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Blended and Step Family Parenting > voluntary termination of parental rights
minitruckrazy's Avatar minitruckrazy 11:45 AM 02-01-2011

I have a little bit of a situation and was wondering what to do, as well as my fiance was wondering.  It really is a nightmare for both of us.  His ex left him in April of 2009 and moved to Washington State in early June of 2009.  October rolled around and one of his friends told him that his ex was pregnant with his kid.  We had heard from various people that he was cheating on her with me (please keep in mind we met early October) and whatnot.  She was also saying that he didnt want anything to do with the baby, and she was going to destroy his life.  She had also said this to him the day she left him.  When she moved up to Washington State, it was with his best friend of 20 years (he was 22 when all this happened).  We got another phone call in February saying that his ex had the baby.  We have been told she has been down to Florida (where we live) at least 5 times since the baby was born, and was staying at a man's house for up to a month at a time, this house is less than 5 mins away.  She has been constantly telling everyone that knows him how she is going to make him pay and how horrible of a father he is that he doesnt want anything to do with his baby.  The baby will be a year old soon, and DNA has proved it is his child, however, he has no way of knowing how to get a hold of her, no one will give him any information other than after the fact that she has been in town.  She is now engaged to the man she has been staying with on and off in Florida, and is planning to move him to live with her.  She is on full government assistance, and lives with her parents.  My fiance has decided he wants to sign over his rights to this child since all efforts he has made have been dead ends, and it is obvious that she is after the money, and does not want him to be a part of the child's life.  He has decided it would be better for the child to think that the man she is going to grow up calling "daddy" be the only father the kid knows.  His ex, does not want her new fiance to adopt the baby so that my fiance will have to pay her.  Is there any advice that anyone can give us on signing over his rights in Florida.  He has been trying to straighten his life up and knows he could not support a child for a few years at the least.  He told her that, and he believes she tampered with the contraceptives in order to deliberately get pregnant.  Sorry if this is a bit piecey...but its hard to get everything down, while you have a million worries on your mind.  But he wants to know if there is a way to voluntarily give up all rights and responsibilities without the mother's permission, because he knows he will never get it.



montlake's Avatar montlake 03:33 PM 02-01-2011

Only if there is an adoption.


AttunedMama 07:11 PM 02-01-2011

It doesn't matter who tampered with birth control or not. Seriously. Why do men not know that their sperm is their responsibility?


I'm sorry, but this is so offensive. If he created the child, he can pay the support. There is no 'do-over' in baby making. It does not sound like the Mama is pursuing your partner, but he can seek visitation either way if he wants it. No matter, the child deserves financial support until grown based on actions that are not related to the mother's personal awesomeness or lack thereof.

 

Ugh.


Super~Single~Mama 07:20 PM 02-01-2011

Yeah, BC or not, he's on the hook.  However, if she goes to court for child support he will be able to counter-sue for visitation, and he will get it.

 

When a man has sex with someone, he better be certain that he wants to pay for the resulting child.  No sex is foolproof, unless the woman has had a hysterectomy, but even then, if she lies about that, the man is still on the hook.


Petronella's Avatar Petronella 07:53 PM 02-01-2011

Not trying to be rude, but I would take a step back and assess the situation before jumping into marriage with a guy you've known for 17 months and who has at least one child whom he has no interest in supporting or even seeing.  And yeah, it is very unlikely that he will be able legally to just wash his hands of this child, unless the mother's new partner pursues adoption.  Every child has the right to two legal parents. 

 

Sorry but I'm not getting this info from your OP - has the mother actually filed for child support from your fiance, or not?  Because if not, the "best" course of action (NOT the most honorable course) would be for your fiance to just lie low and hope that she leaves him alone in future.  If he doesn't want anything to do with this child, then don't contact the mother, and maybe she will drop it for now.

 

Is your fiance on the birth certificate? 


AttunedMama 08:14 PM 02-01-2011


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

Yeah, BC or not, he's on the hook.  However, if she goes to court for child support he will be able to counter-sue for visitation, and he will get it.

 

When a man has sex with someone, he better be certain that he wants to pay for the resulting child.  No sex is foolproof, unless the woman has had a hysterectomy, but even then, if she lies about that, the man is still on the hook.


Thank you, you said it better than me.

 

I hate, hate, hate the phrase 'birth control'. In my house and community I say 'Sperm Control', because all views on termination aside, that's what is really needed. The phrase 'Birth Control' places in inordinate amount of responsibility on the person who gives birth to the child that TWO parents created many months prior.

 

Again, Ugh.


One_Girl's Avatar One_Girl 10:01 PM 02-01-2011

If he wants contact with the baby he should get a good family law attorney who can track her down and get a visitation agreement set up.  If he wants no contact he still needs to pay child support unless she is willing to let him off the hook.  I would be very surprised if any court would let him off the hook for child support if she isn't willing to let him waive rights and she doesn't have someone else who is willing to adopt the baby and provide support.  If he is serious about getting some custody he can probably use her refusing to allow him visitation against her since she has refused to provide an address to him.


minitruckrazy's Avatar minitruckrazy 12:02 AM 02-02-2011

It is not that he does not want to support the child...it is not about the money so much as the situation...apparently I came across the wrong way and offended some people.  The state of Florida as well as Washington state are pursuing child support because she is on full government assistance.  The mother has stated that she will not allow anyone to adopt the child simply because she wants my fiance to pay her.  We recently found out that she is also in the middle of setting up a case to have him pay for all medical expenses from the time of conception.

 

For everyone that I have offended I apologize but I was simply looking for information, not to be thrashed.  I am not my fiance.  He is simply looking into what his options are.  And he was truly torn about this for the longest time.  He can't even afford to feed himself right now, how is he supposed to support another human being?  He knew this before, and he was taking precautions to prevent this from happening.  And I had read in another forum about a few men who were dealing with mothers like her.  My fiance and I have also talked about fighting for full custody of the child when we are financially stable.  However that information was not relevant to the question I was asking, so it was not mentioned. 

 

I did not ask for opinions only information.  I understand all of your opinions, because I myself had them as well.  But part of being an adult is simply not judging someone when you don't know them, their situation or the full story.  You do not know if they are still considering options, even though they have decided on one thing.  That is also another part of being an adult.  To consider all options, and analyze them, and figure out which one is the best option for all parties involved.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Petronella View Post

Not trying to be rude, but I would take a step back and assess the situation before jumping into marriage with a guy you've known for 17 months and who has at least one child whom he has no interest in supporting or even seeing.  And yeah, it is very unlikely that he will be able legally to just wash his hands of this child, unless the mother's new partner pursues adoption.  Every child has the right to two legal parents. 

 

Sorry but I'm not getting this info from your OP - has the mother actually filed for child support from your fiance, or not?  Because if not, the "best" course of action (NOT the most honorable course) would be for your fiance to just lie low and hope that she leaves him alone in future.  If he doesn't want anything to do with this child, then don't contact the mother, and maybe she will drop it for now.

 

Is your fiance on the birth certificate? 




Super~Single~Mama 06:01 AM 02-02-2011

I'm still with Petronella. 

 

Still, your fiance will not be required to pay all medical bills from pregnancy on.  And if the govt is seeking child support, well, they're going to get it.  It doesn't matter if he doesn't have any money.  I took a Family Law class the other day (I'm studying for the NYS bar exam) and the professor told us (probably in jest) that there is a guy in Tennessee who has 26kids and he's responsible for child support for ALL of them - some of them he has to pay 75c per month - but he still has to pay it. 

 

Again, it doesn't matter if the baby was a birth control failure - if his sperm combined with her egg to make a baby he's financially responsible.  Like I said before - it doesn't matter if she lied about having a hysterectomy - its his baby he's responsible.  It doesn't even matter if she's doing this in bad faith.

 

I also would highly doubt that you will ever get full custody of the child since your fiance has never even laid eyes on her, and instead of trying to find her so that he can have visitation he's trying to figure out how not to pay child support.

 

Anyway, if your fiance wants visitation, he can get it.  If he goes to court for child support he can sue the mother for visitation - and she will be required to give it to him.  Sorry, your fiance doesn't really have any options.  And, I also agree with Petronella that you should think long and hard about getting involved with someone who doesn't want to financially support a child. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by minitruckrazy View Post

It is not that he does not want to support the child...it is not about the money so much as the situation...apparently I came across the wrong way and offended some people.  The state of Florida as well as Washington state are pursuing child support because she is on full government assistance.  The mother has stated that she will not allow anyone to adopt the child simply because she wants my fiance to pay her.  We recently found out that she is also in the middle of setting up a case to have him pay for all medical expenses from the time of conception.

 

For everyone that I have offended I apologize but I was simply looking for information, not to be thrashed.  I am not my fiance.  He is simply looking into what his options are.  And he was truly torn about this for the longest time.  He can't even afford to feed himself right now, how is he supposed to support another human being?  He knew this before, and he was taking precautions to prevent this from happening.  And I had read in another forum about a few men who were dealing with mothers like her.  My fiance and I have also talked about fighting for full custody of the child when we are financially stable.  However that information was not relevant to the question I was asking, so it was not mentioned. 

 

I did not ask for opinions only information.  I understand all of your opinions, because I myself had them as well.  But part of being an adult is simply not judging someone when you don't know them, their situation or the full story.  You do not know if they are still considering options, even though they have decided on one thing.  That is also another part of being an adult.  To consider all options, and analyze them, and figure out which one is the best option for all parties involved.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Petronella View Post

Not trying to be rude, but I would take a step back and assess the situation before jumping into marriage with a guy you've known for 17 months and who has at least one child whom he has no interest in supporting or even seeing.  And yeah, it is very unlikely that he will be able legally to just wash his hands of this child, unless the mother's new partner pursues adoption.  Every child has the right to two legal parents. 

 

Sorry but I'm not getting this info from your OP - has the mother actually filed for child support from your fiance, or not?  Because if not, the "best" course of action (NOT the most honorable course) would be for your fiance to just lie low and hope that she leaves him alone in future.  If he doesn't want anything to do with this child, then don't contact the mother, and maybe she will drop it for now.

 

Is your fiance on the birth certificate? 


 



AttunedMama 12:30 PM 02-02-2011


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by minitruckrazy View Post

It is not that he does not want to support the child...it is not about the money so much as the situation...

 

This makes no logical sense.

 

apparently I came across the wrong way and offended some people. 

 

Yup. You came to a forum of Mothers who are deeply committed to raising their kids and asked for us to nod and treat your demonizing of this woman as normal.

 

The state of Florida as well as Washington state are pursuing child support because she is on full government assistance. 

 

No. The government is pursuing child support because THE CHILD NEEDS TO BE SUPPORTED. It is not about the mother, per se.

 

The mother has stated that she will not allow anyone to adopt the child simply because she wants my fiance to pay her. 

 

What she 'says' (through your toxic grapevine) is not your concern. The only issue is this man paying for the child he made. If some other man wants to be so kind as to absolve him of HIS responsibility by adopting his kid, I hope your partner will write him a thank you note at least. In the meantime, it sucks to have to face reality, doesn't it?

 

We recently found out that she is also in the middle of setting up a case to have him pay for all medical expenses from the time of concept

 

That's her choice to try to set up whatever case she wants, if she succeeds I hope she'll come here and talk about it.

 

For everyone that I have offended I apologize but I was simply looking for information, not to be thrashed.  I am not my fiance. 

 

Ok, but you might save yourself years of heartbreak if you asked yourself 'Why am I doing his dirty work? Do I want to enable this man to always avoid responsibility for his actions? Is that a fun way to spend my life?' Only you can know this. Based on your obvious intelligence and caring personality, I'd guess 'No', but I'm just someone who has seen this happen a hundred times. If YOU end up feeling like this guy was a great investment, you'll hopefully write a book about it someday.

 

He is simply looking into what his options are. 

 

No, YOU are looking into what his 'options' are. I like men and think they are worth supporting, but that's not this. This is...something else. I don't think this thread should stay here, It's not about 'single parenting' IMO.

 

And he was truly torn about this for the longest time.  He can't even afford to feed himself right now, how is he supposed to support another human being? 

 

Boohoo. I am actually here caring for my kids every day in spite of my challenges and financial issues, so, yeah, I'm not impressed.

 

He knew this before, and he was taking precautions to prevent this from happening. 

 

Like controlling his DNA?

 

And I had read in another forum about a few men who were dealing with mothers like her.  My fiance and I have also talked about fighting for full custody of the child when we are financially stable. 

 

This is insane and cruel. I hope you will soon see the absurdity in this, and recognize that you are worth so much more than being some random mother's tormentor in future. If not, I pray the court system will laugh hysterically and throw it out.

 

However that information was not relevant to the question I was asking, so it was not mentioned. 

 

I did not ask for opinions only information. 

 

Get thee to a law library. Or tell that dude to, and go get yourself a better set-up.

 

I understand all of your opinions, because I myself had them as well.  But part of being an adult is simply not judging someone when you don't know them, their situation or the full story. 

 

I know enough, and so do you. I know I am probably annoying some other posters by acknowledging this thread, but it's a snow day and what the heck. You need to hear this and I've got time to say it today.

 

You do not know if they are still considering options, even though they have decided on one thing.  That is also another part of being an adult.  To consider all options, and analyze them, and figure out which one is the best option for all parties involved.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Petronella View Post

Not trying to be rude, but I would take a step back and assess the situation before jumping into marriage with a guy you've known for 17 months and who has at least one child whom he has no interest in supporting or even seeing.  And yeah, it is very unlikely that he will be able legally to just wash his hands of this child, unless the mother's new partner pursues adoption.  Every child has the right to two legal parents. 

 

Sorry but I'm not getting this info from your OP - has the mother actually filed for child support from your fiance, or not?  Because if not, the "best" course of action (NOT the most honorable course) would be for your fiance to just lie low and hope that she leaves him alone in future.  If he doesn't want anything to do with this child, then don't contact the mother, and maybe she will drop it for now.

 

Is your fiance on the birth certificate? 


 



2xy's Avatar 2xy 12:57 PM 02-02-2011


As a custodial parent, I would like to say that my ex-husband does not pay me. He is contributing towards shelter, food, clothing, electricity, oil, gas, water, sanitation, education, medical care, and amusement for our child.

 

Also, there are three sides to every story....his side, her side, and the truth. Part of me remembers what it was like to be young and foolish and make bad decisions, as your fiance has done, but nobody bailed me out of any messes. I'm 40 and have a 19yo son....you do the math. The only assistance I ever qualified for was WIC, and DS's father never sent me a dime. Life sucks....wear a helmet.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by minitruckrazy View Post

The mother has stated that she will not allow anyone to adopt the child simply because she wants my fiance to pay her. 


One_Girl's Avatar One_Girl 01:55 PM 02-02-2011

If she is on government assistance then it is the state pursuing support not her, though she may wholeheartedly support him having to pay support.  The government may also make him pay half of the pregnancy and birth related childcare costs if she was on Medicaid during her pregnancy, if they don't a court may make him pay half or more depending on the income calculator they use.  No matter what she digs up a court will go by the income calculator, it isn't about him or her it is about income and supporting the child they made together (whether he wanted a child or not).  This may seem harsh, but judges tend to not care if the condom broke or if she didn't use birthcontrol, they are probably going to be especially unsympathetic if he didn't use a condom in the first place, they care about making sure adults do what is best for their children by taking adult responsibility for their actions.  I think she is smart to not have her fiance adopt the child, she probably realizes that relationships don't last and she doesn't want to pass her daughter off to someone who isn't her father.  It sounds like there is a lot of resentment from her also and that makes me think there is another side to this story. 

 

I think you should be careful about how much you are involved with this.  As a mom with a deadbeat ex I have to say that it really hurts my dd when her father pops into her life every time his girlfriend puts the pressure on him then pops back out when she eases up.  For the child's sake please consider allowing your fiance to decide how much he wants to do, listen to him but don't tell him what he should be doing because he may do visits while you are in the romantic honeymoon phase of your relationship then pull out once you get past that.  It hurts children so much to have a father like that and I really doubt that your goal is to hurt this child.


VisionaryMom's Avatar VisionaryMom 02:49 PM 02-02-2011

The basic answer to your question is no. He cannot simply say, "I want to give up my parental rights to this child" and not have to pay child support. The law considers the best interest of the child, which is that she have 2 legal parents. He cannot simply end his legal relationship as the parent because it's not about his "rights." It's about the child. He can choose not to pursue visitation, but he cannot simply ask never to have to pay child support.


1stTimeMama4-4-10's Avatar 1stTimeMama4-4-10 05:02 PM 02-02-2011

That poor baby. What a shame that her father cares so little for her that he would be willing to terminate all rights just so he doesn't have to pay support.  The simple answer is that the government will never let him off the hook no matter how much he wants out.  He fathered a child and it is not in that child's interest to forego all support from that father. In fact, it is in no one's interest, except the father's - certainly not the government who has to now take financial responsibility for the child .  The good news is that because he is the father, he does have visitation rights.  However, if he ever wants to use them, he ought to start now or else the courts may find that he is seeking visitation vindictively against the mother and either deny or severely limit the contact he has with the child. I sincerely hope you weren't serious when you suggested seeking sole custody because that's amazingly cruel and clearly has no relation to what is the right thing for the child or the father would have done so by now.


kawa kamuri's Avatar kawa kamuri 05:50 PM 02-02-2011

Both you, that little baby and her mama deserve better than this man. I urge you to pick up and run from him, wash your hands of this mess. If you end having his child, well, at least you know what kind of father he is. 

 

The backstory and drama don't mean a lot. It sounds deplorable from all angles and all parties. None of ya'll and the carrying on and the gossip matter when a baby isn't getting what she deserves. If he's had trouble locating his child he's free to hire a private investigator. If he would like visitation an attorney can help with that. Perhaps FL Legal Service or a legal aid type programme can help or refer him elsewhere. It's not up to the mother if he gets to see his baby. He can choose to be proactive or he can choose to be despicable. Why was a DNA test done? Was it initiated by the state? A personal test or a legal test?  

 

http://www.floridalegal.org/ 

http://www.flcourts.org/gen_public/family/self_help/legal_aid.shtml

 

He fathered a child, he should support the child. The end. There's no debate here. There's no grey area. I know from experience that a non-custodial parent can open a child support case via the FL Department of Revenue. 

 

http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/childsupport/

 

Even considering fighting for full custody is disgusting unless that baby being abused and/or neglected by both her mother and her father rather than just her father. 

 

Does he realise that his daughter might not need to be on "full government assistance" if she was receiving child support? I don't think there should be any shame in needing help but I do think it's in order when a parent rationalises, makes excuses and fails to care for their child. There's no such thing as "straightening his life up", "cannot support his child", "can't even feed himself". Is he dead? Is he incarcerated? In a coma? The acceptable scenarios for failing to support his daughter are slim. Otherwise that's call being a deadbeat, it's called neglecting his responsibilities and there's no way a decent person can get up every day and fail their child as he does. 

 

Lady, I wish you the very best. I truly do. 


Super~Single~Mama 06:10 PM 02-02-2011


Quote:

Originally Posted by kawa kamuri View Post

 

Is he incarcerated?



I believe child support accrues when a non-custodial parent is incarcerated.  I'm not 100% sure, but I think it does.


kawa kamuri's Avatar kawa kamuri 06:48 PM 02-02-2011


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

I believe child support accrues when a non-custodial parent is incarcerated.  I'm not 100% sure, but I think it does.



You're right! I believe there are instances where it does not (maybe) but from my (unfortunate & second-hand) experience you are absolutely correct. 


Kwan*Yin's Avatar Kwan*Yin 06:58 PM 02-02-2011

There are two sides to every story. Just remember that. My babies dad doesn't pay child support or visit. I would love to hear the story he has made up to his girlfriend and all his friends as to why it is perfectly ok for him not to visit or pay support. And I live down the road from him and have never tried to stop contact between he and the baby. Two sides to every story.


josybear's Avatar josybear 07:50 PM 02-02-2011

this is probably not the place for someone to come and say that some vindictive babymama wants to be paid by the biodaddy, saying she's on assistance. as many of us know far too well, assistance means dire poverty, and none of us are 'paid' by our kids' dad, even the ones who pay child support. there are fathers' rights forums out there that would love a situation like this, but the bias of this particular forum slants the other way.


blessedwithboys's Avatar blessedwithboys 08:11 PM 02-02-2011

Just wanted to add that in FL, the Child Support Enforcemement systme does not address issues of visitation.  The mother is (by some miracle) getting TANF, so the state is pursuing the provider of sperm.  The DOR will take him to court to get back some of its money, but they really don't care whether or not he sees his child.  A separate motion will have to be filed in regular family court for any issues related to custody. 


BabyBearsMummy's Avatar BabyBearsMummy 11:16 PM 02-02-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by AttunedMama View Post


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by minitruckrazy View Post

He is simply looking into what his options are. 

 

No, YOU are looking into what his 'options' are. I like men and think they are worth supporting, but that's not this. This is...something else. I don't think this thread should stay here, It's not about 'single parenting' IMO.

  


 



I feel this is not about "single parenting" as well. Any chance the moderators can move it on over to PaP or some other more appropriate area?


Smithie's Avatar Smithie 03:48 PM 02-03-2011

 

OP, I'm finding this thread a little confusing, as I think there are a bunch of posts missing at the beginning? But I get the general gist of your question.

 

ANYHOW. I am in the extreme minority on the board in believing that children born to unmarried women should have ONE legal parent, and that men who impregnate women other than their wives are not entitled to paternal rights and should not have paternal responsibilities. That's my strong opinion on the subject. 

 

But the current legal reality is that the guy who contributes the sperm is the father, and it doesn't matter what the mother did or didn't do in the course of the conception. If your fiance's ex has taken state aid, then they will attempt to track him down and make him pay even if she begs them not to. What happens next really, truly, has nothing to do with this woman or her behavior. It doesn't matter if she's Mother Theresa or Heidi Fleiss. Your fiance is going to have to pay back his share of the debt she has incurred in supporting their child. (If she was NOT ever on state aid, or if she had not named him as the father, then yes, there would be a possibility that he would never have to pay support. She could choose not to pursue him. But this is not the situation you are dealing with.)

 

In your shoes, I would not tie myself to a man who owed an unspecified amount in back child support. You do not want to see money that you can't do without leaving your household every month to support another woman's child. You don't have to decide today - you can hang around and see how the court case shakes out and what the actual monetary commitment is going to be - but for the love of Bob, don't get pg with or married to a man whose resources are already committed elsewhere until you know the exact amount of the commitment and he has a plan for meeting it while also being a provider in YOUR home. 


montlake's Avatar montlake 07:52 PM 02-03-2011

That's weird, the OP is missing.


2xy's Avatar 2xy 07:33 AM 02-04-2011

Can you explain further? What helped you to form this opinion? I can't see this as anything but some sort of "punishment" on a single woman who dared to have sex, but really it's the child and the taxpayers who are punished.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post


ANYHOW. I am in the extreme minority on the board in believing that children born to unmarried women should have ONE legal parent, and that men who impregnate women other than their wives are not entitled to paternal rights and should not have paternal responsibilities. That's my strong opinion on the subject. 


Smithie's Avatar Smithie 09:21 AM 02-04-2011

 

Three reasons:

 

1. In our society, women are the ones who decide whether or not a pregnancy results in a baby. Since we're not content with less than 100% of the power in that choice, then we need to be willing to shoulder 100% of the responsibility unless there is a legally binding contract with a man who wants to be the father of our children. Tab A into Slot B in the parking lot of a K$sha concert should not constitute a contract. (And for all those babies conceived NOT by casual sex, but but sex in the context of a relationship - well, babies don't show up overnight. People have time to get their acts together and decide to form a family, or decide to part ways if parenthood is not desired by both.) 

 

2. I really, truly believe that a deadbeat dad is worse than no dad, that visitation with a parent who wishes you'd never been born is a cruel thing to put a child through, and that society better serves the children of single parents by assisting with their bills, rather than tracking down losers and reminding/notifying them of the existence of kids who carry their genes. A guy who maintains from the get-go that he doesn't want to be a father is a guy who SHOULD NOT BE A FATHER. 

 

3. I really, truly believe that the identity of a single woman's previous sexual partners is private information, to divulge or not divulge at her discretion. A pregnant woman who realizes that babydaddy is bad news should have the right to extract herself from the situation and be the sole legal parent. The way it works now, poor women have a hard time maintaining their privacy because the state is looking for paychecks to garnish, but women who can support themselves can and do walk away from relationship situations that they don't want a child born into. Every woman should have that right.  


Super~Single~Mama 11:18 AM 02-04-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post

 

Three reasons:

 

1. In our society, women are the ones who decide whether or not a pregnancy results in a baby. Since we're not content with less than 100% of the power in that choice, then we need to be willing to shoulder 100% of the responsibility unless there is a legally binding contract with a man who wants to be the father of our children. Tab A into Slot B in the parking lot of a K$sha concert should not constitute a contract. (And for all those babies conceived NOT by casual sex, but but sex in the context of a relationship - well, babies don't show up overnight. People have time to get their acts together and decide to form a family, or decide to part ways if parenthood is not desired by both.) 

 

But both people are responsible for that baby actually being in the woman's womb.  And with the republicans chipping away at the right to an abortion every day they are harder to access (unless a woman has the means).  This right being chipped away at means that its the womans, and the legislatures choice - women shouldn't be held captive by the legislature.  And men should be responsible for the things they create.  You could say that men are on constructive notice that any sperm they shoot into someone may result in a huge financial obligation in the future.  And lets not forget that with responsibility comes rights - parental rights are strong, and hard to get rid of.

 

2. I really, truly believe that a deadbeat dad is worse than no dad, that visitation with a parent who wishes you'd never been born is a cruel thing to put a child through, and that society better serves the children of single parents by assisting with their bills, rather than tracking down losers and reminding/notifying them of the existence of kids who carry their genes. A guy who maintains from the get-go that he doesn't want to be a father is a guy who SHOULD NOT BE A FATHER. 

 

Dad's are not forced to take visitation.  They don't have to have visitation - if they want it they can get it unless there are major major reasons not to give it.  But a dad who sincerely hates his child does not have to see them - even if he is required to pay for them.  I agree that the system should help single mothers with paying their bills and whatnot, but when a state goes after child support they don't kick the woman off state assistance if they can't find the father.  The mother is also not compelled to file her own claim - the state does it for her, and I'm not even sure her whereabouts are disclosed.  In regards to the last sentence, a man who doesn't want to be a father shouldn't have sex with random women, or with anyone whose fertile for that matter.

 

3. I really, truly believe that the identity of a single woman's previous sexual partners is private information, to divulge or not divulge at her discretion. A pregnant woman who realizes that babydaddy is bad news should have the right to extract herself from the situation and be the sole legal parent. The way it works now, poor women have a hard time maintaining their privacy because the state is looking for paychecks to garnish, but women who can support themselves can and do walk away from relationship situations that they don't want a child born into. Every woman should have that right.  


Yes, it is mostly a burden on poor women.  However, just b/c a rich woman, or well off woman doesn't want her child to have anything to do with the father doesn't mean that happens - men can sue for paternity as well and if a man wants a paternity test they can go to court and have one ordered.  The woman would have to comply (or face consequences of being in contempt of court), and if the paternity test showed paternity, the man would be able to seek visitation and a relationship. 

 

I also disagree that women should be able to just "walk away" - women should also be held responsible for choices that they make, just like men.  In the end, none of this is about the man, or the woman, its about the CHILD.  Legally, the child is entitled to being supported by BOTH the mother and the father.

 

I also tend to think that not allowing women to seek child support in an out of wedlock situation (which is what you are saying would be preferable) ALSO penalizes the poor.  Child care is expensive.  There is a gap between who qualifies for public assistance, and who doesn't, and that who also cannot afford childcare without support.  One way of getting that support is by being able to file for child support.  BOTH parties should be held responsible for their actions - neither should get off just b/c the other party didn't do what they wanted them to.


katroshka's Avatar katroshka 11:35 AM 02-04-2011

I would say to see a lawyer, there are groups that offer significant discounts to low or moderate income people if you qualify. That being said, I highly doubt that one could avoid paying child support without the other parent's consent. I would also say that terminating parental rights is a pretty serious thing to do, and one that I would think has a high probability of being regretted down the road in this case. If the mother seemed like a great person, or if the baby was being adopted by a nice, stable family that would be one thing. This woman sounds deranged. Is your fiance really absolutely positive that down the road he won't hear that things are really awful for this child and want to intervene? It's a tough call, I hope you and he can find some peace with the whole situation.


Smithie's Avatar Smithie 12:17 PM 02-04-2011

 

I understand where you are coming from, but I disagree. I don't think that the role of an unmarried man and woman in the creation of a child is remotely comparable, so I don't think they should have equal rights to or responsibilities for any children born to the woman. That's the fundamental premise that I start from, and I realize that it's an issue on which reasonable people can disagree. 


Super~Single~Mama 12:50 PM 02-04-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post

 

I understand where you are coming from, but I disagree. I don't think that the role of an unmarried man and woman in the creation of a child is remotely comparable, so I don't think they should have equal rights to or responsibilities for any children born to the woman. That's the fundamental premise that I start from, and I realize that it's an issue on which reasonable people can disagree. 


Then we disagree on this too.  I don't think its remotely reasonable to tell men that they should be able to have sex with as many women as they want, and not have to deal with any of the responsibilities of what comes of having sex (children, mostly).


Ornery's Avatar Ornery 01:22 PM 02-04-2011

Just to make certain this is what you mean, Smithie, as a woman who got pregnant and whose boyfriend took off after I moved out from his apartment, it was his right to choose to walk away and leave me to figure out how to support our son?  It has been his right to not pay any child support for 15 years by working under the table and moving constantly? 

 

Do your thoughts on this change when it was him who lied and told me he had been tested and he was shooting blanks so there was no way I could get pregnant (yes, I was naive but I had minimal sex education and no parental involvement in my life)?

 

How about if I tell you that he was abusive?

 

How about if I tell you I was 16 and he was 29? 

 

In what instance do you say that a man should take responsibility for a child he created, even if it is outside of the institution of marriage?

 

As a 16 year old, I was unable to pay for an abortion by myself.  I had no insurance, I had no job skills, I had no diploma or GED, I had no place to live for much of my pregnancy.  Adoption wasn't an option for me as I knew my family would step in and try to raise the child which would have been a horrible thing for the child.  So, options were scarce.  Yes, in an ideal society there would have been help for me and I wouldn't have needed his assistance but we do not live in an ideal society.

 

And all of this was my responsibility to deal with but not his simply because he is male?

 

In addition, what about the instances where the male holds all the power in the relationship?  What about when you are in a relationship with a male who promises to love and support you and then decides after the baby is born that he really doesn't want to be a father?  You would really argue that it is therefor a woman's responsibility?


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