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Old 02-07-2011, 11:07 AM
 
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OP, you need to run run run away from this guy!  What if he fathered a baby with you?  What if this poor child in question was YOUR child that he didn't want to visit or help pay for expenses with?  Your story would be different, then.

 

You weren't there when he and her got together, you are only hearing his one-sided version.  Find someone else who is more responsible and upstanding.


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Old 02-07-2011, 11:10 AM
 
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Originally Posted by aricha View Post

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.

 

YES YES YES YES!!!!  Thanks Aricha for being so eloquent.  I also have to say that my ds was not expected, and I was the hesitant one at first.  That doesn't mean I'm not his mother, and it doesn't mean he shoudln't live with me - it also doesn't mean he shouldn't know his dad.  He and his dad have a wonderful relationship, why I as a mother and person who wants what is BEST for my child would try to destroy that? 


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.


Such a great post.  These 2 parts spoke to me more than the rest, but a good father is just as important to a child as a good mother is.  I wouldn't be who I am without my dad, and certainly not without my mother either.  I would be considerably worse off if one of them had not been present.

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Old 02-07-2011, 12:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post



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Originally Posted by aricha View Post

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.

 

YES YES YES YES!!!!  Thanks Aricha for being so eloquent.  I also have to say that my ds was not expected, and I was the hesitant one at first.  That doesn't mean I'm not his mother, and it doesn't mean he shoudln't live with me - it also doesn't mean he shouldn't know his dad.  He and his dad have a wonderful relationship, why I as a mother and person who wants what is BEST for my child would try to destroy that? 


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.


Such a great post.  These 2 parts spoke to me more than the rest, but a good father is just as important to a child as a good mother is.  I wouldn't be who I am without my dad, and certainly not without my mother either.  I would be considerably worse off if one of them had not been present.


Yes, this is what I was saying also - although not quite so artfully.



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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.

 

 

To me, this is the bottom line.  The result is that if a pregnancy occurs, the woman does have the option (in most cases) to end the pregnancy, to free the child for adoption, or to keep the child. The man doesn't have any options until the baby is born. Then he can either try to be a parent or not, but because the child exists, he is responsible to support it financially at the very least.  

 

It is true that the options are not identical, nor are they equal.  But you know what, that's the way biology works.  Men and women are not the same.  Women have to deal with the consequences of an unwanted pregnancy the same way men do, it's just that that their respective options are different.  To try to wave a magic wand to make them the same is not only fantasy, it's really disrespectful to all the people who are making co-parenting work in less than ideal circumstances. 


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Old 02-07-2011, 12:29 PM
 
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"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."

 

... is one way to run things in a society where abortion was illegal. We don't live in that society, and I don't want to. I would like all my children to be able to choose the timing and circumstances of becoming parents.

 

aricha, if your DH is on his first child's birth certificate, then there is no argument, he's the dad. She acknowledged him, and she was 100% wrong to attempt to walk away with his baby. But no, I don't believe that his ex should have been compelled to name him (or anybody else) as the father. They were not a family. They did not have a preexisting coparenting agreement. If she wanted to walk (and give up on the idea of getting a support check) while pg or after the baby was born with no father legally identified, then that should have been her prerogative up until the moment she signed a legal document identifying your DH as the father of her child. I signed such a legal document (marriage license) about three years before my first child was born. But it really doesn't matter when you sign it.   

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Old 02-07-2011, 01:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Smithie View Post

 

"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."

 

... is one way to run things in a society where abortion was illegal. We don't live in that society, and I don't want to. I would like all my children to be able to choose the timing and circumstances of becoming parents.

 

aricha, if your DH is on his first child's birth certificate, then there is no argument, he's the dad. She acknowledged him, and she was 100% wrong to attempt to walk away with his baby. But no, I don't believe that his ex should have been compelled to name him (or anybody else) as the father. They were not a family. They did not have a preexisting coparenting agreement. If she wanted to walk (and give up on the idea of getting a support check) while pg or after the baby was born with no father legally identified, then that should have been her prerogative up until the moment she signed a legal document identifying your DH as the father of her child. I signed such a legal document (marriage license) about three years before my first child was born. But it really doesn't matter when you sign it.   

The reality is and always will be that you are stuck with the the other person you had a child with, I can't understand why you think that you should be able to have a do over when the outcome is a human being.  That has nothing to do with whether a woman has access to abortion. 

 

As for your ideas about family - sorry, but you are just wrong.  Marriage does not make a family. Do you believe that same sex couples cannot have "families" in states that do not yet permit same sex marriage? Love and intent make a family.  There are lots of reasons not to get married, I don't define family as existing only for married people.  As far as I am concerned, having sex, whether you are a man or a woman, IS A PRE-EXISTING AGREEMENT.  You both know a baby might result - if you didn't bother to figure out what you would both do if the woman becomes pregnant, that was naive or flat out dumb (many of us have done this), but it does not negate the fact that sex is the leading cause of pregnancy.  The resulting baby is ENTITLED to the support of both parents.  If one parent chooses to opt out of the hands on parenting, no one can force them, but once the decision is made to carry the baby to term, the woman has no OWNERSHIP of a human being and both parents share responsibility.  To make any rule otherwise would leave women with no option BUT abortion or caring for a child alone.  The equivalent for men is that if, and only if, the woman chooses to have the child, they can walk away but don't have to. They are NOT the same thing and not two sides of the same coin.  Choosing between abortion and lifetime poverty is a pretty horrible choice when the man just has to choose whether he wants to be responsible or not. Not to mention that you entirely ignore that children need two parents if at all possible.


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Old 02-07-2011, 01:23 PM
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I have been following this thread since it started in single parenting. Something about this post I just find offensive. I can't quite put my finger on it and I am having a hard time describing it but that is what is the single thought in my head at the moment.

Smithie at this point I feel like you are trying to be argumentative for the sake of being argumentative. The point you are trying to make is not a great one.

The idea that a woman can and SHOULD deny a willing father the right to his child because he didn't marry the mother is so wrong on so many levels. 

Radical ideas are just fine but seriously this is not radical it is offensive to a lot of people here.

Ok as I reread this I realize it sounds pretty harsh but I don't think I'll change it, I doubt I'm the only person here thinking it.

 

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Originally Posted by Smithie View Post

 

"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."

 

... is one way to run things in a society where abortion was illegal. We don't live in that society, and I don't want to. I would like all my children to be able to choose the timing and circumstances of becoming parents.

 

aricha, if your DH is on his first child's birth certificate, then there is no argument, he's the dad. She acknowledged him, and she was 100% wrong to attempt to walk away with his baby. But no, I don't believe that his ex should have been compelled to name him (or anybody else) as the father. They were not a family. They did not have a preexisting coparenting agreement. If she wanted to walk (and give up on the idea of getting a support check) while pg or after the baby was born with no father legally identified, then that should have been her prerogative up until the moment she signed a legal document identifying your DH as the father of her child. I signed such a legal document (marriage license) about three years before my first child was born. But it really doesn't matter when you sign it.   



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Old 02-07-2011, 01:26 PM
 
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I understand your position, but I disagree. "Once the decision is made to carry the baby to term..."  ... who is making that choice? Jesus? Santa? Fidel Castro? Nope, it's the mother. She has the choice, and with choice comes responsibility. 

 

 

I also disagree that children need two parents. I think a child's need for a stable and supportive family can be met in many ways - mom and dad, mom  and mom, dad and dad, mom and grandparents, dad and grandparents, etc. etc. 

 

 

And while I think that gay couples who've birthed or adopted children together are families in the ethical sense no matter what the state says, they are sure as heck not families in the full legal sense if they are denied the right to marry. Gay people, by and large, seem to agree with me on this one. 

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Old 02-07-2011, 01:27 PM
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Smithie View Post

 

"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."

 

... is one way to run things in a society where abortion was illegal. We don't live in that society, and I don't want to. I would like all my children to be able to choose the timing and circumstances of becoming parents.

 

 

Legalized abortion does not change the fact statements above.

 

When we choose to have intercourse we choose the resulting parentage should a pregnancy occur. As a member of this society you know abortion is legal. That the only one who holds the legal decision making power is the woman. Any man should therefor kn ow if he chooses to inject his sperm into a woman he potentially will be paying child support payments for the next 18 to 25 years. Its just one of the many risks of intercourse.  

 

Child Support payment are for the best interests of the child not the custodial parent.

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Old 02-07-2011, 01:32 PM
 
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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. 

 

Just to clarify:  I don't think that every time a father considers fighting for custody, he should.  If the children are very young and there's nothing terrible about their mother, then fighting for them would be an example of him putting his own desires above their needs.  If Mom works fewer hours and the kids would have to spend more time in child-care if he had custody...same thing.  Or in this case, if there's nothing terribly wrong with the mother - as a parent - the dad just despairs of ever seeing the child while she has custody, then fighting to take the child from Mom would be wrong.  It would be better for him to find some way to move to WA.

 

I just noticed some pretty nasty comments when the OP mentioned that she and the Dad had thought about fighting for full custody.  And I'm saying, I'd rather a guy care enough to consider that - even if he abandons the idea after exploring it - than for him to feel perfectly fine about only seeing the child in the summers...or not at all. 
 


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Old 02-07-2011, 01:32 PM
 
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"The idea that a woman can and SHOULD deny a willing father the right to his child because he didn't marry the mother is so wrong on so many levels..."

 

That would be wrong indeed. I didn't say SHOULD. I didn't, in my wildest radical imaginings, think SHOULD. If you are asking me what I would personally prefer in terms of my morality, I'd prefer that unmarried couples cooperate and make a coparenting agreement. But I'm not interested in having my government define sexual intercourse as a legally enforceable coparenting agreement. Because, you know, that's just not how people intend it it IRL. 

 

I'm certainly not being argumentative for the sake of being argumentative. Believe me, the argument on the other side is so inherently flawed in my view that I'm amazed anybody can hold it once they really sit down and think it through. 

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Old 02-07-2011, 01:45 PM
 
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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."  


Honestly, does no one ever question the accuracy of statistics like this, or the motivations of the groups that conduct these studies?

 

I can absolutely quote you statistics and results of studies "proving" things like women are far worse child-abusers than men, more than half of divorced women engage in parental alienation campaigns against their poor exes, courts always screw fathers, etc., etc.

 

Come on.  Every case is an individual family, individual problems.  Maybe you know a man who fought for custody JUST to spite his ex-wife.  I'm married to a man who did it out of pure love for his child.  Neither of us is going to prove anything to the other, about the OP's situation, by holding up those examples and claiming they represent "all" or "most" men, OR by quoting questionable statistics.

 

How, exactly, do you determine that THE reason a man is fighting for custody is to get back at the mother?  Please.  There is so much useless generalizing and subjectivity in psychological statistics.


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Old 02-07-2011, 01:58 PM
 
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The reality is and always will be that you are stuck with the the other person you had a child with, I can't understand why you think that you should be able to have a do over when the outcome is a human being.  

 

 

 

But the woman does get a do over. She even has control over whether the outcome is a human being. She isn't stuck with the person she had an embyo with. She even has the option of leaving the picture early on and never telling the father about it. Dad has 0 for options.

 

I think men get the short end in our legal system when these situations arise. I always have. I am not quite ready to join team Smithie and decide that the best way to solve this is to give men carte blanche to procreate without repercussions... still pondering the best answer.


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Old 02-07-2011, 02:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Smithie View Post

 

"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."

 

... is one way to run things in a society where abortion was illegal. We don't live in that society, and I don't want to. I would like all my children to be able to choose the timing and circumstances of becoming parents.

 

If people do not want to become parents THEY SHOULD NOT HAVE SEX.  That goes for BOTH the man AND the woman.  Yes, abortion is legalized, but not a single woman knows exactly how she will feel about abortion until she actually has to make that choice.  I do NOT agree with abortion being a form of birth control.

 

People CAN control and CHOOSE how and when they become parents - by staying ABSTINENT until they are ready for that 18-25 year commitment to pay child support/care for a child.  Thank god the government agrees with me.
 

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Old 02-07-2011, 02:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1stTimeMama4-4-10 View Post

   

The reality is and always will be that you are stuck with the the other person you had a child with, I can't understand why you think that you should be able to have a do over when the outcome is a human being.  

 

 

 

But the woman does get a do over. She even has control over whether the outcome is a human being. She isn't stuck with the person she had an embyo with. She even has the option of leaving the picture early on and never telling the father about it. Dad has 0 for options.

 

I think men get the short end in our legal system when these situations arise. I always have. I am not quite ready to join team Smithie and decide that the best way to solve this is to give men carte blanche to procreate without repercussions... still pondering the best answer.


If the woman just plain runs and doesn't even tell dad, well, that really sucks.  That is NOT the situation most of the time - and after baby is born, he can sue for paternity rights!  That includes visitation and having the opportunity to see the child!! 

 

I don't think the fact that abortion is legalized is a good reason to grant men the ability to have as much sex as possible and not ever have to deal with consequences of that.  Not a good answer.

 

There is a reason that parental rights are considered FUNDAMENTAL in our country - and theres no way thats going to change anytime soon.

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How, exactly, do you determine that THE reason a man is fighting for custody is to get back at the mother?  Please.  There is so much useless generalizing and subjectivity in psychological statistics.


Eh, can't prove it in OP's case, however, the fact that her fiance wants to voluntarily terminate his rights so that he doesn't  have to pay child support (which also means he wouldn't even have the ability to go to court for custody), but in the same breath is thinking about someday, in the future, trying to get full custody....well, those 2 sentiments REALLY don't add up quite right.  And I'm not really sure if there would be any reason other than to get back at the mom, b/c a parent who is concerned about their childs well being enough to seek custody isn't going to want to cut legal paternity ties right?

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Old 02-07-2011, 03:12 PM
 
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"b/c a parent who is concerned about their childs well being enough to seek custody isn't going to want to cut legal paternity ties right?"

 

I can imagine a person being willing to become a parent of a child they've never met, especially if they think the child might be in an unstable situation, but not particularly eager to take on the check-writing sperm-donor role that the OP thinks her fiance is being lined up for. 

 

S_S_M, you keep alluding to this "sex without consequences" paradise of fornication that unmarried men would live in if they were able to disclaim paternity. What I'm trying to say is, A GUY WHO REGARDS A BABY AS A CONSEQUENCE IS A GUY THAT YOU DON'T WANT ANYWHERE WITHIN A TEN SQUARE MILES RADIUS OF YOUR KID. It's. not. worth. it. Let the loser go, and breathe a sigh of relief that whoever your child eventually calls "Daddy" will be somebody who actually aspires to the title. Children deserved to be wanted by EVERYBODY in their families. 

 

Think about the OP's fiance's ex. The state might get money of her child's bioidad eventually, and some of it might even make its way into her household. But the man she's chosen to be her life partner can't adopt her daughter. How much is she going to regret that in the years to come? Whatever small satisfaction she might get from watching her ex twist in the wind now, it's a petty thing compared to what her daughter has lost - the security of a legally recongnized two-parent household, continuity if her mom becomes seriously disabled or passes away, freedom from a bitter ongoing conflict between two bioparents on opposite coasts... I wouldn't wish any of that on my child. She probably didn't actively wish it on her child, but because she needed public assistance, the law has put the matter out of her hands. 

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Old 02-07-2011, 04:56 PM
 
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Think about the OP's fiance's ex. The state might get money of her child's bioidad eventually, and some of it might even make its way into her household. But the man she's chosen to be her life partner can't adopt her daughter. How much is she going to regret that in the years to come? Whatever small satisfaction she might get from watching her ex twist in the wind now, it's a petty thing compared to what her daughter has lost - the security of a legally recongnized two-parent household, continuity if her mom becomes seriously disabled or passes away, freedom from a bitter ongoing conflict between two bioparents on opposite coasts... I wouldn't wish any of that on my child. She probably didn't actively wish it on her child, but because she needed public assistance, the law has put the matter out of her hands. 


According to the OP, thats b/c her fiance's ex DOES NOT WANT HER NEW PARTNER TO adopt.  The OP's fiance doesn't want to pay child support, he wants to unilaterally terminate his rights, without making sure that the child has someone else to provide for them.  The CHILD deserves to be supported by the TWO people who created him.  The child would not even EXIST if the OP's fiance hadn't HAD SEX with the mother. 

 

The OP's fiance WANTS to terminate his rights - and his ex COULD agree to that so that her new partner could adopt (I believe she would need to be legally married though) but according to the OP, she refuses to agree to that.  Which is her right.  She has a right to make the FATHER of her child pay up.  Becuase the CHILD has a RIGHT to be financially supported.

 

I just wanted to add, that I don't think its a good policy to tell men and boys, "Well, if you get a girl pregnant thats HER problem b/c she shouldn't have had pre-marital sex b/c the child raising and financial responsibilities are completely her problem if she has a baby before getting married.  So, boys, go out and have sex.  It's not your problem if you get her pregnant."  Because that is EXACTLY what you are proposing to do by making it so that men who get women pregnant unless they are married.  People should be held responsible for their choices, and if they choose to have sex, well, they need to be prepared to have babies and raise them.

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Old 02-07-2011, 09:14 PM
 
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"People should be held responsible for their choices, and if they choose to have sex, well, they need to be prepared to have babies and raise them."

 

I don't accept that for my daughters, I won't accept that for my sons. 

 

Like I said, we're talking in circles here. I'm done. 

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Old 02-08-2011, 04:27 AM
 
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How, exactly, do you determine that THE reason a man is fighting for custody is to get back at the mother?  Please.  There is so much useless generalizing and subjectivity in psychological statistics.


Eh, can't prove it in OP's case, however, the fact that her fiance wants to voluntarily terminate his rights so that he doesn't  have to pay child support (which also means he wouldn't even have the ability to go to court for custody), but in the same breath is thinking about someday, in the future, trying to get full custody....well, those 2 sentiments REALLY don't add up quite right.  And I'm not really sure if there would be any reason other than to get back at the mom, b/c a parent who is concerned about their childs well being enough to seek custody isn't going to want to cut legal paternity ties right?

 Actually, your response supports my point.

 

At the risk of being repetitive, if you go back and read what she wrote, the OP tried to explain that her fiance DOES care about the best interests of his child and NOT just getting out of child support:

 

1- Thanks to the mother's choices (moving across the country; concealing her contact info.; giving the dad no notice when she and the child are going to be in town, such that he could meet the child...), so far there is no relationship with the OP's fiance that the child would be traumatized to lose.

 

2- The mother's behavior and hostility; the dad's lack of funds for attorneys (or trips to WA); and the distance would all make it extremely difficult for the OP's fiance to form a relationship with the child.

 

3- However, there IS a father-figure in the picture for this child:  the mother's fiance.

 

4- If the mother's fiance would adopt the child, and no one ever told the child about the OP, it could save the child a lot of heartache throughout her life.  She could have a married, loving Mommy and Daddy, instead of having to figure out how to deal with a far-away Dad telling her he loves her and wishes he could see her more and do more for her, but he can't afford to; while the Mom and Step-Dad she lives with are telling her Dad never wanted her, doesn't care about seeing her and is a deadbeat.

 

5- When the OP talked about how financially strapped her fiance is, everyone jumped on the idea that he doesn't want to share what money he has with this child.  Well of course it's scary if you can barely figure out how to keep the roof over your head, to contemplate a new financial obligation.  But the other significant point that seems to have been glossed over is, if he has no money, he can't be made to pay very much in C/S, so his help is not going to make a big dent, to a child whose mother is already on public assistance and living with her parents.  

 

I.e., the little bit of C/S he'll wind up paying arguably does not warrant the heartache the child will suffer, knowing about the OP's fiance, if she could instead be adopted by the mom's fiance.

 

When mothers admit they're not ready to raise a child and give it up for adoption to someone who IS, it's selfless.  Well, from what she wrote, the OP's fiance is looking at his situation the exact same way.  He believes it would be better for his child if his ex's fiance were allowed to be Dad and he (admittedly, foolishly) hopes giving up his parental rights would facilitate that.  But because he's the father, you and other members assume it's selfish and only about the money.

 

When the OP posted again, trying to defend herself/her fiance, she mentioned that the two of them had talked about seeking custody.  She said this to show that he DOES care about the child and WOULD like to be part of her life.  But in her 1st post, she made it clear her fiance had decided to give up his parental rights, if he could; making room for the stepfather to adopt his child.  So, seeking custody was something he thought about and rejected.  Besides, you have kids, right?  Do you think RAISING them is CHEAPER than paying child support???  I sure don't.

 

But again, he's the father.  So, he doesn't deserve the benefit of the doubt.  You don't think, "He learned he had a child, wanted a relationship with her, talked to his fiancee about seeking custody, but decided that wouldn't be best FOR THE CHILD."  You're certain that he wanted to take on all the expenses of raising her FULL TIME (with no financial help from the mother, who's on public assistance), S-O-L-E-L-Y to save himself the expense of C/S."

 

Well, if THAT is an adequate way to conclude that this father is among the alleged 70% of custody-seekers who DON'T REALLY CARE ABOUT THEIR CHILDREN and ONLY want to get out of C/S and hurt the mother, then it IS INDEED right to be skeptical about the accuracy of those statistics!


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Old 02-08-2011, 06:30 AM
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You don't accept that your children should be responsible for their actions? Really??

 

Part of sex is babies, it's life it happens. You really don't think your kids should shoulder the responsibility that comes with sex?  Wouldn't it be nice if we could 

all just be careless and not have to worry about what can happen after sex. Unfortunately we live in the world where sex leads to babies, it happens, complaining that we don't want our kids to be responsible for sex isn't going to teach them how to be responsible. I just envision a teenage boy who takes your message to heart and gets his girlfriend pregnant then says "well I don't accept that it is my responsibility because I shouldn't have to be held accountable!!" Great message for our kids.eyesroll.gifQuote:


Originally Posted by Smithie View Post

 

"People should be held responsible for their choices, and if they choose to have sex, well, they need to be prepared to have babies and raise them."

 

I don't accept that for my daughters, I won't accept that for my sons. 

 

Like I said, we're talking in circles here. I'm done. 



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Old 02-08-2011, 06:52 AM
 
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"You really don't think your kids should shoulder the responsibility that comes with sex?"

 

There are lots of responsibilities that come with sex. Forced birth is not, thank God, one of them. Nobody can force my daughters to parent an unwanted baby. I'm very, very grateful that of ALL the possible bad outcomes inherent in having sex, becoming a parent is not one that they have to accept (even if they didn't want to terminate, they could place a baby for adoption). I wish that my sons had the same right to choose their path if an unplanned pregnancy happened. 

 

So, no, I do not think my kids or your kids or anybody else should have to "shoulder" your idea of the responsibilities that come with sex. Forcing people into parenthood is bad ethics, bad public policy and a massive disservice to the children raised in such a situation. 

 

(I'm not very good at walking away from threads smile.gif)

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Old 02-08-2011, 07:30 AM
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The more I read this thread and really think about it, the more I find myself agreeing with Smithie's position. In theory.

 

In practice, I don't think it would work any better than the current system. Someone will always be getting the shaft.

 

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Old 02-08-2011, 07:44 AM
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No one is forcing anyone into parenting. Don't have sex. End of story.

No one is forcing people to have sex. Sex makes babies, that is what it is supposed to do. Unfortunately men are stuck with whatever the woman chooses and I agree Smithie that is unfair. It isn't going to change and I don't think it should. Life is unfair. I don't think a woman's choices are exactly peachy. Keeping the baby, abortion, adoption. Those aren't great either but it is life. Don't have sex end of story. I am not a pro abstinence only person because we all know it doesn't really work like that but seriously. Boohoo to boys if they get a girl pregnant. It happens and if she wants to keep said baby thats too bad. I guess I don't find myself very sympathetic to the argument you are trying to make, although I do see the reasoning behind it and the lack of fairness. If only life was fair.

I don't even know if what I said makes sense. I guess I just don't care that a man feels like he has no control over what happens when he gets a girl pregnant. It happened. Deal with it like a grownup whether they like it or not.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Smithie View Post

 

"You really don't think your kids should shoulder the responsibility that comes with sex?"

 

There are lots of responsibilities that come with sex. Forced birth is not, thank God, one of them. Nobody can force my daughters to parent an unwanted baby. I'm very, very grateful that of ALL the possible bad outcomes inherent in having sex, becoming a parent is not one that they have to accept (even if they didn't want to terminate, they could place a baby for adoption). I wish that my sons had the same right to choose their path if an unplanned pregnancy happened. 

 

So, no, I do not think my kids or your kids or anybody else should have to "shoulder" your idea of the responsibilities that come with sex. Forcing people into parenthood is bad ethics, bad public policy and a massive disservice to the children raised in such a situation. 

 

(I'm not very good at walking away from threads smile.gif)



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Old 02-08-2011, 08:36 AM
 
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Well i read this whole thread (and i have to say, i KNEW when i read the OP it must have gone pretty off topic to be such a big thread! =o).

 

I am surprised to read that by Smithie's standards i don't have a family (i am personally opposed to marriage).  I really thought i did!  :lol

 

I have 2 kids, one with XP, one with DP.

 

You know what?  The DAY XP ejaculated he really might have fit the "deadbeat" label.  He was a neglectful partner, he was very unhelpful and not at all supportive in many ways through the pregnancy, birth and early days.  I left him when DD was 4months old (having split from him and slept in a different room while hunting for a new place since she was 8 weeks).

 

When i left him he was: smoking pot often, not earning, not helping with caring for the baby unless forced, not assisting me at night, not interested in supporting me emotionally.  He was on the birth certificate.  To me (and him as it happens) the Birth Certificate is a record of the facts surrounding the child's context in the world.  It is for the child and for the state.  it is not for mummy and daddy to use as a weapon, get out of, abuse or misuse.  It doesn't matter to me if a perfectly nice A. N. Other wants to raise the baby.  The child deserves to be able to see the documented truth of their existence.  Thus XP, her biological father, was listed as her father.

 

DD is 4.5 now.  and XP is: no longer smoking pot, not earning (hey, recession!  but WAS earning and still now pays 300% of his ordered support given his income), excited about his twice weekly overnight/full days and the other day when we meet up for him to have additional access (he sees her 5x week minimum), a loving caring involved father, a very supportive co-parent and very loving and beloved influence in both her life and the life of her sister, DP's DD.

 

DP has taken on the financial, emotional, mental and parental responsibility of DD1 too.  They both act and regard one another as her fathers.  In december they took her, together and without me, to the pantomime together.  It makes me really really sad to think that i could have looked at the snapshot of how XP acted when he was still in the shock of becoming a parent (DD1 was an NFP mishap) and decided from that moment on he was worthless to her and us and ditched him.  CERTAINLY he was not the right partner FOR ME.  But to extend that to mean he was so worthless he shouldn't be allowed to be a father to his child is, just, horrible.  Being a parent has been the making of me, the best thing that ever happened.  Some of the hardest and most rewarding work of my life.  It is the same for him.  Was he excited about it?  Did he make the "right noises" about it at the start?  No.  Did he have to be forced to spend time with her initially?  Yes.  But you know, when DD was 4 days old i shouted i was going to chuck her out the window at her during the 5th hour of screaming (she is HN!).  It saddens me to think one could have taken that tiny glimpse of someone struggling desperately to cope with parenthood when it was all new and a massive challenge and just me unfit to love and raise my DD.

 

People grow and change.  People develop skills and find enthusiasms within themselves they never knew existed.  People who might have only "ejaculated" end up being fantastic fathers.  I know because i have witnessed it myself.

 

To me conception can never be "fair".  Men can't give birth and women can't walk away from a pregnancy.  Men cannot submit to an abortion, they should not be allowed to force another person to do so.  Of course it's not fair - how can it be?  Spending time and energy trying to make it fair for the parents seems so pointless when we could be making sure it's fair for the CHILD.  Do children ALWAYS benefit when a father is judged to be worthless and expelled from their life?  No.  Nor would they if we did the same with mothers.

 

Parenting and parenthood are messy messy things.  We do not own our children, our children own US.

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Old 02-08-2011, 08:43 AM
 
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"In practice, I don't think it would work any better than the current system. Someone will always be getting the shaft."

 

I really hear you on this one. Anytime we're talking about a baby on the way and two adults who can't get their act together and come up with an arrangement they can both live with, somebody is getting the shaft for sure. Mom, Dad, baby, Grandma who ends up raising baby, taxpayers who end up paying for baby, etc.

 

As a taxpayer, I feel like sharing out the job with all the other taxpayers makes the burden on me, individually, very light, and that I'm getting something out of the deal if baby is given the kind of childhood that tends to produce good citizens. But all of the money in the world (and I sure do wish more of our government's money was spent on kids in need!) isn't worth much if the quality parenting isn't there. Over THAT aspect, we've just got no control.

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Old 02-08-2011, 08:51 AM
 
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Bec, I'm glad things are good for you right now, but those were not choices I would have made for my child. Your choices weren't wrong - but I don't think mine would have been wrong either. 

 

And of course you have a "family" - you have two kids! But you don't have the legal rights or responsibilities of a spouse, and that's fine with me as long as you are cognizant of that and are choosing not to have them. Since you've named two different guys on two different birth certificates, your children are going to be separated if you pass away. That, above all else, is the thing that would have kept me from naming Boyfriend #1 if I knew that were were not ever going to be a family. 

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Old 02-08-2011, 10:45 AM
 
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This exactly.

 

 

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I understand your position, but I disagree. "Once the decision is made to carry the baby to term..."  ... who is making that choice? Jesus? Santa? Fidel Castro? Nope, it's the mother. She has the choice, and with choice comes responsibility. 

 

 

I also disagree that children need two parents. I think a child's need for a stable and supportive family can be met in many ways - mom and dad, mom  and mom, dad and dad, mom and grandparents, dad and grandparents, etc. etc. 

 

 

And while I think that gay couples who've birthed or adopted children together are families in the ethical sense no matter what the state says, they are sure as heck not families in the full legal sense if they are denied the right to marry. Gay people, by and large, seem to agree with me on this one. 



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Old 02-08-2011, 11:05 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Smithie View PostSince you've named two different guys on two different birth certificates, your children are going to be separated if you pass away. That, above all else, is the thing that would have kept me from naming Boyfriend #1 if I knew that were were not ever going to be a family. 


This isn't necessarily true. I have 2 children, both have the same biological father. He is no longer part of their lives, aside from retaining guardianship and sending (belated) birthday and christmas gifts. He doesn't respond to them when they email him. earlier this year, I received an application to court in the mail, where he is requesting to be excused from paying child support for the next 4 years. SO and I spoke to a lawyer about it, and it wasn't required that I respond, because XH hadn't filed it in court or served it to me (he is now several thousand in arrears)

 

During our appointment with the lawyer, SO asked about adoption. The lawyers response was that if we get XH's consent it can be done, but without it, it's unlikely at this point (he said a few more years will change the latter) The lawyer asked why SO wants to adopt, and one of the reasons is he'd want to keep the kids in the event of my death. The lawyer said that if XH (or his parents, who are quite meddlesome) tried to take the kids, court would likely rule in SO's favour to keep them, because it would be in their best interest to continue to be raised by a parent who has been involved in their daily lives and to stay in the same home/neighbourhood.

 

We've asked XH to consider allowing SO to adopt the kids, and his response was: "I have no comment at this time. I need to consult legal advice when I am able." I think he wants to confirm that he'd be free and clear of all financial obligations (actually, he'd probably ask if it could be made retro-active, so he could get some CS back!) Yet since he has guardianship, he can refuse to sign passports, and I have to run health/schooling/etc decisions past him. He hasn't seen the kids in 2 years, and spent a grand total of about an hour and a half with them in nearly two years before that!

 


~Teresa, raising DS (Jan. 02) and DD1 (Jun. 04) and DD2 (Dec. 11) with DH.

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Old 02-08-2011, 11:45 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Smithie View Post

 

"You really don't think your kids should shoulder the responsibility that comes with sex?"

 

There are lots of responsibilities that come with sex. Forced birth is not, thank God, one of them. Nobody can force my daughters to parent an unwanted baby. I'm very, very grateful that of ALL the possible bad outcomes inherent in having sex, becoming a parent is not one that they have to accept (even if they didn't want to terminate, they could place a baby for adoption). I wish that my sons had the same right to choose their path if an unplanned pregnancy happened. 

 

You do realize, that if one of your dd's decided to place a baby for adoption, the father would also be required to consent?  And if they didn't they would have the right to petition for custody, and get child support from your dd?  Of course then that would holding your dd accountable for having given birth to a child, and that would be unacceptable eyesroll.gif

 

And, as for forced birth not being a requirement, I don't know where you live, but there are states that have through regulations on abortion clinics, made it very very difficult to seek abortion services.  Are you aware of that?  That means that only affluent women are able to seek them (b/c they, or their parents, can afford to cross state lines to seek them).  So, abortion is NOT always an option for EVERY woman.  And, the father has to consent to adoption for it to be a viable option as well, and depending on state laws, if the father doesn't consent, the mother can be forced to parent.

 

Life isn't fair.  For ANYONE - not just men who are "coerced" into fatherhood.  I'm sure there are aspects of your life that aren't fair, I'm sure that your children will face one challenge or another that isn't fair.  Thats just the way life is, and there is NO way that making it so that men can just "opt out" of parenting, is going to make life any more fair.

 

Oh, and back in the 60's and 70's men COULD walk away, even if they were married when they had kids.  It was nearly impossible to enforce child support awards.  Men DID walk away, and states got sick and tired of it.  The burden on taxpayers was more than fair, b/c men were walking away from families and women were unable to support them.  So the states got sick of it and started going after men to enforce child support.  I certainly don't want to go back in time and have that become a possibility again.
 

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Old 02-08-2011, 02:03 PM
 
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I don't want men to be able to walk away from families, either. It's just that I don't think a woman they had sex with and a baby she may decide to have should meet the criteria for "family" in the legal sense of the term. 

 

Access to reproductive healthcare is an important right, and an important feminist (humanist!) issue. But it's a separate question. We should fix that. And we should fix this. 

 

"You do realize, that if one of your dd's decided to place a baby for adoption, the father (sic) would also be required to consent?  And if they didn't they would have the right to petition for custody, and get child support from your dd?"

 

Yes, I realize this, and it makes me want to vomit. I understand the current rules. I just think that they're wrongheaded and intrude inappropriately into the private lives of American citizens, all for the sake of saving a very small amount of money - or perhaps no money at all, once you add in all the costs of tracking down and enforcing and yada yada yada. 

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