if she was taking the birth control anyway.  And condoms break - I know someone who was on hormonal BC and using condoms, and she got pregnant.  It's not 100%, so the birth control user failure isn't always the cause.

 

Let's have fun and turn this around--a woman has a baby, then a few days later drops it off with the father and walks out of their lives.  She wants nothing to do with the baby and wants to forget she ever had a baby (maybe she never wanted to be a mother).  Would you support him going after her for child support, even if she's doing everything within her power to avoid being tracked down and pay support.

 

Yup, dad should be able to pursue child support.  Absolutely.  If mom doesn't want visitation that's fine, she doesn't have to use it, but she should be financially responsible for the little person that she helped create and is now refusing to raise.  Absolutely.  Children don't support themselves, and they have the right to be supported by their parents - BOTH of them.

 

In a perfect world, all babies would be born in a situation where both parents want them or at least are willing to parent them, and this conversation would be academic or not exist. 

 

 



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#92 of 190 Old 02-06-2011, 02:49 PM
 
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Look, we're talking in circles. You see a massively unfair double standard in the way I'd like things to be handled, and I see a massive double standard in the way things are handled now. We're not going to agree, but that doesn't make either of us a sexist. 

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#93 of 190 Old 02-06-2011, 04:30 PM
 
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Look, we're talking in circles. You see a massively unfair double standard in the way I'd like things to be handled, and I see a massive double standard in the way things are handled now. We're not going to agree, but that doesn't make either of us a sexist. 



Whats the current double standard?  I didn't say YOU are sexist, I said that what you want to do is sexist.  The double standard that you want to impose legally is very sexist, and you have yet to say anything that even remotely shows anything else.

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#94 of 190 Old 02-06-2011, 04:52 PM
 
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Look, we're talking in circles. You see a massively unfair double standard in the way I'd like things to be handled, and I see a massive double standard in the way things are handled now. We're not going to agree, but that doesn't make either of us a sexist. 



Whats the current double standard?  I didn't say YOU are sexist, I said that what you want to do is sexist.  The double standard that you want to impose legally is very sexist, and you have yet to say anything that even remotely shows anything else.



The current double standard, as I see it, is that the woman can opt out of parenting (through abortion whether or not the man agrees or placing the baby for adoption, if the man agrees), but the man has no means to opt out of parenting if the woman chooses to keep and raise the baby.  He can't force her to get an abortion, and he can't force her to place the baby for adoption. I know there was a court case about this the so-called "male abortion" (able to voluntarily terminate parental rights prior to the birth and have no further responsibility to the child), where someone argued this.  He failed. 

 

So, if the man can get a "male abortion" that would equal men can have sex with impunity and who cares about the seeds they spread.

 

I think it would seriously cut down on the "casual sex".  If a woman knows that if she were to get pregnant and that the guy could opt out of being a father--both physically and fiscally--she might be choosier about with whom and when she chooses to have sex.  If single, she might consider whether or not she can afford to raise a baby without help before having sex.  She might consider whether or not her partner is a good long-term choice.

 

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#95 of 190 Old 02-06-2011, 05:04 PM
 
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Look, we're talking in circles. You see a massively unfair double standard in the way I'd like things to be handled, and I see a massive double standard in the way things are handled now. We're not going to agree, but that doesn't make either of us a sexist. 



Whats the current double standard?  I didn't say YOU are sexist, I said that what you want to do is sexist.  The double standard that you want to impose legally is very sexist, and you have yet to say anything that even remotely shows anything else.



The current double standard, as I see it, is that the woman can opt out of parenting (through abortion whether or not the man agrees or placing the baby for adoption, if the man agrees), but the man has no means to opt out of parenting if the woman chooses to keep and raise the baby.  He can't force her to get an abortion, and he can't force her to place the baby for adoption. I know there was a court case about this the so-called "male abortion" (able to voluntarily terminate parental rights prior to the birth and have no further responsibility to the child), where someone argued this.  He failed. 

 

So, if the man can get a "male abortion" that would equal men can have sex with impunity and who cares about the seeds they spread.

 

I think it would seriously cut down on the "casual sex"If a woman knows that if she were to get pregnant and that the guy could opt out of being a father--both physically and fiscally--she might be choosier about with whom and when she chooses to have sex.  If single, she might consider whether or not she can afford to raise a baby without help before having sex.  She might consider whether or not her partner is a good long-term choice.

 


And therein lies the problem.  Men would have a free pass to have sex as much as they wanted - and we all know that if MEN are having sex, SO ARE WOMEN.  It take TWO people to have sex.  Punishing women for having sex, and not imposing a consequence on men is a HUGE double standard.

 

Not to mention that such a statutory scheme would be unconstitutional, as it would differentiate between illegitimate children and legitimate children in a detrimental way.  Thank god its unconstitutional to do what you all want to do - its people who say these things who really scare me and make me afraid for the world I'm raising my children in.

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#96 of 190 Old 02-06-2011, 05:35 PM
 
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 "but one of the things they CAN do with it is deposit into the body of a willing female partner. At that point, it's not theirs anymore." 

 

 

My dh (in law school) was just saying something about learning in class, when tissue or what-have-you leaves your body it's not legally yours anymore. Not true in the case of sperm that actually reaches an egg though, I guess.

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#97 of 190 Old 02-06-2011, 05:49 PM
 
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 "but one of the things they CAN do with it is deposit into the body of a willing female partner. At that point, it's not theirs anymore." 

 

 

My dh (in law school) was just saying something about learning in class, when tissue or what-have-you leaves your body it's not legally yours anymore. Not true in the case of sperm that actually reaches an egg though, I guess.


I just graduated law school, and in family law, when a man has sex he assumes the risk that his sperm will create another life and he will be responsible for it.  Period.  Even if the mother had a hysterectomy previously and somehow miraculously grew another one.  Even if he'd already had a vasectomy. 

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#98 of 190 Old 02-06-2011, 06:48 PM
 
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I get that family law and property are different, it's just a little odd to me. But then again, I think a lot of the law is kind of odd...shrug.gif


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#99 of 190 Old 02-06-2011, 06:59 PM
 
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I get that family law and property are different, it's just a little odd to me. But then again, I think a lot of the law is kind of odd...shrug.gif



I think its odd to that my body tissues aren't mine after they leave my body.  I think that in property it was decided that way for financial reasons.  I'm pretty sure I actually remember the case your dh is talking about, and it was odd to me too, but it was for policy reasons, that kinda made sense, but was mostly in the financial interest of doctors and medical researchers so that they could make discoveries and whatnot without worrying about getting sued later.

 

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#100 of 190 Old 02-06-2011, 07:06 PM
 
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At what point, say, do you think a woman, who had a child should *not* be able to go after the "sperm donor" for child support?  This is assuming that he had NO idea about the child's existence.

 

A.  Always, even if the kid is past the age of 18 for back support--with no limit as to the age--so mom could file for her 45 year old son who has been married for 18 years and has a kid about to start college himself, to take it to the extreme.

B.  Up until the age of 18, but cannot get back support.

C.  Up until the age of 10, with back support.

D.  Up until the age of 10, no back support.

E.  Up until the age of 5, with back support.

F.  Up until the age of 5, no back support.

G.  Up until the age of 2, with back support.

H.  Up until the age of 2, no back support.

 

Also, if you choose she should be able to get back support, how far back should it go:  life of the child; a percentage of the child's life (what percentage); a set number of years (how many?). 

 

(the without back support, the date of support would be the date of filing)

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#101 of 190 Old 02-06-2011, 07:49 PM
 
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"Punishing women for having sex, and not imposing a consequence on men is a HUGE double standard."

Getting pregnant is not a punishment, though. Having a wanted baby (however conceived) is most certainly not a punishment!

Being forced to keep an unwanted baby is a punishment. Being forced to support an unwanted baby is a punishment. I'm not interested in my government handing out those punishments in an attempt to impose morality or save money or whatever they think they are achieving.

That doesn't mean I don't vastly prefer it when children born to single women have a guy (or gal) jumping up and down with eagerness to sign the birth certificate. (Do I care if that person actually contributed the other half of the baby's DNA? Not so much.) It's great when kids have two parents - but a whole bunch of happy, well-functioning single parent households demonstrate that it's not a necessity.

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#102 of 190 Old 02-06-2011, 07:49 PM
 
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You know I think I actually agree with you almost completely.  My only change is that a woman should have the right to her baby PERIOD.  Married or no.  If a man WANTS paternal rights then by all means he should take them on if the mother is willing.  If she's not willing, then he can pay to fight to get them if they're important to him.  I definitely think fathers can be terrific and are important to a children's life but really who cares for the child those first several years?  THE MOM.  There are plenty of states that will force you to coparent with abusive and/or dangerous partners because you are married to them and had the unlucky coincidence to get pregnant before being able to get rid of them.  I'm sure that's not going to come off how it sounds in my head but here's to hoping!

 

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"Pre-existing commitment occurs when they HAVE SEX.  Period. "

 

That is how things stand now. I would like to see this change. Sex is not the equivalent of marriage of domestic partnership, and trying to make it so by assigning paternity and creating a host of unwanted custodial and financial rights between a woman, her baby, and a guy she had sex with 9 months before does not serve the interests of anybody involved. 

 

The question of whether a single man should be able to insist on paternal rights when a former sex partner has a child? To me, while I can empathize with men who want paternal rights in that situation, it comes right back to the disproportionate involvement issue. He didn't carry that baby. His spouse didn't carry that baby. I think that an important paternal relationship can be formed over time, but I don't think that any kind of important relationship exists at birth between a woman's baby and her ex. The state doesn't have a sufficiently compelling interest in creating that relationship. The amount of money we spend supporting the children of single moms with deadbeat exes who need help is not so much that we should extend the power of the state to create fictive families. I mean, seriously, a woman can choose for the baby not to be born at all, but can't choose that he'll be born to her and her alone? That makes no sense to me. The person with the uterus is the person who needs to be driving the bus in the absence of a formal legal agreement with another bus driver. 

 

S_S_M, you keep framing parental rights as a burden that two people MUST share, or else the mother is somehow punished. I regard it as a privilege that two people CAN share, but shouldn't always. One particular case where paternal rights should not be handed out is when one is dealing with a man who is sufficiently craven as to attempt to avoid them. The $$ that you might get out of such a person is not worth the downside of having such a person potentially take on an important role in your child's life. 

 

My message to all: Want to have the legal right to coparent? Get married. Want to have the legal right to demand support from a coparent? Get married. Coparenting agreements often arise between unmarried persons and work out very well. I'm all for them. But I'm not interested in having my government force unwilling parties into them, because I don't think that sex should be a legally enforceable commitment in any way. It's not a commitment to have a baby. It's not a commitment to raise a baby. It should sure as heck not be a commitment to pay child support for a baby that somebody else decided to have and raise. 



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#103 of 190 Old 02-06-2011, 08:14 PM
 
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You know I think I actually agree with you almost completely.  My only change is that a woman should have the right to her baby PERIOD.  Married or no.  If a man WANTS paternal rights then by all means he should take them on if the mother is willing.  If she's not willing, then he can pay to fight to get them if they're important to him.  I definitely think fathers can be terrific and are important to a children's life but really who cares for the child those first several years?  THE MOM.  There are plenty of states that will force you to coparent with abusive and/or dangerous partners because you are married to them and had the unlucky coincidence to get pregnant before being able to get rid of them.  I'm sure that's not going to come off how it sounds in my head but here's to hoping!

 


 

 

Fathers don't 'want' parental rights, they HAVE parental rights. It's part of being a parent and is automatic the moment a child is born (IMO parental rights of a father begin before a baby is born but that's another thread). DH and I BOTH care for our children during their first years of life as well as thereafter, it's not just 'the mom'. A mother should not 'be willing' to 'share' 'her' baby. It is not just the mother's baby, the baby has two parents. Except in circumstances where one or both parents are abusive or otherwise unfit to parent both parents have rights to parent their child.

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#104 of 190 Old 02-06-2011, 09:57 PM
 
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And that is a fundamental difference upon which we are going to disagree.  I don't think ejaculating 10 months prior makes a father or should entitle a man to rights or override those who deserve them more.  It is the WOMAN who cares for the child 90% of the time, it is the WOMAN who feeds the child of her own body, it is the WOMAN who carries the child and gives it sustenance to grow, it is the WOMAN who decides whether or not to carry the child to term, and it is the WOMAN putting her life at risk to carry and birth said child.  IMO, that makes the child the mother's.  PERIOD.  If sperm donor wants to be dad - great, sign the birth certificate if mom agrees.  If she doesn't then if he truly wants to be a father he'll make the effort and fight for those rights and have them granted because he deserves them NOT because he didn't know how to keep it to himself one night when he got to horny.

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I move we make a cultural shift in language from 'Keep it in his pants' to something else....

 

'Keep it to himself' maybe? I feel like 'Keep it in the pants' is inherently sex-negative. It need not stay in his pants, just out of the ("wrong") vagina. 

 

And knowing me, I'd get pregnant through someone's pants anyway.

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I move we make a cultural shift in language from 'Keep it in his pants' to something else....

 

'Keep it to himself' maybe? I feel like 'Keep it in the pants' is inherently sex-negative. It need not stay in his pants, just out of the ("wrong") vagina. 

 

And knowing me, I'd get pregnant through someone's pants anyway.



ROFLMAO!  You're very right!  I'll edit my post to reflect that change.  :)  It's been a rough night here at home so I was a little short in my wording.  :)

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#107 of 190 Old 02-07-2011, 04:31 AM
 
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"My only change is that a woman should have the right to her baby PERIOD.  Married or no."

 

I feel like I handed over paternal rights to my children when I married. In fact, being the mother/father to each other's children was specifically in the wedding vows. If I had conceived through donor insemination, my kids would still be by husband's kids as well. We are a family. 

 

Courts are actually pretty good about recognizing this (i.e., men can usually retain rights to kids who have a different sperm donor as long as they were married to the mom at time time of birth and have played the "Dad" role ever since). We're starting to realize that past bad behavior on the part of the woman (adultery) doesn't negate the father-child relationship between her husband and their kids. It's progress. 

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Look, we're talking in circles. You see a massively unfair double standard in the way I'd like things to be handled, and I see a massive double standard in the way things are handled now. We're not going to agree, but that doesn't make either of us a sexist. 



Whats the current double standard?  I didn't say YOU are sexist, I said that what you want to do is sexist.  The double standard that you want to impose legally is very sexist, and you have yet to say anything that even remotely shows anything else.



The current double standard, as I see it, is that the woman can opt out of parenting (through abortion whether or not the man agrees or placing the baby for adoption, if the man agrees), but the man has no means to opt out of parenting if the woman chooses to keep and raise the baby.  He can't force her to get an abortion, and he can't force her to place the baby for adoption. I know there was a court case about this the so-called "male abortion" (able to voluntarily terminate parental rights prior to the birth and have no further responsibility to the child), where someone argued this.  He failed. 

 

So, if the man can get a "male abortion" that would equal men can have sex with impunity and who cares about the seeds they spread.

 

I think it would seriously cut down on the "casual sex".  If a woman knows that if she were to get pregnant and that the guy could opt out of being a father--both physically and fiscally--she might be choosier about with whom and when she chooses to have sex.  If single, she might consider whether or not she can afford to raise a baby without help before having sex.  She might consider whether or not her partner is a good long-term choice.

 


Uh no.  As it is, there's a TON of women having babies with convicted felons, sex offenders, physically abusive men, men who refuse to work, and worse.  Knowing that that man could walk out and not be responsible would not deter any of these women because their self esteem is so low that they don't believe they deserve to be supported to begin with. That, and no one believes that the man they love, for better or worse, would ever do that. 


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#109 of 190 Old 02-07-2011, 05:44 AM
 
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At what point, say, do you think a woman, who had a child should *not* be able to go after the "sperm donor" for child support?  This is assuming that he had NO idea about the child's existence.

 

A.  Always, even if the kid is past the age of 18 for back support--with no limit as to the age--so mom could file for her 45 year old son who has been married for 18 years and has a kid about to start college himself, to take it to the extreme.

B.  Up until the age of 18, but cannot get back support.

C.  Up until the age of 10, with back support.

D.  Up until the age of 10, no back support.

E.  Up until the age of 5, with back support.

F.  Up until the age of 5, no back support.

G.  Up until the age of 2, with back support.

H.  Up until the age of 2, no back support.

 

Also, if you choose she should be able to get back support, how far back should it go:  life of the child; a percentage of the child's life (what percentage); a set number of years (how many?). 

 

(the without back support, the date of support would be the date of filing)


My answer is custodial parent can file for support anytime until they are no longer responsible for the child - that might be 18, or it might be 26 if the child went to many years of college and the parent helped support.  No back support before the mother filed the suit seeking support, but if it's filed in year one, and the court grants her support in year five, she ought to get support from years one to five, not start at year five. 


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#110 of 190 Old 02-07-2011, 05:55 AM
 
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Originally Posted by TheSlingMama View Post


You know I think I actually agree with you almost completely.  My only change is that a woman should have the right to her baby PERIOD.  Married or no.  If a man WANTS paternal rights then by all means he should take them on if the mother is willing.  If she's not willing, then he can pay to fight to get them if they're important to him.  I definitely think fathers can be terrific and are important to a children's life but really who cares for the child those first several years?  THE MOM.  There are plenty of states that will force you to coparent with abusive and/or dangerous partners because you are married to them and had the unlucky coincidence to get pregnant before being able to get rid of them.  I'm sure that's not going to come off how it sounds in my head but here's to hoping!

 

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"Pre-existing commitment occurs when they HAVE SEX.  Period. "

 

That is how things stand now. I would like to see this change. Sex is not the equivalent of marriage of domestic partnership, and trying to make it so by assigning paternity and creating a host of unwanted custodial and financial rights between a woman, her baby, and a guy she had sex with 9 months before does not serve the interests of anybody involved. 

 

The question of whether a single man should be able to insist on paternal rights when a former sex partner has a child? To me, while I can empathize with men who want paternal rights in that situation, it comes right back to the disproportionate involvement issue. He didn't carry that baby. His spouse didn't carry that baby. I think that an important paternal relationship can be formed over time, but I don't think that any kind of important relationship exists at birth between a woman's baby and her ex. The state doesn't have a sufficiently compelling interest in creating that relationship. The amount of money we spend supporting the children of single moms with deadbeat exes who need help is not so much that we should extend the power of the state to create fictive families. I mean, seriously, a woman can choose for the baby not to be born at all, but can't choose that he'll be born to her and her alone? That makes no sense to me. The person with the uterus is the person who needs to be driving the bus in the absence of a formal legal agreement with another bus driver. 

 

S_S_M, you keep framing parental rights as a burden that two people MUST share, or else the mother is somehow punished. I regard it as a privilege that two people CAN share, but shouldn't always. One particular case where paternal rights should not be handed out is when one is dealing with a man who is sufficiently craven as to attempt to avoid them. The $$ that you might get out of such a person is not worth the downside of having such a person potentially take on an important role in your child's life. 

 

My message to all: Want to have the legal right to coparent? Get married. Want to have the legal right to demand support from a coparent? Get married. Coparenting agreements often arise between unmarried persons and work out very well. I'm all for them. But I'm not interested in having my government force unwilling parties into them, because I don't think that sex should be a legally enforceable commitment in any way. It's not a commitment to have a baby. It's not a commitment to raise a baby. It should sure as heck not be a commitment to pay child support for a baby that somebody else decided to have and raise. 


 

So what happens if a woman is in a committed relationship with a man, and during the WANTED PLANNED pregnancy decides she is not in love with the father and wants to split up/divorce.  She decides it ought to be a clean break and doesn't want him in the child's life even though he is not abusive in any way and wanted to be a father.  In that case, father gets no rights and it's all up to the mother.  That makes no sense at all.  

 

I also wish you guys could see the awful impact on the children.  Kids want to know who their father is.  ALL KIDS WANT THAT.  To put all the power in the hands of the woman in such cases would be cutting all men out of the picture regardless of whether it was deserved. How is that good? How is that beneficial for anyone?  
 


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"And that is a fundamental difference upon which we are going to disagree.  I don't think ejaculating 10 months prior makes a father or should entitle a man to rights or override those who deserve them more.  It is the WOMAN who cares for the child 90% of the time, it is the WOMAN who feeds the child of her own body, it is the WOMAN who carries the child and gives it sustenance to grow, it is the WOMAN who decides whether or not to carry the child to term, and it is the WOMAN putting her life at risk to carry and birth said child.  IMO, that makes the child the mother's.  PERIOD.  If sperm donor wants to be dad - great, sign the birth certificate if mom agrees.  If she doesn't then if he truly wants to be a father he'll make the effort and fight for those rights and have them granted because he deserves them NOT because he didn't know how to keep it to himself one night when he got to horny." 

 

Wow - I'm really uncomfortable with your description because it sure sounds like you think the Mom "owns" the child.   Instead, I feel the child has a right to two parents.

 

Also, using your logic, if a Dad has to prove he "deserves" the child, why should the Mom, just by bearing the baby, avoid that burden?  Why shouldn't they both have to prove they "deserve" to be a parent?

 

What about poor, indigent, or fathers who are uneducated/unable to work the system?  Proving you deserve rights is an expensive, time-consuming proposition.

 

Ironically enough, I caught the end of the movie "Evelyn" on TV last night...rather appropriate to this discussion.

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#112 of 190 Old 02-07-2011, 07:06 AM
 
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I can't invest the time to read all the responses, but I think this is a very interesting dilemma/discussion that I wish I'd read sooner.

 

OP, from what little I've seen, you've gotten a lot of flack from people who feel defensive of the mother/child and who seem to think your fiance is a monster, for wanting to terminate his parental rights.  But this is what I hear in your posts (the ones I've read), and it doesn't sound so monstrous, to me:

 

>> He feels tricked and trapped, because he intentionally and responsibly chose not to have a baby with her, since neither of them were financially capable of providing for one; he believed they had taken precautions to ensure there was no pregnancy; and, given her trash-talk, he suspects she lied to him and intentionally sabotaged contraception - even before they broke up, when he still trusted her and felt/was intimate with her - all as part of her stated plan to "ruin his life".  

And YOU feel cheated because none of this was part of the picture when you fell for him; and rather than the child being a secret he kept from you (in which case, you might say, "I guess I didn't know him as well as I thought I did!" and break up), the child seems like part of an outsider's plot to hurt your fiance (in fact, the mother has said as much).  You and he have a plan to become more financially stable, together (perhaps be able to start your own family) and this definitely threatens that plan.  It's not that you resent the child herself, but all the adult circumstances surrounding the child seem very unfair and you feel scared about what your/finace's life will be like if he starts paying support, when it already seems pretty hand-to-mouth, as it is.

 

Well, as you've presented them, these circumstances ARE unfair and your/your fiance's feelings are understandable.  Even members who feel duty-bound to defend all other moms should be able to take a minute to acknowledge the frustration of the situation you - also a fellow woman - and the man you love find yourselves in!

 

That said, of course, as adults, you guys are saddled with the obligation to rise above your feelings and try to do what's right in the situation you have, even when it's not what you feel you deserve.  

 

>>  But, in thinking of terminating his parental rights, your fiance is hoping to do right by the child, not just selfishly avoid child support.  The mother is devoted to "ruining his life"; has taken the child to live in the furthest point in the country from the father; the father cannot afford to visit there, nor fly the child to FL for visits; and the mother is clearly unmotivated to facilitate contact between father and child, when she's in FL.  So, there is no father-child relationship, right now, to be lost/mourned; developing such a relationship would be extremely difficult; and you can reasonably expect the mom to sabotage any efforts he does make.  In your fiances's mind, the best answer is for mom's new fiance to adopt the child and become "Daddy" and for the child to live unburdened by the confusion of having a 2nd father-figure, whom she rarely sees, and about whom her mother tells her terrible things.  Financially, if your fiance "struggles just to feed himself", then the amount of child support he would be ordered to pay will not substantially change the child's circumstances, anyway.  After all, you can't force blood from a turnip.  In these particular, unique circumstances, the peace and consistency of the child having an intact, uncomplicated family (via adoption by the new fiance) might be well worth the loss of the minimal financial contribution by the OP's fiance.

 

When a mother gives up a baby for adoption, we don't say nasty things about her looking for someone else to shoulder her financial responsibility.  We praise the selflessness of her forgoing the personal gratification of a relationship with her child, because she admits that someone else could do a better job of parenting him/her.  We acknowledge that she's putting the child first.  It sounds to me like this is what the OP and her fiance would like to do.

 

But your fiance's solution is only best if the mom's fiance actually adopts the child, and if the mom never tells the child, "Your real dad lives in FL, but he doesn't care about you."  Even if your fiance could voluntarily sign away his parental rights, it still would not ensure either of these things.  In fact, given the mom's hostility, it is almost certain she will tell the child negative things about your fiance.  In that case, the best thing for the poor child is to have whatever contact your fiance can get with her, so he has a chance to tell her he loves her; to tell her he's doing everything he can to get access to her - both in person and over the phone - and that he does send her mom money to help take care of her.  Hearing these things from him will help combat the opposite information she will hear from her mom.  Since the child will spend more time with her mom - and since her mom sounds unstable - she may be inclined to side with her mom.  But at least there will be a question in her mind, when she hears, "Your dad doesn't love you.  He doesn't want to see you.  He's a deadbeat."

 

Surely you understand:  Now that the child exists, despite understandable resentment your fiance has about the circumstances - and despite his reasonable ideas about keeping himself (and the conflict btwn. him and the mom) out of the picture...the FIRST priority must be what's best for the child.  That is why the court won't let him walk away.  All the deception and selfishness in the world, on the mom's part, don't change the fact that a child exists and needs support, so legally mom's jerkiness and the unfairness to dad are rendered irrelevant.  If the child isn't adopted by another man, it's in her best interest to have whatever support both parents can provide, not just one.  

 

Fair or unfair, as adults, this is what you and your fiance must accept and plan for.      

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#113 of 190 Old 02-07-2011, 07:07 AM
 
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I saw some discussion of you and your fiance being interested in primary custody; and someone responding that you would then become "some random mother's tormentor".  Well, I am another mother's tormentor.  Her child lives with me most of the year and she hates it.  And I assure you, there were very good reasons for it and it was - and is - the healthiest thing for the child.  Do I feel sorry for his mom?  Quite a bit.  But she made the choices that led to this, and being the female parent does not entitle her to do whatever she wants and keep custody.  

 

We don't know all your circumstances; and the vengeful, sabotaging behavior you've described toward your fiance might translate into worrisome parenting behavior, too.  Especially if the very creation of the childwas part of a calculated distortion campaign against a man the mom wants to hurt.  So, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume there are reasons you guys are interested in custody aside from reversing the flow of child support, or hurting the mom like she has hurt you.

 

But you must be consistent:  

 

>> The younger a child is, the more traumatic it is to be separated from Mommy.  Especially when the separation is over thousands of miles and neither parent is made of money, for cross-country visits.  ESPECIALLY when the child has had little contact with the Daddy she might go live with.  (I'm not saying separation from Daddy is trivial!  Check my posting history.  I am the LAST woman in the world who would say that!  But even I recognize there's a different tie to Mommy, the more recently a kid emerged from her body.  That's inarguable biology.)

 

>> So, if you're considering fighting to take a young child from her Mommy, there needs to be a damn good reason.  There ARE good enough reasons.  But the fact that Daddy wants more access to her and he can't/doesn't want to move closer to her, is not a good enough reason, on its own.  Put differently, the reason MUST be about what's best for the child and not about what's best for the Dad.  (Or the Mom.)

 

>> If there IS a good reason for you guys to consider fighting to take this child from her Mommy, in WA, and move her to FL, with you...then you cannot justify trying to terminate your fiance's parental rights; and you probably can't justify waiting until your finances change.  If she is dangerous/unstable/mentally unhealthy/drug-addicted enough that it's SO BAD for the child to be raised by her, that the child should instead live AT THE OPPOSITE END OF THE COUNTRY from her...then your fiance cannot abandon this defenseless child to her and whatever guy is crazy enough to marry her.  And, arguably, he needs to figure out how to provide for her and fight for her NOW and not whenever he feels more ready, by which time the child might be endangered somehow.

 

>>  If you read the last paragraph and said, "But..." then you really need to re-think.  Would getting custody be for you guys, or would it be for the child?  Even if the mom's not great, even if you and your fiance are better than she is, is she REALLY bad enough to warrant how devastated a one- two- or three-year-old child will be, if taken away from her?

 

Unlike some, I don't fault you guys for thinking about it!  Just because babies typically need their mommies with a different intensity than they need their daddies, men can still love - and crave daily contact with - their babies just as much as women do.  Fathers often want custody just as much as mothers want it.  I prefer seeing a father who considers fighting for custody, than a father who's content to be a weekend or summer dad.  The motivation is not always just to hurt the mother or save money, although nearly every father who wants custody is accused of that.

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#114 of 190 Old 02-07-2011, 07:40 AM
 
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Unlike some, I don't fault you guys for thinking about it!  Just because babies typically need their mommies with a different intensity than they need their daddies, men can still love - and crave daily contact with - their babies just as much as women do.  Fathers often want custody just as much as mothers want it.  I prefer seeing a father who considers fighting for custody, than a father who's content to be a weekend or summer dad.  The motivation is not always just to hurt the mother or save money, although nearly every father who wants custody is accused of that.


I agree that fathers should care enough to fight for custody, when it is in the best interest of the child.  For that to happen, when the mother has had custody for a long period of time, is pretty darn rare (and I agree with you that your husbands situation is one of those rare times).  I would take a stab and say that MOST men who seek custody are doing so to save money (although I'm pretty sure being the custodial parent is more expensive than being the non-custodial parent even when the non-custodial parent is required to pay cs) or are trying to regain "control" of the situation.

 

I think its even better, when BOTH parties understand what is best for the child, and find a way to be content with that reality.  If the child is best off with the mother, and seeing the dad once per week and EOW - its best if dad accepts that, and goes with it.  It is traumatic for children and parents when children and parents are constantly fighting over them. 

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#115 of 190 Old 02-07-2011, 07:47 AM
 
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There is a fine line though. According to the American Psychological Association 70% of men who contest custody and fight for sole custody (not joint) are doing so to get back at the mother and/or avoid having to pay more child support. " Recent studies suggest that an abusive man is more likely than a nonviolent father to seek sole physical custody of his children and may be just as likely (or even more likely) to be awarded custody as the mother. Often fathers win physical custody because men generally have greater financial resources and can continue the court battles with more legal assistance over a longer period of time."  

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#116 of 190 Old 02-07-2011, 07:54 AM
 
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I can't help but wonder how the last five pages have helped OP at all, given that she hasn't posted since page 1.

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#117 of 190 Old 02-07-2011, 08:19 AM
 
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You know I think I actually agree with you almost completely.  My only change is that a woman should have the right to her baby PERIOD.  Married or no.  If a man WANTS paternal rights then by all means he should take them on if the mother is willing.  If she's not willing, then he can pay to fight to get them if they're important to him.  I definitely think fathers can be terrific and are important to a children's life but really who cares for the child those first several years?  THE MOM.  There are plenty of states that will force you to coparent with abusive and/or dangerous partners because you are married to them and had the unlucky coincidence to get pregnant before being able to get rid of them.  I'm sure that's not going to come off how it sounds in my head but here's to hoping!

 

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"Pre-existing commitment occurs when they HAVE SEX.  Period. "

 

That is how things stand now. I would like to see this change. Sex is not the equivalent of marriage of domestic partnership, and trying to make it so by assigning paternity and creating a host of unwanted custodial and financial rights between a woman, her baby, and a guy she had sex with 9 months before does not serve the interests of anybody involved. 

 

The question of whether a single man should be able to insist on paternal rights when a former sex partner has a child? To me, while I can empathize with men who want paternal rights in that situation, it comes right back to the disproportionate involvement issue. He didn't carry that baby. His spouse didn't carry that baby. I think that an important paternal relationship can be formed over time, but I don't think that any kind of important relationship exists at birth between a woman's baby and her ex. The state doesn't have a sufficiently compelling interest in creating that relationship. The amount of money we spend supporting the children of single moms with deadbeat exes who need help is not so much that we should extend the power of the state to create fictive families. I mean, seriously, a woman can choose for the baby not to be born at all, but can't choose that he'll be born to her and her alone? That makes no sense to me. The person with the uterus is the person who needs to be driving the bus in the absence of a formal legal agreement with another bus driver. 

 

S_S_M, you keep framing parental rights as a burden that two people MUST share, or else the mother is somehow punished. I regard it as a privilege that two people CAN share, but shouldn't always. One particular case where paternal rights should not be handed out is when one is dealing with a man who is sufficiently craven as to attempt to avoid them. The $$ that you might get out of such a person is not worth the downside of having such a person potentially take on an important role in your child's life. 

 

My message to all: Want to have the legal right to coparent? Get married. Want to have the legal right to demand support from a coparent? Get married. Coparenting agreements often arise between unmarried persons and work out very well. I'm all for them. But I'm not interested in having my government force unwilling parties into them, because I don't think that sex should be a legally enforceable commitment in any way. It's not a commitment to have a baby. It's not a commitment to raise a baby. It should sure as heck not be a commitment to pay child support for a baby that somebody else decided to have and raise. 


 

So what happens if a woman is in a committed relationship with a man, and during the WANTED PLANNED pregnancy decides she is not in love with the father and wants to split up/divorce.  She decides it ought to be a clean break and doesn't want him in the child's life even though he is not abusive in any way and wanted to be a father.  In that case, father gets no rights and it's all up to the mother.  That makes no sense at all.  

 

I also wish you guys could see the awful impact on the children.  Kids want to know who their father is.  ALL KIDS WANT THAT.  To put all the power in the hands of the woman in such cases would be cutting all men out of the picture regardless of whether it was deserved. How is that good? How is that beneficial for anyone?  
 


He would then have to fight for his rights if he was any sort of father at all as I've already explained.  I wish you could see the awful impact forcing mothers to interact with sperm donors has on children. 

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#118 of 190 Old 02-07-2011, 08:43 AM
 
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He would then have to fight for his rights if he was any sort of father at all as I've already explained.  I wish you could see the awful impact forcing mothers to interact with sperm donors has on children. 


If a man doesn't want a child with a particular woman, he should not engage in sexual intercourse with her.

 

If a woman doesn't want a child with a particular man, she should not engage in sexual intercourse with him.

 

And, if a man is fighting for parental rights, even a year after the child was born, I'm going to go out on a limb and say he cares - people don't go to court and go to all the trouble of getting visitation ordered, and paying child support unless they actually want a relationship.

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#119 of 190 Old 02-07-2011, 09:02 AM
 
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Sounds like babydaddy and his ex are both peaches eyesroll.gif     I don't have any advice to offer except to agree with whomever upthread said the best thing would be for you to run, quickly, from this guy.
 


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#120 of 190 Old 02-07-2011, 09:40 AM
 
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I am SO offended at the notion, repeated over and over in this thread, that men are simply "sperm donors." This is such an awful generalization of all men based on the worst of them. There are so many wonderful men who want to parent their children, even the ones who weren't planned and even the ones they didn't initially want. There are TONS of women who were surprised by a pregnancy, who would classify their pregnancy as "unwanted," who ultimately decide to keep and raise their babies... I don't understand how men having those same feelings at some point during a pregnancy somehow makes them worthless and disposable.

 

My husband wanted his daughter the moment he knew she existed. He wanted her when her mother did not. He has been a father to her since well before she was born and has loved and cared for her always. But he wasn't married to her mother, and I am just so shocked that anyone could possibly see him as disposable, that when his ex decided she wanted out of their adult relationship and walked away with the baby one day that anyone thinks he should have just let her go and just sent a check to the state every month to deliver to an address that his ex refused to disclose. That he has somehow harmed his daughter by searching for a mother who didn't want to be found, by insisting on a relationship with his daughter that his ex did not want... and that when he moved from one corner of the country to another and pushed for joint custody so he could raise the daughter he had loved and wanted since the moment he knew of her existence that he is somehow an awful person because his presence in their life was undesired by his ex.

 

And, sure, much of the time mothers take care of their children in the younger years. But my husband has always stayed home with our chidlren. He knows what they eat and don't eat, how they like to be put the sleep, what their favorite songs are and who prefers which flavor toothpaste. He has stopped the bleeding, bandanged the knees, comforted the injured, and supported the emotions of children far more hours in every day than I ever have for their entire childhoods. But that doesn't make him entitled to automatically raise our children if we were to split up. It doesn't mean he should, by default, get to decide if and when I could be involved in their lives. And just because I was the one blessed with the uterus doesn't mean that I should get that right by default either. We have both loved and parented the children in our own ways and we both deserve to continue parenting them, even if that looks different for each of us.

 

Generalization has it's place, but when you start judging everyone based on your own experiences or a narrow set of beliefs, it's not a reflection of the world as a whole or the experiences of the majority. It is a reflection of a small little corner of the world, and shouldn't be the basis by which every other family, person, or situation is judged.


Parenting four little monkeys (11, 8, 6, and 4) with the love of my life. Making it up as I go.
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