Mothering Forum banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,714 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">NEW YORK - Contending that women have more options than they do in the event of an unintended pregnancy, men's rights activists are mounting a long shot legal campaign aimed at giving them the chance to opt out of financial responsibility for raising a child.<br>
ADVERTISEMENT<br><br>
The National Center for Men has prepared a lawsuit — nicknamed<br>
Roe v. Wade for Men — to be filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Michigan on behalf of a 25-year-old computer programmer ordered to pay child support for his ex-girlfriend's daughter. The suit addresses the issue of male reproductive rights, contending that lack of such rights violates the U.S. Constitution's equal protection clause.<br><br>
The gist of the argument: If a pregnant woman can choose among abortion, adoption or raising a child, a man involved in an unintended pregnancy should have the choice of declining the financial responsibilities of fatherhood. The activists involved hope to spark discussion even if they lose.<br><br>
"There's such a spectrum of choice that women have — it's her body, her pregnancy and she has the ultimate right to make decisions," said Mel Feit, director of the men's center. "I'm trying to find a way for a man also to have some say over decisions that affect his life profoundly."<br><br>
Feit's organization has been trying since the early 1990s to pursue such a lawsuit, and finally found a suitable plaintiff in Matt Dubay of Saginaw, Mich.<br><br>
Dubay says he has been ordered to pay $500 a month in child support for a girl born last year to his ex-girlfriend. He contends that the woman knew he didn't want to have a child with her and assured him repeatedly that — because of a physical condition — she could not get pregnant.<br><br>
Dubay is braced for the lawsuit to fail.<br><br>
"What I expect to hear (from the court) is that the way things are is not really fair, but that's the way it is," he said in a telephone interview. "Just to create awareness would be enough, to at least get a debate started."<br><br>
State courts have ruled in the past that any inequity experienced by men like Dubay is outweighed by society's interest in ensuring that children get financial support from two parents. Melanie Jacobs, a Michigan State University law professor, said the federal court might rule similarly in Dubay's case.<br><br>
"The courts are trying to say it may not be so fair that this gentleman has to support a child he didn't want, but it's less fair to say society has to pay the support," she said.<br><br>
Feit, however, says a fatherhood opt-out wouldn't necessarily impose higher costs on society or the mother. A woman who balked at abortion but felt she couldn't afford to raise a child could put the baby up for adoption, he said.<br><br>
Jennifer Brown of the women's rights advocacy group Legal Momentum objected to the men's center comparing Dubay's lawsuit to Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling establishing a woman's right to have an abortion.<br><br>
"Roe is based on an extreme intrusion by the government — literally to force a woman to continue a pregnancy she doesn't want," Brown said. "There's nothing equivalent for men. They have the same ability as women to use contraception, to get sterilized."<br><br>
Feit counters that the suit's reference to abortion rights is apt.<br><br>
"Roe says a woman can choose to have intimacy and still have control over subsequent consequences," he said. "No one has ever asked a federal court if that means men should have some similar say."<br><br>
"The problem is this is so politically incorrect," Feit added. "The public is still dealing with the pre-Roe ethic when it comes to men, that if a man fathers a child, he should accept responsibility."<br><br>
Feit doesn't advocate an unlimited fatherhood opt-out; he proposes a brief period in which a man, after learning of an unintended pregnancy, could decline parental responsibilities if the relationship was one in which neither partner had desired a child.<br><br>
"If the woman changes her mind and wants the child, she should be responsible," Feit said. "If she can't take care of the child, adoption is a good alternative."<br><br>
The president of the<br>
National Organization for Women, Kim Gandy, acknowledged that disputes over unintended pregnancies can be complex and bitter.<br><br>
"None of these are easy questions," said Gandy, a former prosecutor. "But most courts say it's not about what he did or didn't do or what she did or didn't do. It's about the rights of the child."</td>
</tr></table></div>
<a href="http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060308/ap_on_re_us/fatherhood_suit" target="_blank">http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060308/...atherhood_suit</a>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,311 Posts
Fascinating. Useless, but fascinating.<br><br><br><br>
Have posted before about the case in ?Kentucky, I think it was, about ten years ago, when a woman sued her ex-husband for support. Their story: When they were married, they had several eggs fertilized and stored. They eventually divorced without having had children. Several years go by. He remarries, has a family. She doesn't remarry, biological clock yaddayaddayadda ... and then goes and gets herself implanted with one of the eggs from that marriage way back when. And then sues the ex-husband for support of the child ... after all, it was his sperm that made the embryo, right?<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/privateeyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="private eyes"><br><br>
And the courts held that he had to pay. He was the biological father, after all. Despite their not having been married in years, despite her not having asked his permission to use the eggs ... and despite his absolutely not wanting to have anything to do with this. After all, he had moved on. They divorced without children.<br><br>
He was not given a choice in this parenthood.<br><br>
And was not given a choice in the child support payments.<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>
Yeah, the topic is a sore one sometimes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,039 Posts
Our current laws do not match current technology nor world. Like the other poster said about frozen embryos. There has been another more recent case, but in that case the company that held the eggs were in the wrong. They didn't get the sperm donor's (ex-husbands) signature.<br><br>
Also, there is an issue with sperm donors that in some cases there is no protection (in some states there is a quagmire of laws and rulings). By our current laws a lesbian couple could choose to get pregnant by "natural" means because they cannot afford IVF/sperm donation. Then the bio-mom can go after child support from the guy but not the woman she choose to parent with. These also affect homosexual men (but homosexual marriage could solve some of this).<br><br>
Also, there are women that after several years go after bio-dad and bio-dad has no clue there was ever a child conceived. He is expected to pay back child support for a child he didn't know exist.<br><br>
A woman can go out and have an affair (or be separated from an soon to be ex) and conceive a child by another man. But by our current laws the man she is married to, bio-connected or not, is responsible for that child. She can actually legally be force to but that man on the birth certificate. He could be force to pay child support to her.<br><br>
There are men that think a child is their and "do the right thing" and pay child support and find out later the child isn't theirs. Women know that child is there a guy doesn't.<br><br>
*********<br><br>
All those examples are just a touch in a bucket of unfair scenarios for me to say yes, child support laws greatly need to be changed.<br><br>
I do think it is stupid to put that much trust in a non-married to partner to not make sure you are "covered". So I only carry a little sympathy but I on the other hand agree....If the condom breaks and conception occurs the woman has the choice to step out of the child responsibility. She can choose to abort or adopt. Men should have the same limited one time option to opt out and if he opts back in he owes back.<br><br>
When you have sex with someone you do take a risk....Men's risk are different than women. I do agree there needs to be more personal responsibility but it isn't just solely on men or women. BOTH need to be selective on who they are having sex with. Now that my kids are getting to the age to discuss this I do tell them that if they have sex, even protected, this is a risk and that they need to be selective because if they create a baby that other person might be in their life a lot longer than they want. Don't have sex with people you wouldn't want to have children with. If you do you might find that you are doing it alone.<br><br>
These men that are backing out....Do the children really benefit from the forced child support? This could mean also he can get forced visitation.....Sometimes you have to accept the loss and move on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,925 Posts
Marsupialmom, I think it's strange that you argue "forced visitation" here could be bad for a child when you argued that financial incentives to visitation would be good to a child in another post....<br><br><br>
RE: the op...<br>
First, I found it disturbing that the article referred to the child as his ex-girlfriend's daughter, rather than his daughter. We have all this furor over "redefining marriage" in our society, and yet there's no outrage about redefining parenthood?<br><br>
And to argue that technology can make this unfair is completely irrelvant to the article here...sure, in some cases it might seem that way, but there are always legal issues. In all cases the father had some choice when the child was first conceived...he could have not participated at that point. MEN DO HAVE CHOICE about conception, they can choose not to engage in sex, submit their sperm for insemination/ART (or right up a good contract which requires their consent BEFORE using the eggs). But after that...after the child is conceived or born, no, their right at that point is to be a parent, not to just walk away. I mean, what kind of jerk is this who would sue to not have a responsibility to a child that is his flesh and blood? What might that mean to the kid?<br><br>
And the courts take c/s from women who aren't custodial, even from women who's children are in foster care. So it's not like it's a gender specific thing after birth. And a woman should have control of what happens before the birth because her life is on the line. His isn't, never was.<br><br>
I guess I feel like this DOES fall into the You play, you pay scenario, and don't see how it's unfair. He chose to rely on her assurances about inability to conceive, I'd think it'd be much better for our society if he wasted his money not on a frivolous lawsuit but in the pursuit of male contraception. That might have actually made more of a difference (though they article doesn't say if he even used a condom, and if he didn't it's pretty pathetic).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,550 Posts
I'm just going to stand over here next to Jster.<br><br>
We went rounds about this a few months ago. Maybe someone with better searching skills than I could dig up the thread.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,039 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Jster</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Marsupialmom, I think it's strange that you argue "forced visitation" here could be bad for a child when you argued that financial incentives to visitation would be good to a child in another post....<br><br><br>
RE: the op...<br>
First, I found it disturbing that the article referred to the child as his ex-girlfriend's daughter, rather than his daughter. We have all this furor over "redefining marriage" in our society, and yet there's no outrage about redefining parenthood?<br><br>
And to argue that technology can make this unfair is completely irrelvant to the article here...sure, in some cases it might seem that way, but there are always legal issues. In all cases the father had some choice when the child was first conceived...he could have not participated at that point. MEN DO HAVE CHOICE about conception, they can choose not to engage in sex, submit their sperm for insemination/ART (or right up a good contract which requires their consent BEFORE using the eggs). But after that...after the child is conceived or born, no, their right at that point is to be a parent, not to just walk away. I mean, what kind of jerk is this who would sue to not have a responsibility to a child that is his flesh and blood? What might that mean to the kid?<br><br>
And the courts take c/s from women who aren't custodial, even from women who's children are in foster care. So it's not like it's a gender specific thing after birth. And a woman should have control of what happens before the birth because her life is on the line. His isn't, never was.<br><br>
I guess I feel like this DOES fall into the You play, you pay scenario, and don't see how it's unfair. He chose to rely on her assurances about inability to conceive, I'd think it'd be much better for our society if he wasted his money not on a frivolous lawsuit but in the pursuit of male contraception. That might have actually made more of a difference (though they article doesn't say if he even used a condom, and if he didn't it's pretty pathetic).</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
<br>
In my other post I did say not all people are in the same boat...........<br><br>
I also posted before I heard the site because your orignial link didn't work.......<br><br>
I did also agree with you that law can be abuse more than just one way in a follow up post. That is just a bad law. I was talking more "off the cuff" of what I knew before I hear the complete story from the other post.<br><br>
I also said I thought it was not smart to put that much faith in another partner and not be "covered".<br><br>
Yes, father could have choose not to conceived but what about the mom. HUMM!! Falls back to both genders being more responsible. As much as he should have kept things covered or not had sex with someone he didn't want to have a child with, she should also not had sex with a man that didn't want a kid with her. He cannot force her to take morning after pills or abort and I wouldn't want that. At the same time I do see it being fair for her being the one in complete control after conception to continue on or have birth. He cannot make her keep it and raise it. She can give the baby up for adoption and say she doesn't know who bio-dad. There has for a long time been an argument about women keeping their legs closed and being her fault, that is wrong but I also apply the same standards to a man. Hope that makes since he shouldn't have relied on her (stupid decission on his part) but at the same time she should have lied to him (stupid decission on her part). You pay you play goes both ways....it might mean she has to live with out child support. Maybe she needs to make better decissions also, <b>NEITHER</b> were completely helpless or blameless in this situation.<br><br>
More on forced visitation...... I never said I was in favor for it. I do remember another poster here being in a situation were her ex-husband in prison had right to her last child because they were married at the time of conception and she couldn't get divorced because she was pregnant. Technically the want to be ex could get visitation of a child that isn't his, he doesn't want, plus he could be force to pay child support. Then I can tell you stories were "forced" visitation is right and best for the child. A friend of mines brother fathered a child and didn't know it for 2-3 years. When he found out this child was his he started child support and had to fight for "forced" visitation (we are talking starting out with supervised visits a few hours several times a week then building up. She didn't want it but wanted the child support).<br><br>
Not everybody is nice, what happens when a bump that doesn't want involvement decides since he has to pay child support invokes "parental rights" solely to manipulate and hurt ex? This does happen. Some times you need to cut yourself loose, accept the lost and move on.<br><br>
The definition of parents has changed along with technology. There are kids with two dads, some with two moms, some with no mom, some with no dad, some have grandparents as parents. Our world is changing. Cases like this forces us to think and come up with better laws that can be applied more justly. Will this law inable other situations to be effictively handled maybe, but then again maybe someone else will come up with a better way to deal with those other situations because they are happening.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top