Post # 1
There was an interesting op-ed in the Times this morning about paternity laws.
Do you agree that women should have full right to an abortion without the fathers consent and to keeping the child even if the father doesn’t want it? Basically, men have zero rights to saying whether he wants the child or not. I actually think that if a man wants the woman to have an abortion and she won’t do it, he should have a lawyer notarize the conversation so he shouldn’t have to pay child support payments.
Post # 3
personally I think that if I expect the father to be active in the upbringing of the child he has a right to state an opinion on whether we had a child or not. If I do not then he does not.
To give an example – If I got pregnant now, I would fully expect my husband to be in the child’s life and raise the child with me. therefore he has a right to make his feelings about whether I go ahead with any pregnancy known. If I was single had a ONS and got pregnant then no – the father has no say as I would not expect him to be in the child’s life.
ETA – I also think it is hugely wrong for a woman to ‘accidentally’ get pregnant by ‘missing a pill’ or some other such trick.
I think conception should be a mutual decision (whether that is yes we are trying for a baby or we are not trying to prevent it and aware of the consequences of that)
Post # 4
It’s my body who has to carry the baby and give birth, therefore I should have 100% of the right to do with my body what I please.
The responsibility of contraception and preventing pregnancy falls on BOTH partners, so regardless of whether or not he had a say in keeping the baby, yes he should have to support it. If you aren’t ready to support a child, whether you want one or not, you shouldn’t be having sex.
ETA – a father can sign away his rights to the child, which to me is the equivalent of a woman dropping her baby off somewhere no questions asked. No, it doesn’t get him out of the responsibility of paying child support, but (at least in my state) it’s nearly impossible to force someone to pay child support. My friend’s daughter’s father does not pay child support (even though he is mandated to in order to see his daughter, and even though his wages are supposed to be garnished if he doesn’t) but in 3 years, the mom hasn’t seen a dime from him. So, the assumption that these guys are stuck paying child support for a kid they didn’t want is a wrongful assumption. There are millions of $ in unpaid child support in my county alone.
For me, what it comes down to is being responsible for your actions.
Post # 5
@princesslettuce14: I agree with you. This is a very controversial issue, but I think parenthood should involve the commitment of both parents. I wouldn’t want to raise a child with a man who would resent me for it (or be absent), and I wouldn’t want to be that child with a father who never wanted them.
If the woman decides she wants to keep the baby, great. But she should be okay with keeping it alone. The man should have the ability to sign over his parental rights to the child and they should go their separate ways. I understand that there is a risk of pregnancy when you have sex, but if you’re taking reasonable precautions, you shouldn’t have to suffer for the next 18 years.
Post # 6
@princesslettuce14: It takes two to tango so I believe that a man should have to pay child support even if he doesn’t want the child. I also believe that a woman should consider the father’s opinion then it comes to aborting the child but it is ultimately her choice since she will be having the child and probably doing the lion’s share of raising it.
Post # 7
@MrsWBS: I really disagree with this. The “my body” argument doesn’t ring true to me. It is a partnership and partly “his body” too. Yes, there is a risk with sex and obviously the couple should talk about what they would do in the event of. However, sometimes shit happens. I got pregnant on the pill before (and I was taking it properly). Not everything in life can be controlled, and I think women who give men no say come across as selfish :- I would expect my partner to give me a say in life decisions that impacted both of us, so I want to do the same.
Post # 8
It takes two to tango so I believe that a man should have to pay child support even if he doesn’t want the child
What if a man is told by the woman he is with ‘its ok i am on the pill’ and then oops she isnt – as far as he was aware a child was not on the cards – should he pay if he does not want the child?
Post # 9
It’s a really hard, but interesting, issue I think. I do see the point: Shouldn’t there be equality of choices? If a woman gets pregnant accidentally and the man who impregnated her doesn’t want to be a father– she could choose abortion or adoption or raising the child on her own. Somehow it seems a bit unfair that a one night stand and broken condom will never force a woman into motherhood against her will, but can force a man into fatherhood.
And yet, the point of the law isn’t necessarily fairness. People have sex. When an accidental and unwanted pregnancy happens, someone here is probably going to get screwed (no pun intended). You can’t very well force a woman to have an abortion or give her child up for adoption, and I doubt anyone would advocate you should. So if the father is on the hook for this— he sort of gets screwed. But what if he isn’t? Well then the kid and/or society gets screwed. If the mom doesn’t have enough money to raise this kid on her own, it is the kid who will suffer. And it often will mean going on welfare, which we all pay for. Between me, who did not have sex with the mother, and the father, who did– I vote he pays rather than me. Not to mention the fact that if the kid is raised in a financially comfortable environment he is more likely to be able to go to college, get a good job, and be a productive member of society.
So on the balance… I think the law is fine as it stands.
Post # 10
@MrsPanda99: But who do you think should have the say if you and your partner completley disagree on the issue?
I’m not saying both sides shouldn’t be taken into consideration but ultimately yes it is my body, I’m the one at risk during the pregnancy.
You will never see the day where a woman is forced to have a child because the other partner wants her to and quite frankly, nor should you. I’d never expect my partner to do something to their body that he didn’t want to.
Unfortunately, not everything in life is fair and there isn’t going to be a solution that satisifes both sides equally here.
Post # 11
No woman should be essentially coerced into having an abortion out of fear the father won’t support the child- that is her decision and her decision alone, period, end of story.
As far as the man saying “well I wanted you to have an abortion, you refused, so I’m not going to pay you child support” umm no. Every dirtbag man who gets a woman pregnant would use that excuse. I’m sorry, you have sex, pregnancy is one of the possible outcome and abortion isn’t the default solution to that outcome.
If men want to avoid this possibility completely, they need to take control of THEIR own bodies and get a vasectomy or at the very least wear a condom each and every time they have sex.
Post # 12
the father gets no say. I know it doesn’t sound entirely fair but there isn’t another alternative that works. Women MUSt have full authority over their bodies and men can’t just say they didn’t want children so they aren’t paying. it’s not a perfect system but its the only way it can work.
Post # 13
@MrsWBS: I agree with that – it is impossible to satisfy two sides at polar opposite spectrums. I think that if the woman wants the kid and the man doesn’t, of course she shouldn’t be forced to have an abortion. But the suggestion the OP made where he can sign over his parental rights and let her do it alone if it’s so important to her is a good one.
Your point gives me pause for thought though – what if he wants the baby and she doesn’t? It’s not like she would go through with the birth and give the baby to the man (or maybe she would, I don’t know). There is no easy answer and it seems in the cases where the parties are at opposite ends of the spectrum, one person will always get screwed.
Post # 14
This is an interesting topic and one that I feel strongly about. I find it extremely unfair when fatherhood is forced on a man who doesn’t want it. It’s a common misconception that a man can just sign away his paternity rights, but that’s usually not allowed unless there is someone else, like a stepfather, willing to take responsibility for the child. I also find it very ironic that a common argument is that if a man doesn’t want children, he shouldn’t have sex. Isn’t this same argument used in favor of banning abortion? I don’t think that women should be able to have it both ways ;either parenthood is a choice or it isn’t.
I don’t know a perfect solution, but I do think that a man should be able to force an abortion. I don’t think it should work the opposite way (a man forcing a woman to have the baby) because there’s a lot more involved in keeping the baby. So I think that if either party doesn’t want the baby, they can ask to have the pregnancy terminated.
Post # 15
@MrsWBS: I agree with that. There is no way this can be completely “fair.” The whole idea of carrying a child and giving birth when a man doesn’t have to is, in a way, unfair. There is a reason that monetary fines are less severe than corporal punishment. Paying child support can be in no way as traumatic as being forced to carry a child to term and go through pregnancy against your will.
Post # 16
@CorgiTales: totally agree with this!!
i can see that theres an inequality, but i dont see that the father being able to walk away if he wanted to would be good for the child or society. honestly, i think condoms rarely fail. a man should always use a condom if he doesnt want a baby and then the whole “being tricked into fatherhood” by a missed pill or whatever would be a moot point
i think the law should stand as it is. . the idea of men being able to say at any time “im done with this, get rid of the kid or raise it alone” is repellent