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Sperm Limits
A new piece in Time magazine inspired me to ask all you girls out there a question:

jailcell.jpg

Let's say somebody -- not you -- robs a bank. Somebody has to go to jail. The police see you on the street and bring you in for it, figuring you're as good a candidate as any. The case goes to trial. The prosecution brings no evidence. Everybody just assumes you did it. In fact, even you start to believe it. Finally, you get thrown in jail for 18-to-life. Okay with you?

That's essentially what happens to men every day in this country. I've written about it before, as has Matt Welch -- the terrible fraud being perpetrated on men in the name of "welfare reform." Here are a few words I wrote a while back about his Reason piece on the subject:

...Any woman can name any man -- even one she's never met -- as the father of her child, and if he doesn't fight back (and fast) -- he could end up losing everything. Yes, everything. "A name, race, vague location, and a broad age range is sufficient to launch a process that" can cause a man who is not the child's father to have his wages garnished and his passport blocked, and have liens put on his assets.

It isn't even a crime for the mother to name the wrong man. Welch notes that "for both the mother and the state, the punishment for making a mistake is indirect, in the form of receiving less child support." But, the man's credit -- and his life -- can be ruined in the process.

It all boils down to paperwork. If the alleged father doesn't get, or ignores the (confusing) notice to respond to the paternity charge, he has a limited time to contest it before he's assumed to be daddy in the eyes of the law -- whether or not he actually is. Welch reports that the accused father has 30 days to respond to a paternity complaint (it helps if the complaint form has actually gotten to him, but in many cases it never did). Then, he has 180 days to contest a child support order, and two years from birth to challenge paternity using DNA evidence. "If," Welch writes, "for whatever reasons, any of these deadlines aren't met, no amount of evidence can move the state to review the case; the DCSS has to be sued." Unfortunately...

...Family cases typically hew to the "finality of judgment" principle to prevent disruptions in children's lives. Or, in the words of former California legislator Rod Wright, "It ain't your kid, you can prove it ain't your kid, and they say, 'So what?'"

That's how a man like Taron James could be slapped with a support bill for thousands of dollars from Los Angeles County in 2002, and continue to be barred from using his notary public license, even after producing convincing DNA evidence and notarized testimony from the mother that her 11-year-old son, whom he's seen exactly once and looks nothing like, is not his child and that she no longer seeks his support. James says his name was placed on the child's birth certificate without his consent while he was on a Navy tour of duty; then the mother refused to take blood tests for eight years, and he became aware of a default order against him only when the Department Of Motor Vehicles refused to issue him a driver's license in October 1996. By that time, James had missed all the relevant deadlines, the court was unimpressed with his tale of woe, and he has since coughed up $14,000 in child support via liens and garnishments.

Hideous stuff. Terribly wrong. It's clear what's right here, and all lawmakers like Sheila Kuehl (D-Santa Monica), who oppose paternity-related reform bills, should be voted out post-haste.

Personally, I would like to take the rights of men a step further. I don't think any man who doesn't want to be a father -- and clearly expresses that to a woman -- should be forced to pay for any child that ensues from having sex. Because a woman is the one who gets pregnant, if paying for and raising a child as a single mother is a problem for a particular woman, she needs to take steps -- and double steps -- to prevent pregnancy -- or be ready to have an abortion or give up the baby after it's born. Men shouldn't be forced into financing fatherhood -- by anyone -- be it a fuckbuddy or a representative of the state.

By this, I mean, if you have sex with some guy you meet in a bar, and you get pregnant, the guy could help you pay for the abortion, if he's feeling charitable, but with the science to guard against pregnancy, it's your body and your responsibility.

Here's a column I wrote on the subject.

And here's how, "Duped Dads Fight Back," from the Julie Rawe Time magazine piece:

Advocates for these so-called duped dads say such men should be treated as victims of fraud and liken the need for paternity-disestablishment amendments to truth-in-lending laws. They point to many an egregious case in which the law's marital presumption of fatherhood has ended up enslaving a divorced dad, like the Michigan man who proved he had not sired his son but was still ordered to send child-support payments directly to the boy's biological father, who was granted custody after the mom moved out of his place and left the kid there. Increasingly, policymakers across the country are turning a sympathetic ear to such complaints. Florida last year joined Georgia and Ohio in allowing a man to walk away from any financial obligations regardless of how many years he may have been acting as a minor's father if he discovers he was deceived into parenthood. Fathers' rights groups in Colorado, Illinois and West Virginia are pushing for similar legislation that would remove or extend existing time limits for challenging paternity.

Spearheading the legislative movement is Carnell Smith, a Georgia engineer who found out shortly after he broke up with his girlfriend that she was pregnant and spent the next 11 years believing he was the girl's father. Then, in 2000, after his visitation time had been cut back around the same time that a court order nearly doubled his monthly child-support payments, he took a test that showed he was not the biological parent. Three years and about $100,000 in child support and legal fees later, Smith, 46, managed to disentangle himself from any responsibilities for the girl, and says he walked out of court "a broke but free man." He successfully lobbied his home state to pass its paternity-fraud law in 2002 and now runs a DNA-testing company. Its slogan: "If the genes don't fit, you must acquit!"

But justice for a disillusioned dad can clash with the best interests of a child raised to think of him as a father. "These cases get cast as the duped dad vs. the scheming wife," says Temple University law professor Theresa Glennon, who has examined the changing legal landscape. "This is really about men deserting children they have been parenting." She points out that severing paternal ties could devastate a child depending on the length and quality of his relationship with the nonbiological father.

Sorry, but should you be fooled into fatherhood? Some guys would rather not know. But guys who do care should get the kid DNA tested at birth. Even if they are lovey dovey with the mother at the time.

But, finally, a little justice for the non-dads:

Even so, last May the Mississippi Supreme Court ruled that the state's current law doesn't let a court consider a child's best interests when a father requests DNA testing to determine paternity. And in a sign of the further complications genetic testing may have unleashed, the New Jersey Supreme Court is debating whether a nonbiological father can sue the biological one for $110,000 in child-support reimbursement. The plaintiff in the case didn't learn the truth about the son he had believed to be his own until the kid was 30.

And then there are the complexities. She doesn't mention gay parents (oops!), but then there are non-biological dads who have raised their kids, and other issues.

Some legislators, however, are acknowledging that there is more to fatherhood than what can be defined solely by the sharing of a few genes. Oklahoma last year joined several states in adopting a law that limits the time frame for contesting paternity to a few years after the child's birth. Paula Roberts, an attorney at the nonprofit Center for Law and Social Policy who helped craft these measures, argues that such time limits protect both the child and the nonbiological father, should Mom ever try to shut him out or the biological dad suddenly show up wanting to horn in. Meanwhile, activists in Oregon are planning to submit two competing bills this session. Both allow a man to contest paternity within a year of discovering he is not the biological father, but only one forces the courts to consider a child's best interests in every case. The other allows a nonbiological father to get out if he wants to, but if he's the one fighting to maintain parental status, then the court has to consider the child's interests. That's a lot of nuance, but when it comes to determining fatherhood, sometimes an easy answer isn't what's best.

It's unfortunate for kids who are born to scammer women, but why should you ever have to pick up the tab for something you didn't do?

Posted by aalkon at January 24, 2007 1:40 PM

Comments

Paternity-reform (which I'm wildly in favor of) will only be a possibility as long as women have unrestricted access to contraception and abortion services. If that changes, we're all screwed (no pun intended).

Posted by: amh18057 at January 24, 2007 6:56 AM

God love you, Amy. I've been saying for years that men are getting the short end of the stick. Not only do they get stuck with child support even if they said from the get-go that they don't want to be a father, BUT, to add insult to injury, they cannot take a child if the woman is determined to have an abortion. How is that fair?

Posted by: Anne at January 24, 2007 7:03 AM

That lady lawyer is a reproduction robot: 'Nothing must interfere with a woman's right to make as many babies as she wants, no matter how incompentently!' Do these women even understand that they're not volitional?

Amh-ster, there's more that's wrong with this planet than abortion policy.

Posted by: Crid at January 24, 2007 7:10 AM

"How is that fair?"

It's not- but as long as women are the ones with the wombs, the decision has to be wieghted in our favor- pregnancy is a risk (more for some than others) to life and health. There's also a paternity issue- what would happen if a man could force a woman to birth a child that may not be his?

And while I'm definitely sympathetic to men who are deceived, I have little pity for men who don't exercise responsibility- if you don't want to be a father, you are responsible for birth control (same goes for mom). This is a two-way street, and far too often both parties will act completely irresponsibly. For every "Oh yes, I'm on the pill," there's an "I'm sterile from the steroids I took in High School."

If you're out tomcatting around and not being careful, a baby is more than likely going to be in your future, and you can't protest after the fact that you weren't ready to be a father. Like the conservatives are fond of telling women, don't fuck if you can't afford the consequences!

As for women who lie to a man deliberately or produce children by deceit (ie, lying about birth control, paternity, etc), they should be prosecuted for fraud.

I think in some ways, though, all of this wrangling is a good thing- as we move away from the Judeo-Christian model of social control, I think the only rational substitute is the rule of law- it seems kind of cold, but it would simplify things if there were clear civil rules of behavior- "here, sign this waiver of paternal responsibility..."

Posted by: Jennifer Emick at January 24, 2007 8:07 AM

too bad these women don't wear signs: man-draining leach...stay clear.

I have raised my daughter very well all by myself without sucking dry any man who had nothing to do with her existence. While it was a decision between both of us to have her, her father bailed. Any woman who can't put her big girl pants on and take care of business is not setting a good example for her kid & should not take it out on others.

Posted by: Dawn at January 24, 2007 8:31 AM

That's great, Dawn...really important to raise girls that way -- to be independent, and not to see having a baby as a way to snag an income (somebody else's income).

Posted by: Amy Alkon at January 24, 2007 8:35 AM

> Not only do they get stuck

A guy has an excellent opportunity to express his disinterest in being a father to a woman's child: by not fucking her. Women should always have access to abortion. (Throughout human prehistory, the best way to kill or maim a woman was to get her pregnant. Pregnant women are in warfare with nature. Besides, as a practical matter, it's always the women who have their lives most deeply changed by kids, and it's as much a matter of biology as policies, even after childbirth.) On Planet Perfect, women can have easy abortion but never do.

> as we move away from the Judeo-Christian
> model of social control

Why would you want to do that? The thing about the Judeo-Christian tradition is that it's not just a "model." It's been extensively field tested across continents and centuries, and offers more reliable outcomes than the daydreams of bookish grad students. Besides, what do you mean by “control,” Paleface?

> to see having a baby as a
> way to snag an income
> somebody else's income).

Amy, one of us is less generous about this, though it’s tough to say who. I think most of these women don’t do it as simple revenue stream, but as an expeditious dodge of the requirement that a mother be emotionally competent enough to give a child a loving father.

Posted by: Crid at January 24, 2007 8:54 AM

I actually wasn't talking about women who drag a guy home from a bar, but of women who think they don't have to work too hard or get a serious career because they can get some man to marry them and pay for them. Ultimately, they are extremely uninteresting to their partners and miserable for lack of self.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at January 24, 2007 9:04 AM

"Why would you want to do that? The thing about the Judeo-Christian tradition is that it's not just a "model." It's been extensively field tested across continents and centuries, and offers more reliable outcomes than the daydreams of bookish grad students. "

Reliable, yes- its reliably restricted freedom of both men and women for thousands of years. I have no trouble feeling gratitude and even glee that the days of having Jehova's minions dictating our behavior are over. That's why the founders ditched that model and went with rol in the first place- because common sense and reason are infinitely preferable to arbitrary laws instituted by crazy desert prophets. I just prefer reason to "God says so," especially when that message is relayed from God via a naked crazy man who eats bugs.

"Besides, what do you mean by “control,” Paleface?"

WTF is THAT supposed to mean?

Posted by: Jennifer Emick at January 24, 2007 9:05 AM

> its reliably restricted freedom
> of both men and women

That's good. We should do that. Men and women will each bungle these things --in their different ways-- until someone insists they not. Rule of law only gets you so far. Courtrooms are expensive and unreliable for matters that are personal, complicated and formed from minutiae. For those things we need other mechanisms.

> preferable to arbitrary laws

There's all kinds of wisdom kicking around that hasn't made it into term papers yet. The fact that we don't know where it came from doesn't mean it's "arbitrary," or not wisdom.

> WTF is...

Whence "control"? Was there something you were trying to say? Do you want everyone so free that nobody ever behaves well?

Posted by: Crid at January 24, 2007 9:22 AM

"Courtrooms are expensive and unreliable for matters that are personal, complicated and formed from minutiae. For those things we need other mechanisms."

Right, because religious double standards, witch burnings, dowries, abnegation of civil rights are simple and reliable, and so much preferablew to a courtroom.

Tell me Crid, one place where the religious implementation of relationship rules has ever been anything but a source of misery to whoever was not a member of "God's chosen?" It's only in moving away from religious rule that we've attained any level of sanity, equity, or common sense.

"The fact that we don't know where it came from doesn't mean it's "arbitrary," or not wisdom."

No, the fact that it's senseless, discriminatory, and without reason tells us it's not wisdom- and as soon as we stopped killing people for questioning that 'wisdom,' it was rightly abandoned. Not that it ever did anything to improve human behavior- even in those places that will still stone you for straying from religious relationship rules, there are still deadbeat dads, unwanted pregnancy, and casual sex.

Posted by: Jennifer at January 24, 2007 9:39 AM

Sounds like quite a lot of people want to have their cake and eat it, too. Men shouldn't fuck if they don't want kids? Same goes for women. BUT - obviously, they did. And obviously, something went wrong. Whether intentionally or through carelessness or accident - doesn't matter. There's now a bun in the oven.

Someone said "There's also a paternity issue- what would happen if a man could force a woman to birth a child that may not be his?" What the hell? HELLO!! Women are forcing men to support children that may or may not be theirs, whether they want them or not.

That a child would be unwanted is horrible, but it happens each and every day. However, women hold ALL the cards in this issue. It's 100% up to them whether thy have the child or don't have it, and the man has no say-so either in keeping the child or supporting it. It's a travesty, and that anyone thinks it's right is just beyond me.

Posted by: Anne at January 24, 2007 9:50 AM

> whoever was not a member
> of "God's chosen?

I'm like, huh? Who, chosen for what? I think you're fighting me for things I never said, in wars that were won centuries ago.

Do you think people are naturally good? Me neither. So we better keep the lid on. We pay for that courtroom with taxes, and it's expensive and blunt. I don't care about people's pathetic lives. I don't care that he said your hair was like golden grain waving in the evening sun, when actually he just liked your rack. I don't care that she promised you she'd taken the pill, when actually she was a mid-thirties middle manager who was hearing the clock tick. If we're going to keep these problems out of the courtroom, we're going to have to have a set of principles that help people deal. We could do worse than Judaica and Christianity.

> women hold ALL the cards
> in this issue

That's because they have to deal.

Posted by: Crid at January 24, 2007 10:06 AM

> women hold ALL the cards
> in this issue

> That's because they have to deal.

It's still lop-sided as all hell. And I speak as a woman. If I were to get married and the man said "I am not ready to have a child and I won't support one" then I should have three options:
1) Abort
2) Adopt the child out
3) Suck it up and have the child, but be 100% responsible.

Having the child anyway but expecting the man to pay for it is unreasonable at best, downright criminal at worst. Compound that with the fact that when the shoe's on the other foot and the man can't keep his child if he wants it but the woman wants to abort and it's just disgusting.

Posted by: Anne at January 24, 2007 12:16 PM

I would be more in favor of a Brave New World type of society. Go Alpha-Plus!

Posted by: Joe at January 24, 2007 12:33 PM

Actually Anne you have a forth option, use birth control and dont get pregnant.

Also I wonder if these duped dads arent going about this the wrong way, instead of trying to get out of it perhaps they should also try and get sole custody, sue the mothers for child support, and then withhold visitation rights.
Maybe put them in an expensive boarding school that the mother can barely afford reducing her livable income to virtually nothing

Because let face it, a mans suffring doesnt rate much sympathy.

Just imagine this for a moment, word gets out that a child is in the legal custody of some guy they dont know have rarely ever met and is not their father, the mother meanwhile is being force to give money to this man whom she never had a relationship with, and on top of it all he refuses to let her see her precious baby.

All of a sudden women groups would have no option but to fight for a reversal of the very laws they are now defending

Posted by: lujlp at January 24, 2007 1:07 PM

" Men shouldn't fuck if they don't want kids? Same goes for women. "

Of course it does. But there are a

"Someone said "There's also a paternity issue- what would happen if a man could force a woman to birth a child that may not be his?" What the hell? HELLO!! Women are forcing men to support children that may or may not be theirs, whether they want them or not. "

That's a seperate issue- of course a man should not have to support a child not his own, unless he wants to. But forcing childbirth is whole new level of control over another human being- and yet another reason BOTH parties should not frolic without being prepared for consequences.

"That a child would be unwanted is horrible, but it happens each and every day. However, women hold ALL the cards in this issue. It's 100% up to them whether thy have the child or don't have it, and the man has no say-so either in keeping the child or supporting it. "

He has a say-so (in most states) if he was lied to- he can sue for fraud. But because he does not carry the baby, he just doesn't get to make the body decisions. Sure, it's unfair- but it would be more unfair the other way around, and until nmen have wombs, that's just the reality of the situation. I feel bad for men who want to keep their babies, I really do- but there's just no justice to be had on this issue, we have to go with the lesser evil. A man who opposes abortion has an extra responsibility because of this. (The women who do already bear more responsibility)

Of course, it's not just men who bear more of a burden- when the chips fall the other way, the woman who does choose to keep a child, or who is abandoned in pregnancy or after birth, carries a larger load. A child support payment is not fifty percent of the child-rearing load, and while many fathers seek equal custody agreements, most make payments and occasional visits- they don't deal with day to day child rearing. The men who don't want the babies usually make that known by avoiding as many responsibilities as possible- most 'absent' dads do not pay any child support. For every girl who gets pregnant on the sly to keep her boyfriend, there's at least one dad sitting in a bar complaining how that bitch is soaking him for support she obviously doesn't need because she had on abrand new pair of boots.

Posted by: Jennifer Emick at January 24, 2007 1:09 PM

Ugh. I think my tubes just tied themselves.

Posted by: Pirate Jo at January 24, 2007 1:13 PM

Hell, maybe birth control should be mandatory before thirty for everyone.

Posted by: Jennifer Emick at January 24, 2007 1:14 PM

Pirate Jo, thanks for making me snort coffee up my nose.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at January 24, 2007 1:21 PM

Am I missing something here? There are two birth control options that are totally within a man's control: condoms and vasectomy. If a guy doesn't want kids, he should avail himself of one of these, and not rely on a woman's assurance that she's "on the pill" or whatever. Sure it's crappy that some women are trying to get child support from men who aren't the actual fathers, but guys, it's not like you're powerless in this.

Posted by: deja pseu at January 24, 2007 1:31 PM

That's true Deja, but the original Welch article (not linked) described Hitchcock scenarios where guys who were obviously, demonstrably not fathers were nonetheless on the hook without recourse. The law stinks. So do a lot of men, but it's not like the law's bringing justice.

Posted by: Crid at January 24, 2007 1:50 PM

There has been private groups that would pay female junkies to get sterlized. One is called Project Prevention's Children Requiring a Caring Community (CRACC). They do offer the choice of short term or permanent birth control options.

I believe they offer more money for the longterm option.

Posted by: Joe at January 24, 2007 1:56 PM

'sterilized' Sorry for the misspelling.

Posted by: Joe at January 24, 2007 1:58 PM

Great idea, thanks for posting it.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at January 24, 2007 2:45 PM

I agree with you deja pseu. It's time EVERYONE be held ACCOUNTABLE for their actions. I'm so sick of people wanting to blame someone else for the mess they've brought upon themselves through their own reckless, thoughtless behaviors. Unless you live under a rock, you know the risk of pregnancy, venereal diseases, even chapped lips! PROTECT YOURSELF!

Posted by: Jan at January 24, 2007 4:39 PM

Amy, as always, I adore you for speaking the truth bluntly and defending against fraud. It's not men vs. women, but a greedy/lazy state revenue system that wants to avoid paying for children and will do anything, unethical or not, to avoid doing so. And men shouldn't be nailed for support of kids they aren't the parents of. Period.

Posted by: Rusputin at January 24, 2007 5:03 PM

Crid writes:

A guy has an excellent opportunity to express his disinterest in being a father to a woman's child: by not fucking her. Women should always have access to abortion. (Throughout human prehistory, the best way to kill or maim a woman was to get her pregnant. Pregnant women are in warfare with nature.

God DAMN! Crid, you're older than I thought!

I should say something here about how much I love it when Crid just makes stuff up. But he does it so often, it's ceased to be entertaining.

Crid's vague recollections of his youth notwithstanding, this reminds a little of the story that you posted by the unethical "Ethicist," who thinks that a man should continue to pay for children that aren't his, and that another man who found this out should just keep his mouth shut about it.

Where did we get this idea that all's fair in love and child support and that you could just name any slob you wanted to pay for your bad decision? If these idiot women had any brains at all, they would just start naming every celebrity and millionaire she can think of. Sooner or later, one of them will miss the deadline and that kid is going to live high on the hog.

"Yes, Mr. Social Worker. I was gang raped at a Hollywood party (SOB!), and I don't know who the father is!"

Posted by: Patrick at January 25, 2007 2:21 AM

Patrick - Secretly, you like me. Everyone can tell.

Have at you!:

http://tinyurl.com/2j9gzg

Posted by: Crid at January 25, 2007 4:27 AM

I'm hoping this issue will soon be moot, or at least less frequent when male birth control pills become available. It should be in the next several years, I think. But will you take it, guys? There has been some talk about men having doubts because they fear for their 'masculinity'. Pshaw.

Posted by: christina at January 25, 2007 8:20 AM

Why the single quotes?

Pshucks.

Posted by: Crid at January 25, 2007 8:28 AM

"I'm hoping this issue will soon be moot, or at least less frequent when male birth control pills become available."

A-frickin-men. Nothing pisses me off worse than those gold-digging whores who "oops" a man into getting them pregnant, just so they can milk his wallet dry for the next 18+ years. If a guy deliberately deceived a woman about birth control by poking holes in condoms, there would be howls of outrage from the feminists. But when the woman is the one lying, suddenly it's all about "Hey, the guy shouldn't sleep with her if he's afraid of getting her pregnant." Don't we women hate it when that same argument ("Don't have sex if you don't want to get pregnant,") is used by some Bible-thumper who is trying to make abortion illegal? Oopsing is fraud, period. Parenthood should be optional, for both women AND men.

It will be interesting to see the number of oopses take a nosedive when the male birth control pill comes out. Guess those conniving broads will just have to finish high school and get a job, same as the rest of us.

Posted by: Pirate Jo at January 25, 2007 10:49 AM

Pirate Jo,
I think you're slightly misaligning your Bible Thumpers.

Generally, they hate sex that leads to abortions.

Generally, they don't seem to mind so much the sex that leads to gold-digging, ooops-I'm-a-crazed-whore-who-only-screws-to-ruin-this-charming-man's-future-cos-I'm-too-darned-fat-and-stooopid-to-work-in-an-office type arrangements.

The Bible thumpers are rather keen on sacred babies.

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at January 25, 2007 11:08 AM

Re men not wanting to take the pill on accounta it threatening their masculinity...Wha? Yeah, I've heard it too, and it's the dumbest shit I've ever heard.
Dan Savage, who I generally really like, wrote a post on how men had to feel that their sperm discharge had actual 'potency,' that they'd refuse to take the Male Pill because even though they'd ejaculate, it'd be inert and thus unsatisfying. This is wierd, 'cause Savage is usually on the ball as far as how men, gay and straight, feel, but this was so out there...No, really, men give very little thought to how potent their jizz is, unless they're trying to have kids, which (statistically) most of the time, they're not. Just about every guy in college would LOVE to have his potency switched off, for instance, if he were guaranteed he could switch it back on down the line.
I bet the Male Pill will be a huge seller. The NBA will probably buy up the entire first, er, printing.

Crid, as someone should have pointed out, the problem with using the 'Judeo-Christian ethos' to run the world, or the courts, or society, is that nobody can guarantee what it is. Between the Old and New Testaments and the various writings of Hebrew scholars, you can justify slavery (blacks are the descendants of Ham, after all), pimping out your daughter (Sodom and Gomorrah), killing all non-combatants in a war (one of those Old Test. books that nobody reads much). People say, well, yeah, MINOR differences, but one thing we can all agree on is....and they all agree on different stuff.
People certainly aren't 'naturally good,' but nobody even agrees on what 'good' is.
A perfect example is what the 'Christian' view is on abortion, or if you like, when life begins. Not a lot of agreement there.

Well, hey, at least everyone here agrees (I think) that when DNA testing proves the man not to be the father, he shouldn't have to pay. Right?

Posted by: Cat brother at January 25, 2007 4:30 PM

> really, men give very little thought to how
> potent their jizz is

Agreed. I think the squeamishness is the same sort of piss-shiver / think-about-something-else feeling many people have when they discuss any soft tissues. Years ago at traffic school, we got to the point where the guy talked about signing your organ donor card. And several people in the room --including Valium-blooded housewives and hypermacho gangbangers who'd thought nothing of doing 85 in a school zone-- were completely freaked.

> nobody can guarantee what it is.

Right, so why worry about it? Even if it's a complicated set of forces, it's still the basis for the modern western society... So far as I'm concerned, that's the only game in the casino.


- Crid
Big V, Class of 1990

Posted by: Crid at January 25, 2007 5:29 PM

BTW, does anyone remember that photo from Life magazine circa 1968 of two teensy-weedol plumbing valves balanced on a white man's fingertip? They were industrial-shaped but golden, and we were told they'd fit neatly on the vas deferens, making a vast difference: You'd be able to dial in your fertility through an outpatient procedure under a local A.

That was the future. We're still waiting on flying cars, too.

Posted by: Crid at January 25, 2007 5:34 PM

I just ran into this but would like to thank you Amy for defending the men. As a sister-survivor of suicide due to this very subject - in my experience "she" wanted money. Lisa didn't just want my brothers money, no, in court on record she felt that a percentage of the family business belonged to her. My business had nothing to do with my brother. Luckily on that day the protem judge went out of his way to explain this "concept" to Lisa. To make it short - this child that bares my last name (definitely NO related DNA) and whom I've met in passing as years go by has only asked me for things: 1. A down payment for a house. 2. A job at my business. I gave him a job and literally paid him to talk on his cell phone and eat.
The day I fired him I asked him if he just saw my family as an ATM machine - he said, "that's what my mom said."
The fraud doesn't just affect a man that got laid or fucked as one of you put it. The fraud affects families. If you love your brother as much as I did mine be happy that you can tell him. Watching the effect of credit reports to phyical depression and not being able to do more is something no one should ever witness.

Posted by: A F at January 27, 2007 1:06 PM

Thanks so much for posting that, A F...for anyone who takes this lightly. It's devastating -- especially because it's not just the financial fucking, but the fact that it's so unjust, that just lays waste to otherwise solvent, content men, who've done nothing wrong.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at January 27, 2007 5:09 PM

Just a quit note. My husband and myself are going through this issue right now. My husband (before I met him) was told (12 years ago now) that he got someone he was seeing pregnant. Come to find out she lied and was already pregnant (a few weeks) before they started dating. My husband married her (dumb I know) because he felt the right thing to do was be a father to the boy. Their marriage ended terribly and because of the constant chaos he never really had a very good relationship with the boy/son. When the boy was nine and my husband and I married, we fought for custody of the boy and after almost a year won. The child lived with us for about a year and I think it was the worst year of all of our lives. He hated all of us and did not want to be away from his mom. Close to the end of that year the boy's mother exasperatedly told me it wasn't my husband's son when I told her we were going to sue for child support. Shocked, angered, and amazed we paid for legal DNA. Low and behold he isn't my husband's son. Due to the boy's wishes he went back to live with his mom and my husband has court tomorrow to try and have paternity reversed but since the boy lived with us and it 11 years old now we are probably stuck with a boy we won't ever see, who hates us for taking him away from his mom, and isn't even my husbands. Oh by the way, my husband was garnished to pay child support. So our emotions, finances, and his credit have been trashed because she lied, and he tried to do the right thing.

Posted by: Jennifer H at January 31, 2007 12:03 PM

Just a quick note. My husband and myself are going through this issue right now. My husband (before I met him) was told (12 years ago now) that he got someone he was seeing pregnant. Come to find out she lied and was already pregnant (a few weeks) before they started dating. My husband married her (dumb I know) because he felt the right thing to do was be a father to the boy. Their marriage ended terribly and because of the constant chaos he never really had a very good relationship with the boy/son. When the boy was nine and my husband and I married, we fought for custody of the boy and after almost a year won. The child lived with us for about a year and I think it was the worst year of all of our lives. He hated all of us and did not want to be away from his mom. Close to the end of that year the boy's mother exasperatedly told me it wasn't my husband's son when I told her we were going to sue for child support. Shocked, angered, and amazed we paid for legal DNA. Low and behold he isn't my husband's son. Due to the boy's wishes he went back to live with his mom and my husband has court tomorrow to try and have paternity reversed but since the boy lived with us and it 11 years old now we are probably stuck with a boy we won't ever see, who hates us for taking him away from his mom, and isn't even my husbands. Oh by the way, my husband was garnished to pay child support. So our emotions, finances, and his credit have been trashed because she lied, and he tried to do the right thing.

Posted by: Jennifer H at January 31, 2007 12:06 PM

Are you people high???

Posted by: kika at February 15, 2007 9:01 PM

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