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Daddy Nobucks
A child a man agrees to have is one thing, but should a man have to pay child support when he makes it clear to a woman that he does not want one?

The "he said/she said" of two relationship partners can be hard to parse, but I'm of the mind that the product of, say, casual sex with some guy a woman meets in a bar should be the woman's responsibility. Your body is the one that gets pregnant? You either protect it or be prepared to abort, adopt out, or raise the kid yourself.

Sound bad for the child produced? Well, maybe fewer would be produced in this style if they didn't produce cash payouts from "daddies" in DNA only.

Jennifer Spenner for the Saginaw News and Kathy Barks Hoffman for the AP write of a man who challenged being forced to pay child support for his girlfriend's baby:

Dubay had said his former girlfriend, Lauren Wells, knew he didn't want to have a child and assured him repeatedly she couldn't get pregnant because of a medical condition.

He argued that 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.

Lawson disagreed and rejected Dubay's argument that Michigan's paternity law violates the U.S. Constitution's equal protection clause.

Wells declined comment through her attorney, Lawrence William ''Bill'' Smith of Saginaw.

Dubay said he has received support from a broad spectrum of people since filing the case in April 2006. He continues to pay child support of about $500 a month.

Dubay sued the Saginaw County prosecutor and Wells in March, contesting an order to pay child support for a girl born to Wells in 2005. State Attorney General Mike Cox later intervened in the case and argued for its dismissal.

Dubay previously had acknowledged the suit was a long shot.

The case stops parents from skirting their responsibility and neglecting a child they brought into this world, Cox said in a statement.

For all you boys out there, don't neglect the birth control...no matter what she tells you. Unless you're a sterling judge of character, on the level of secret service agents and clinical psychologists, and unless you're absolutely sure you've got an ethical and/or infertile girlfriend, or you personally watch her get Depo Provera injections...prudent thinking is never believing her when she says she can't get knocked up, always bringing your own condom, and retaining custody over it at all times...lest it find its way to the business end of a pin.

Sound cynical? That's what a lot of guys think -- before they write to me about what they can say to persuade some girl to get an abortion, or whether there's anything they can do to get out of paying child support...short of dying.

And yes, sure, you can say a man doesn't have sex if he doesn't want a child...but let's discuss this as if we're living in the real world, 'kay?

Posted by aalkon at November 9, 2007 10:13 AM

Comments

Perhaps he should sue the woman civially for fraud to recoup his money.

Personally I think a guy should get three months from the day he was told to decide if he wants to be a father or walk away from all rights and responsibilites.

Women have BC, abortion(without the fathers consent) adoption(without the fathers consent) and 'saf haven' abandoment(without the fathers consent)

It seems only fair that men have the same option to walk away - but lets face it they never will

Anyone remeber hat case where a woman sued the sperm doner of her test tube baby for child support? The only reason she didnt get it is because the guy died between the time the judge ordered he pay up and the first of the next month

Posted by: lujlp at November 9, 2007 1:54 AM

The sex act carries with it implicit consent to create a child.

Don't want a kid? Get snipped, or don't screw. Otherwise, ya pays yer money and ya takes yer chances. And don't cry to me about how unfair it is when you end up on the paying end of a child support decree.

Posted by: brian at November 9, 2007 4:30 AM

But, I agree with that thinking if we're talking in the days before birth control. But, we're not. There's before and after birth control.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at November 9, 2007 4:32 AM

Oh yes. We had an au pair come over from Canada. Her reason for wanting to be an au pair in Europe was that she had fallen in love with a German guy, and wanted to be closer to him.

Fine. Turns out that he didn't know he had a girlfriend, or at least, not that she was it. She promptly latched on to another guy, and then "accidentally" became pregnant. Sure, at the age of 26, you don't know how to take precautions?

It was pretty clear that she had decided the time had come, and didn't care how she achieved it. Pregnant by a nice guy she'd known only a couple of weeks, she intimidated him into marrying her.

Poor sot...

Posted by: bradley13 at November 9, 2007 4:34 AM

Regarding my comment above, I think real parenting, by two good, responsible willing parents, is very important -- so important that we shouldn't maintain a system that turns men into lottery tickets if a woman can just trick them, or if they're simply irresponsible about birth control

Posted by: Amy Alkon at November 9, 2007 4:39 AM

In the really real world, man or woman, pregnancy and STD's are a risk in hetrosexual sex and STD's are in homosexual. The big baby needs to deal with it and until men wind up pregnant -- sorry, the choice winds up with the woman. This big baby just wants to have his cake and eat it too. The fact that he just took her word for it that she was sterile (no sane man would do this) just indicates that he was lazy and laid all the responsibility for playing and taking their chances on her. Frankly, he's lucky he's going to be a daddy, not dying of AIDS. He doesn't want to pay child support, he should have taken the less expensive option of having himself sterilized before impregnating anyone. Besides, I can just see him hitting mid-life regrets and after 16 years of not helping raise or support this kid boo hoo and start to demand to see him. If they ever do allow men three months to opt out (and a woman does need to be able to take care of herself and anyone else who comes along), he should permanently and irretrievably lose all parental rights but we all know that won't hold up in court 16 years down the road.

Posted by: Yeah Right at November 9, 2007 5:19 AM

Uh, unless you're an epidemiologist, or somehow have a pipeline to the latest stats on disease, and have the ability to read them, don't be pushing info here on who's at risk. I don't have time to go look at studies now, but I believe that people under 25, heterosexual and homosexual, and young women, especially, are at risk for STDs.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at November 9, 2007 5:35 AM

No matter who/what you are, if you are sexually active, you are at risk for STDs! Taking precautions is the way to go if you are STD-free and want to remain so. As well as child-free.

And just to repeat my tale of (not)woe, I did absolve my ex of all responsibility and obligation to me when I got pregnant. He showed up on my doorstep after I had the child, money in hand, and asked to be involved. The reason we got divorced was because he lacked any ambition and interest whatsoever in raising the children.

Posted by: Flynne at November 9, 2007 5:57 AM

"This big baby just wants to have his cake and eat it too. The fact that he just took her word for it that she was sterile (no sane man would do this) just indicates that he was lazy and laid all the responsibility for playing and taking their chances on her."

On the other hand, women ALREADY get to have their cake and eat it too. As a woman, if I get pregnant, I can have an abortion, carry to term and give the baby up for adoption, or abandon it at a hospital, and the sperm donor never even needs to know I got pregnant in the first place. Women get to decide after the fact, so the argument goes that men should be able to also. And by the way, I actually AM sterile - I got my tubes tied three years ago. Why would a man have to be "insane" to believe it?

Posted by: Pirate Jo at November 9, 2007 6:25 AM

I JUST saw a piece on this case on the Morning Show w/ Mike and Juliet or something. I took today off from work and had no intention to go w/in 10 feet of a computer, but I KNEW you'd be talking about this and couldn't resist. And here you all are, yippee! Here it goes:

I am embarrassed to admit I may have flip flopped on this. No Romney jokes, please!

My old stance: The responsibility begins and ends at the decision to have sex. If a child is the result the man must pay if the woman decides to have the child. This stance still sits in the back of my mind but I'm leaning towards...

New stance: Thanks to this piece (and something Pirate Jo said a while ago) - if a woman can abort the baby or give it up for adoption that gives her two opt-out possibilities. It's unfair that the guy doesn't have any opt-out choices. So, if the baby is born and the woman wants to raise it, he can walk away.

...it bothers me a bit that a person would walk away from a child like that (don't have sex if you can't handle the potential result!!) but...the guy needs an opt-out to keep things fair.

The fact that the gf lied about her fertility is a moot point. There should be an opt-out regardless.

Posted by: Gretchen at November 9, 2007 6:26 AM

Do we know if she actually lied. I know of one case at least where even a tubo-ligation failed to terminate fertility. As the doctor put it "The damn things just grew back" or the procedure was done poorly. The snippy snippy isn't always effective either, that's why guys have to get fertility tests as a follow up to the procedure.

"Why would a man have to be "insane" to believe it?" would you have unsafe sex with a guy you just met even though he swore he was clean? Unless you have known someone for a long time you should never trust anyone in these circumstances.

Posted by: vlad at November 9, 2007 6:52 AM

"The sex act carries with it implicit consent to create a child.

Don't want a kid? Get snipped, or don't screw. Otherwise, ya pays yer money and ya takes yer chances. And don't cry to me about how unfair it is when you end up on the paying end of a child support decree."

Yep, yes, agree fully....Although.

When a woman runs to the judge and says, "Him! That man there! Make him pay!" she is relying on the chauvinism that feminism is supposed to be dedicated to ending. This article hints at the current phase of the battle for gender equality. Is the cause losing momentum because too many women are doing too well? Is better funding the answer? My too deeply voiced suggestion for years has been that the next phase of the battle has women looking inward; acknowledging that with more rights comes more responsibilities. The modern woman needs a new narrative that includes the word "independence" as it is truly defined.

The law can't make people be good parents. It is up to women to stop enabling and congratulating their sperm-poaching sisters who create miserable if well funded children. A man who doesn't want to have kids with you is a bad partner choice no matter what his earning potential.

Posted by: martin at November 9, 2007 7:07 AM

Condoms, Baby. Love 'em.

Posted by: snakeman99 at November 9, 2007 7:21 AM

I like the idea of that 3 month rule. The woman does get to make all the choices which isn't right. OK, before someone rips me a new one, I do think she should have sole control to decide whether she has the baby, aborts or adopts it out (in a single parent situation), but allowing the guy to decide whether he will participate and to what level gives her better information to make a decision. I agree with Amy that parenting is way too important to equate to a monthly cheque.

And how is it right when a woman intentionally gets pregnant and then ropes random sperm donor into paying? Whatever happened to the idea that with rights come responsibilities? If all the decisions were hers, shouldn't all the responsibility go there as well?

Yes, men should use their big head better and always wrap it up until they are sure, SURE, SURE they are dealing with an honest and rational woman and the "what would happen if" discussion has occurred to everyone's satisfaction. But some women are very capable at emotional deceit and can coerce men (even sane ones!) into compromising positions if that’s their goal. When the incentive is SEX ("I'm so hot, I NEED you NOW!") and the alternative is some horrific "relationship" conversation ("Why,don't you trust me?"), which way are most male brains going to go??

What I think we really need is better birth control for men -- a way to shut down the vas that was 99% reversible, available to men 16 and older. Condoms really are annoying.

And yes, I know condoms are the only means of attempting to protect against STDs. But its an equal risk between partners that one or the other might not be telling the truth (or not know they are carrying) and infect the other. That makes the bargaining chips for how and when that condom is retired equal.

Posted by: moreta at November 9, 2007 7:37 AM

"On the other hand, women ALREADY get to have their cake and eat it too. As a woman, if I get pregnant, I can have an abortion, carry to term and give the baby up for adoption, or abandon it at a hospital, and the sperm donor never even needs to know I got pregnant in the first place."

Problem for me though, Pirate Jo, is that I don't remotely consider any of these "options" similar to cake eating.

I think it's Sarah Silverman who does a barbed routine about "wanting to get pregnant so I can hurry up and get my first abortion!!".

The celebratory feeling of relief at being able to abort is pretty much in relation to the horror a reluctantly pregnant woman feels in the first place. No cake involved.

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at November 9, 2007 7:50 AM

What the hell does fair have to do with reproduction?

The woman gets to make all the choices because she takes on nearly all the risks. Any of you guys want to trade? The whole enchilada, that is- not just all that beautiful freedom. And, excuse me- opt out? Since when can women opt out in this situation? Opting out would be walking away, cost-free. Like some of you would apparently like to do. A pregnant woman can't opt out. Her choices include: pregnancy, labor and delivery, abortion- which if I"m not mistaken is a major medical proceedure with significant risks, giving up a child she carried for 9 months to strangers, spending 30 years on hormonal birth control- which might fail- among others just as fun. All that for the princely sum of $500 bucks a month? Sign me up!

Fraud sucks. But getting a woman pregnant because she said she was infertile/on the pill/ et all to me is on the level of falling for the Nigerian email scam. I believe you were defrauded. I just don't care.

I'm not blaming men for biological realities. I'm not even blaming them for the state of our culture- that's everyone's problem. But men whining that they can't have sex without risking pregancy? Which to them means perhaps having to pay child support? Here's a quarter, bud. You know what to do.

And this wouldn't be a serious discussion if I didn't point out, as everyone here surely knows- birth control fails. I guess that's the woman's problem. Along with everything else. She should have thought about that before being born with working reproductive organs. The nerve.

Male birth control? Puleeze. I had enough trouble getting men to put on a condom. If a pill for men ever gets made, and has even HALF the side effects of the female one, I'll eat a bucket of shit if it turns a profit.

Posted by: Allison at November 9, 2007 8:24 AM

Federal judge in Tacoma ruled y'day that pharmacists do not have to sell the 'morning after' pill if they don't feel like it. That's a real help for women. Funny, it was a male judge.

Posted by: moe99 at November 9, 2007 8:33 AM

This guy got screwed. That having been said, if he truly didn't want a child, why on earth didn't he get a vasectomy and stop worrying about it? I have limited sympathy for men who "know" that they don't want to breed but can't get up the nerve to go in for a simple operation that will take away any risk they have of ever knocking someone up accidentally. This guy appeared perfectly happy to have someone else do all the work to keep him from being a parent, until things blew up in his face. Not a smart strategy.

The woman gets to make all the choices because she takes on nearly all the risks. Any of you guys want to trade?

I think that's often what gets lost here. Exactly zero guys have died in childbirth since the beginning of time. Women still do, hard as it is to believe. And yes, it may sound logical to say that perhaps fewer women would get knocked up "accidentally" if they had to bear the full cost of raising the child...but I'll point out that increasing the financial penalty to men for knocking someone up "accidentally" doesn't seem to have led to them taking steps to avoid that on the front end. I don't think we'd end up with fewer "accidental" children - I think we'd end up with more *poor* children. Also, how do you tell for sure that a guy didn't really want a kid? I can see someone pushing his girlfriend to get pregnant in a fit of starry-eyedness about obtaining immortality through reproduction, only to change his mind when reality set in and try to abandon the kid after birth.

I am fully in favor of men who are lied to getting an automatic preference for custody. I would be happy to pay a bit extra for my prescription drugs to support funding for male birth control. I think women who lie about taking birth control in order to get pregnant are loathsome. But the one truly innocent party in all of this is the kid. I care more about the kid's well-being than that of any of the adults involved. Guess I'm with Heinlein - who combined his libertarianism with a no-exceptions-policy when it came to men supporting their kids - on this one.

Posted by: marion at November 9, 2007 8:44 AM

Slogans do not explain why a man who falls pregnant should be absolutely obliged to live with the sequelae and a woman should not.

The feminist rage engendered whenever this topic comes up is very revealing. Perhaps "ka-ching! NOW I've got you, sucker!" really is unconscionable. Which would make defending it really uncomfortable. Which would make even raising the topic a "psychic assault". So rage would be an appropriate response. Ya think?


--

phunctor

Posted by: phunctor at November 9, 2007 8:46 AM

Moreta - The man has an opt out. It's called his zipper. If you decide go over the Niagara Falls in a barrel, your ability to opt out ends when the barrel hits the water. Same thing with sex. There is precisely one way to be 100% certain of no procreation - no sexual contact. Otherwise there is always some level of risk to be assumed. If you are completely and utterly opposed to having children, you ought to forswear sex as well.

PJ - As Ronaldus Magnus once said: "Trust, but verify". "I can't get pregnant" should be put upon the same shelf as "I'll pull out in time."

Moe - I fail to see why the gender of the judge is relevant. It is not the place of the government to force anyone to sell anything. If Sarah Brady was forced by circumstances to accept a job at, say Wal-Mart, would you support the government mandating that she sell ammo? After all, it's just as legal a product.

Posted by: brian at November 9, 2007 8:53 AM

I agree that there should be an "opt out" for participation, but not financially, for both men and women. I.E. a women gets knocked up and wants an abortion and the MAN wanted the child, he should have that right and she should have to pay support.

Funny how nobody would feel sorry for the woman in that situation... I can see it now ..."he tricked me into getting pregnant your honor" puh-lease - what did you miss that day in health class?

It's like crossing the street, you know there is a risk of getting struck down by a bus, so you look both ways... when you're "getting busy" you know there's a risk of getting pregnant, if you want to retain the child-free life you are accustomed to, put your respective nether regions in some sort of spermicide soaked latex coating.

And after this hearing, this Dubay guy should be ordered to be neutered. Really. People this dumb should not be allowed to procreate.

Posted by: dena at November 9, 2007 9:00 AM

> but let's discuss this as
> if we're living in the real
> world, 'kay?

What boundary could be more realistic than the zipper of your own pants?

It's been said that Americans have weird ideas about how will and fulfillment intersect. In the old days they called this to "Have your cake and eat it too." Maybe if if they'd used a better aphorism, the insight would have traveled farther.

> I think a guy should get
> three months from the day
> he was told to decide

I think every little girl should get a new pony!

Abortion was never always a dicey enterprise morally. But nowadays the period of gestation from which a baby (fetus?) can be safely rescued by medicine is getting shorter and shorter. Three months is a huge amount of time to give to a guy whose had plenty of time to think about it between the tiramisu and the return to her apartment. In those three months, many sane, decent, thoughtful woman can be carried from a year of sleepless nights to the welcoming gates of Hell.

> Get snipped, or don't
> screw.

Word. (Big V., Class of '91)

> Women get to decide after
> the fact, so the argument
> goes that men should be
> able to also.

It's a bad argument.

> It's unfair that the guy
> doesn't have any opt-out

Not is unfair as it is that women can't, in that same hour, opt-in to having responsible fathers for their children.

> I don't remotely consider any
> of these "options" similar to
> cake eating.

Exactly!

Turns cake eating is all over these comments, so maybe it's not such a clumsy expression after all.

> judge in Tacoma ruled y'day
> that pharmacists do not have
> to sell the 'morning after'
> pill

Inexcusable. Reynolds made this point once: Dispensation of scrip medications is a community monopoly that we give to licensed pharmacists who agree to follow our laws. They're not paid to be moral officers; they're just delivery agents. The society has already decided what's moral and what's not.

Posted by: Crid at November 9, 2007 9:26 AM

I'll try that again: Abortion was always a dicey enterprise morally.

We really should try to do blog comments without coffee. Or a proofreader.

Y'know what makes this is a great issue? By the time you can wake up and type out an argument, someone else in the thread has already made it. (And checked their own typing)

Posted by: Crid at November 9, 2007 9:32 AM

Crid, your point on pharmacists is very well taken.

Posted by: moe99 at November 9, 2007 9:32 AM

SHOULDN'T TRY.... AAARRRRGGGHHH.... JUAN VALDEZ, GET ME OUT OF HERE

Posted by: Crid at November 9, 2007 9:33 AM

Of course he does. And she could keep her legs closed. There's a mutual decision to have sex. At that point both parties take on the associated risks. If the information used to make that decision is outright BS then I have a problem. If properly used birth control fails or if some medical anomaly occurs then NEITHER party was wanting a baby which drastically changes how the decision about the consequences is made by the woman.

You're right, the woman takes on the medical risks but that's a sunk cost once she's knocked up -- child birth/abortion -- both major medical procedures. Are you suggesting that dad's monthly payment is actually in exchange for that risk? I thought it was to make sure the kid didn't starve.

If we're talking about the best interest of children, which we seem to be, I just believe parenthood is more than $500/month. If mom chooses to be a single parent, then that's her decision and her ability to provide for the child as a single parent should be part of the decision.

As for adoption, you're not going to sway me with the whole "carried it for nine months" crap. Remember, we don't give a fuck about feelings, we're thinking logically about the best interests of the child.

The Pill can be a pain in the ass for some women. But I'd suggest that if you're taking it for 30 years, you might opt for something a little more permanent to avoid those side effects. Oh I know, yet another major medical risk for the woman. Maybe just go back to keeping the legs closed!

For male birth control I wasn't really advocating a chemical fix. Something physical but reversible was more what I had in mind.

Posted by: moreta at November 9, 2007 9:35 AM

"... I can see it now ..."he tricked me into getting pregnant your honor" puh-lease - what did you miss that day in health class?"

Dena,
Mindful of Amy's nudge to discuss this like we're living in the real world...your comment above needs an obvious response.

All the stuff you've been taught in health class - just as often or not by some swinging weirdo teacher with "issues" - sinks to the bottom of your brain when you're blinded by lust, daring, drink, optimism - and he is too!

Just because it's a pathetic reason for being unhappily pregnant doesn't make it go away.

That's the real bloody problem.

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at November 9, 2007 9:36 AM

"As for adoption, you're not going to sway me with the whole "carried it for nine months" crap. Remember, we don't give a fuck about feelings, we're thinking logically about the best interests of the child."

It's not "crap" whatever that means, moreta.

It's a real biggie.

(To be fair to you, moreta. I'm not being snotty without reason. We have, for many reasons, a ton of adoptions in our family. Some have worked brilliantly. Some have left those involved howling at the moon for years. All of them - bar one - were made with what we'd all call the "best intentions". It's still a minefield.)

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at November 9, 2007 9:45 AM

Funny video - I think it was previously cited on this site:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Wq5udytRN0

Posted by: DaveG at November 9, 2007 9:52 AM

Yeah, after reading it again, I should have been more descriptive. Someone (Allison, I think) commented about one of the "horrible" options being the woman having to give up the baby she has carried for nine months to a stranger. My point was that this is about her feelings...which I agree she will have to either lesser or "howling at the moon" extent. But feelings or desires are not what people are claiming to care about when they insist men pay child support regardless of the circumstances. They are citing the best interest of the child -- which I think might be to give it to a screened, suitable, and capable pair of parents (which in many cases, if so desired, are NOT strangers.)

Posted by: moreta at November 9, 2007 10:07 AM

Moreta:

You're right, the woman takes on the medical risks but that's a sunk cost once she's knocked up -- child birth/abortion -- both major medical procedures. Are you suggesting that dad's monthly payment is actually in exchange for that risk? I thought it was to make sure the kid didn't starve.

You are correct - the payment is for the kid. Look at sex transactionally. Both persons involved expect to enjoy the act at some level. There is, however, asymmetry in the payout. No matter how many people get off, only one of them can get pregnant.

The woman enters the sex transaction with a far higher opportunity cost for her orgasm.

Posted by: brian at November 9, 2007 10:08 AM

Funny video....

New to me, DaveG!

Yes, yes, yes, yes...!

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at November 9, 2007 10:09 AM

What about a pill to safely and temporarily suppress (1) the libido (or better yet, (2) stops the tiny voice in your head that says "you must achieve gratification NOW!" when you know, rationally, that you'll get another chance, with present company or someone else). I don't know that anyone would buy (1) since it would compromise the emotional connection you may be trying to establish. But (2) might be a hit.

I suspect women are more rational than men in the heat of passion - understandably given the potential consequences. I don't believe they are any less horny than we are.

Posted by: DaveG at November 9, 2007 10:10 AM

Exactly, Brian. So she better be damn prepared to cover that cost.

Posted by: moreta at November 9, 2007 10:12 AM

You're right, the woman takes on the medical risks but that's a sunk cost once she's knocked up -- child birth/abortion -- both major medical procedures. Are you suggesting that dad's monthly payment is actually in exchange for that risk? I thought it was to make sure the kid didn't starve.

No, actually I was suggesting it as the reason I have no sympathy for guys who have to pay child support as a consequence of risky sex.

If we're talking about the best interest of children, which we seem to be, I just believe parenthood is more than $500/month. If mom chooses to be a single parent, then that's her decision and her ability to provide for the child as a single parent should be part of the decision.

How does the guy walking away constitute a choice of the woman to be a single parent? Aren't there two people here? Also, HOW IS EVERY SINGLE UNINTENDED PREGNANCY ASSUMED TO BE SOMETHING THE WOMAN CHOSE TO DO? Is that going to be the default assumption from here out?

As for adoption, you're not going to sway me with the whole "carried it for nine months" crap. Remember, we don't give a fuck about feelings, we're thinking logically about the best interests of the child.

We are?

The Pill can be a pain in the ass for some women. But I'd suggest that if you're taking it for 30 years, you might opt for something a little more permanent to avoid those side effects. Oh I know, yet another major medical risk for the woman. Maybe just go back to keeping the legs closed!

Ok, for the span of years between 15 and 45, I'll keep my legs closed, or completely end my fertility. Thanks, I hadn't thought of that.

For male birth control I wasn't really advocating a chemical fix. Something physical but reversible was more what I had in mind.

Like a vasectomy? Jeez, now that we have those, the debate can be over!

Posted by: Allison at November 9, 2007 10:16 AM

Posted by: DaveG at November 9, 2007 10:17 AM

OK, I thought you were making an argument, I didn't realize we were just talking about your sympathy. My mistake.

I didn't assume that unintended pregnancies were the woman's choice at all. I said that if it really was unintended, she is actually make a decision as opposed to when it was less than an accident in which case the decision is already made (and she's already factored in dad's cheque in that decision).

Again, my mistake, I thought we were thinking about the kids. We're thinking about the woman then?

Oh, the drama. From 15 to whenever you decide kids aren't something you're interested in: you're on the pill, insist on condoms or keep your legs closed. If your plan is to not have kids (why else stay on the pill for all 30 years) then yeah, end your fertility.

Yes, yes....vasectomies can be reversible. I guess a better word would have been "temporary". Something that in 99% of cases could be removed/reversed/changed to restore fertility.

Posted by: moreta at November 9, 2007 10:34 AM

> > Women get to decide after
> > the fact, so the argument
> > goes that men should be
> > able to also.

> It's a bad argument.

I think it's a very good argument, although I can't find anything objective to hang it on other than a general sense of fairness and a practical desire to keep government out of as many things as possible.

DaveG, very funny video.

Side note:

The Italian version of "Have your cake and eat it, too" is "Have the wife drunk and the bottle full"

I like their attitude.

Posted by: Shawn at November 9, 2007 10:37 AM

> a general sense of fairness

The natural world is not constrained by that.

> a practical desire to
> keep government out

What does that have to do with it? Isn't the impulse to make things "fair" what brings government into these matters?

Posted by: Crid at November 9, 2007 10:42 AM

Again, my mistake, I thought we were thinking about the kids. We're thinking about the woman then?

I wasn't talking about the woman overall- I was arguing against the notion of guys getting out of child support- which seems in some comments to be supported by the notion that this is only fair in light of the cakewalk we women have in the whole process. It seems you advocate both of these notions. Are you actually thinking of the kids? Because, somehow I must have missed that.

Posted by: Allison at November 9, 2007 10:42 AM

http://www.wiscnews.com/pdr/news/255942

More fuel for the fire under the general heading of 'sex and kids'

Posted by: moe99 at November 9, 2007 10:45 AM

Shawn - There is no fairness in life. Trying to force it in is the cause of many Bad Things.

Allison - It's not all about you. If keeping your legs closed and going on the pill are not options, then either have the surgery or get used to being called "mommy". Because pretty much every form of mechanical contraception will either fail or cause complications.

It occurs to me that had we not gone through that whole "smash the patriarchy" thing that we wouldn't be having this discussion, as the problem would be very small. But, instead of bowing to biological reality, we have tried to form society such that all our desires can be sated at no cost (moral, social, political, financial) to us.

Matt Dubay is what happens when the reality collides with the dream.

As I wrote many many months ago when this story first showed up: Matt needs to man up and pay for his kid.

Posted by: brian at November 9, 2007 10:48 AM

Moe -

File that under "parents really ought to leave the raising of their children to the professionals".

You know, the professionals who are going to jail for raping them.

Posted by: brian at November 9, 2007 10:50 AM

"I suspect women are more rational than men in the heat of passion - understandably given the potential consequences."

And sometimes we're not, DaveG.

(Which I say with no edge or agenda. More a hopeless shrug at how puzzling it can be.)

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at November 9, 2007 10:51 AM

Don't be hopeless! If you think it's hopeless, get out of the way! I hate when people snarl about 'discussing this as if we're living in the real world,' but then are afraid to actually make changes to that world.

Posted by: Crid at November 9, 2007 10:56 AM

Allison - It's not all about you. If keeping your legs closed and going on the pill are not options, then either have the surgery or get used to being called "mommy". Because pretty much every form of mechanical contraception will either fail or cause complications.

Or stated a different way- It's not all about you. If keeping your zipper closed or not sleeping with psychos aren't options for you, then have the surgery or get used to being called 'Daddy'. Or 'That Guy Who Writes a Monthly Check' if you prefer. Because pretty much every form of mechanical contraception will either fail or cause complications.

Posted by: Allison at November 9, 2007 10:58 AM

We must dispense with the whole cake thing. Having taken the Pill for 15 years, giving birth via emergency C-section, undergoing a D&C (although no fetus involved), and having my tubes ligated, I know that none of them are like eating cake.

I don't think anyone suggested any of the options were a cakewalk, just that the woman gets to make all the decisions, which forces, at least to the extent of payment, the outcome for the man.

I think its in the best interest of a kid to have parents that are capable of and follow through on making good decisions. Decisions based on reason and not solely emotion. If you can afford to let your emotions come into it, then fine. If you can't, then you can't.

But I'm just a stubborn-ass bitch who always figured birth control was my responsibility because even if I got some cash, the possibility of the real responsibility landing entirely on me was an indisputable fact.

Posted by: moreta at November 9, 2007 10:59 AM

Hey Moreta- I'm a pretty stubborn bitch myself, but I'm also a stickler for holding people to the consequences of their actions. Nature has handled the consequences for women. I don't give men a free walk on this. It takes TWO people to make a baby. It helps to have two to raise said baby. In Amy's original post, I believe she sited fairness. How is it fair to screw a kid out of one parent, even if all that parent can contribute is a paltry check?

Posted by: Allison at November 9, 2007 11:04 AM

I have 2 sons and I told them both (with semi annual reminders) if you don't want a child don't make one! It is that simple. A woman might lie, been told she can't have children through a mistaken test or who know what reason. Take responsibility for your own actions.

Posted by: Susan at November 9, 2007 11:06 AM

Allison - you might want to take note of the fact that it is you that is complaining about the "options" for women.

I've not been the one yammering about how unfair it is that I should be held to account for where I put my junk.

Posted by: brian at November 9, 2007 11:22 AM

"Shawn - There is no fairness in life. Trying to force it in is the cause of many Bad Things."

Does that mean you are an anarchist? Because if you are, then arguing for the government to take part of the guy's paycheck is inconsistent.

If you're not, then what do you mean?

Earlier today I bought a cappuccino and a cookie for 1,90€. I enjoyed them and I thought it was a fair price. The people working in the bar where I purchased them greeted me politely, smiled and thanked me. I think they also thought the transaction was fair. Ever have an experience like this?

Posted by: Shawn at November 9, 2007 11:23 AM

Maybe I am missing something, because this seems like a no-brainer to me. The deciding point should be the good or bad faith of the woman in this case. If she was diagnosed as barren by a doctor, she would be able to easily prove that she was acting in good faith vis à vis loverboy by having her medical records supeonaed. In that case, her pregnancy is something of an "act of God", and the man should pay child support. In other words, she did not lie to him.

If she cannot prove that she was diagnosed infertile, she should be sued for fraud.

Crystal, no?

Posted by: liz at November 9, 2007 11:27 AM

Hey Brian,
I realize I'd be a better debator on this topic if I'd check my baggage, but seriously, it just really winds me up to hear people who have been handed a huge, free pass in life complain so much about something so paltry and avoidable. That's all.

Posted by: Allison at November 9, 2007 11:29 AM

Dave- They make that pill. Prozac. It was wildly popular for years. But both partners must take it or it just degenerates into this quasi-consentual get-it-over-with arrangement that carries all the same risks.

Don't ask how I know.

Posted by: smurfy at November 9, 2007 11:32 AM

Oh and all this focus on individuals and gender misses the 'real world' reason why Daddy must pay. It is so that Brian, who kept his stuff zipped, and Crid, who got his stuff snipped, don't have to.

Posted by: smurfy at November 9, 2007 11:34 AM

Re: Brian- I've not been the one yammering about how unfair it is that I should be held to account for where I put my junk.

And, yeah, I made a come-back to what I thought was a snipe, but on re-reading the thread, I see you were not the person to aim it at. Sorry- my bad!

Smurfy's comment cuts through the clutter nicely.

Posted by: Allison at November 9, 2007 11:48 AM

Hey Moreta- I'm a pretty stubborn bitch myself, but I'm also a stickler for holding people to the consequences of their actions. Nature has handled the consequences for women.
((but mankind has stepped in an offered an out to women))

I don't give men a free walk on this. It takes TWO people to make a baby.
((I take it your against abortion adoption and abandonment then??))

It helps to have two to raise said baby.
((So youre against divorce now as well??))

In Amy's original post, I believe she sited fairness. How is it fair to screw a kid out of one parent, even if all that parent can contribute is a paltry check?

Perhaps we should also ask this question of a jury every time a parent is facing jail time for commiting crime

I have a better question - how is it fair to force a kid to suffer thru emotional hell for 20yrs or more simply because you dont want equality between men and women?

Posted by: lujlp at November 9, 2007 11:54 AM

If she cannot prove that she was diagnosed infertile, she should be sued for fraud.

Crystal, no?

liz,
An enduring problem with these threads is that people have different women in mind.

Seems to me you're thinking here of the scheming vixen who sees a dollar sign on his zipper and sort of plans accordingly.

Whereas I'm often conjuring the female who self-servingly convinces herself that the god of luck will render her infertile this time - and possibly next time too and wow, he's so gorgeous and it's sooo right...

That's why I don't think your crystal clarity applies across the board.

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at November 9, 2007 11:54 AM

> > a practical desire to keep government out

> What does that have to do with it? Isn't the
> impulse to make things "fair" what brings
> government into these matters?

Absolutely. That is the one and only role I want for government. And I only want it in the sense of providing equal protection of person and property under the law.

The problem is that, even with the limited definition above, we're not all going to agree on what's fair and what not. Also, government enforcement via its human implementation always involves its own injustices.

In this case the government is involved and I'd like to see it less so.

> > a general sense of fairness

> The natural world is not constrained by that.

Are you considering the government action in this case part of the "natural world" or not?

Also, to be a little more specific: I agree with Amy's opinion on this 100%. That's where my sense of fairness lands me.

Posted by: Shawn at November 9, 2007 12:04 PM

This is fun Allison....sure beats the heck out of the spreadsheet I'm working on!

It's not fair to screw a kid out of having two parents. I see no difference between a single woman raising a child on her own dime or doing it with the dime of the dad, if that's all that's there. So, I don't believe that getting that cheque equates to having two parents.

Men & women who knowingly screw around without birth control when they don't want a baby should be sterilized. Men & women who end up as parents as a result of failed birth control or a medical anomaly should both be part of the kids life -- financially and otherwise. I can't think of a better incentive for a woman who didn't want a child to consider other options than the idea of being on the diaper to dorm room plan with the guy in question. Men who end up as dads as a result of being conned by a woman looking for a sperm donor should be off the hook. Of course, I don't think we should be paying for them either (good point smurfy), but I guess I also believe that anyone who can't afford a kid, shouldn't have one.

But I know, we live in the world of the real. Sorry, I guess I digressed into what I think it should be instead of what it is.

Posted by: moreta at November 9, 2007 12:05 PM

***Seems to me you're thinking here of the scheming vixen who sees a dollar sign on his zipper and sort of plans accordingly.
***

Not at all, Jody. I clearly said that if she had legitamate grounds for believing that she was infertile that he should pay child support.

The deal is that both partners may have not been operating with the same amount of information. She told him that she could physically not have children, which clearly puts the burden of proof (that she did not intentionally lie) on her after she got knocked up. If she had not told him this, the responsibility should be equally shared. However, she skewed the game at the beginning, stacked the deck, so to speak, and should have to prove that she acted in good faith.

Don't tell me that you are arguing that a woman who just happens to have sex several times without getting pregnant could possibly delude herself into thinking that it is because she is infertile!

And I agree that people do have different archetypes in mind, which is why I am trying to stick to the facts of the case. My interpretation seems so blindingly obvious to me that I assume that she must have had a damn compelling reason for thinking that she was barren. One that convinced the judge, anyway.

Regards. L.

Posted by: liz at November 9, 2007 12:07 PM

((but mankind has stepped in an offered an out to women))

If you want to call abortion, adoption or single parenthood "outs".

((I take it your against abortion adoption and abandonment then??))

Yes, no and yes, respectively. However, in the instance of abandonment, I'd rather babies are left at the fire department than a dumpster. I'll assume that's why Baby Moses laws exist.

((So youre against divorce now as well??)

Not when it comes with joint custody or child support.

((In Amy's original post, I believe she sited fairness. How is it fair to screw a kid out of one parent, even if all that parent can contribute is a paltry check?))

((Perhaps we should also ask this question of a jury every time a parent is facing jail time for commiting crime))

Apples and oranges, and judging from the intelligence of your usual comments, I'd say you know it.

((I have a better question - how is it fair to force a kid to suffer thru emotional hell for 20yrs or more...))

How is it emotional hell to receive child support? Assuming, that is that having a responsible involved Dad is out of the question?

((...simply because you dont want equality between men and women?))

Evidenced by the fact I'd like men to support their own kids, rather than shoving the task off to the government and prisons? Because that's who does the job when Dad dosen't.

Seriously, dude, that post was lame. Try again, please.

Posted by: Allison at November 9, 2007 12:08 PM

Hey moreta,
It is fun to argue, isn't it? I think we probably agree on the gist of the issue, just not the ways of getting there. I think child support is a lame, sorry way of giving a parent a pass. Money dosen't excuse your complete lack of caring for kids you don't even dispute are yours. To hear people complain about having to pay it just burns me up. It boils down to men and women having some discrimination about who we sleep with. Because the stupids are out breeding the rest of us.

Posted by: Allison at November 9, 2007 12:17 PM

>>Because the stupids are out breeding the rest of us.

On that, we can definately agree!!

Posted by: moreta at November 9, 2007 12:25 PM

>>Because the stupids are out breeding the rest of us.

On that, we can definately agree!!

Posted by: moreta at November 9, 2007 12:25 PM

Okay. There's a couple important points about the general idea here. First of all, women clearly should have all the options (abortion, adoption, safe haven laws) available to them because its their bodies. Men can't and shouldn't be able to force women to have a baby they don't want. I think we're all agreed on this point.

Second of all, let's take this to an even more extreme to deal with. What if the man had used a condom and the woman took the sperm from the condom to impregnate herself? Does the man still have to pay child support? What if she took the sperm sample were from oral sex? Does he still have to pay child support. Under the current system, if he's named as the father he does. He has no means of terminating his legal obligations. He can sue for fraud, but judges are much more likely to rule in the "best interests of the child." At what point do we draw the line?

It's almost impossible to avoid child support if you're named as the father, even if you can demonstrate the child isn't yours because of the idea of "the best interest of the child." That's absurd.

Let's look at another way. If the woman has the child and gives it up for adpotion this is her means of cutting legal responsibility. She does not have to pay child support to the adopted parents even though this would arguably be "in the best interest of the child." Men do not have this legal option. Obviously we agreed that women should have these options (see above) and if you don't that's an entirely different debate.

Pregnancy might be a woman's burden (hence the idea that man can't force her do something she doesn't want to with her body), but conception requires two halves. Either both should be able to cut legal responsibilites with the child or neither should. That's equality.

Posted by: Flighty at November 9, 2007 12:27 PM

((What if the man had used a condom and the woman took the sperm from the condom to impregnate herself? Does the man still have to pay child support? What if she took the sperm sample were from oral sex? Does he still have to pay child support. ))

Yes and yes. Because if he doesn't, who does?
Women get termination and abandonment options men don't because women have possession, and men don't. Make sense? If it's not legal to leave a baby at the hospital, some women will leave her in a dumpster. If by adoption, she'd risk child support, again, dumpster.

In the very unlikely event a women squeezes out a condom to get pregnant, and the guy can prove it, he should be able to sue for custody with preference due to her behavior. Once granted, he can have the same adoption rights as she would have, and can then sue her for restitution. How about that?

Posted by: Allison at November 9, 2007 12:38 PM

Quoting myself: My interpretation seems so blindingly obvious to me that I assume that she must have had a damn compelling reason for thinking that she was barren. One that convinced the judge, anyway. ***

Now that I think about it a bit more, I'll bet that she denied that she ever told him that she was infertile (and that could well be true). After all, we only have his word for it. If she admitted that she said it, she needs to prove she acted in good faith. But since this whole point seems moot, I reckon she denies ever saying it. If it is just a matter of his word against hers, the judge couldn't really act otherwise.

Which is what Amy said in the first place. A simple case of he said/she said. Duh, I'm an idjit.

Posted by: liz at November 9, 2007 12:40 PM

Shawn - You are confusing "fair" with "equitable".

The problem with "fairness" is that it is completely relative. What one person thinks is fair: "I'm outta here, bitch", another thinks is patently unfair: "But what about the baby?"

Flighty - When there is a third party to a transaction, they must also be considered. The equitable outcome is that the child be raised in a decent fashion. Whether one parent is capable or optimal here is not the issue, but how to least pessimize the whole thing.

Back to Shawn again - the sole purpose of government in civil life is to ensure that no one individual infringes upon the rights of another. What's at stake here, and this is the part that I think is lost, is that the government, by demanding child support payments from the father, is attempting to protect the rights of the child. Is this "unfair"? Perhaps. But it IS equitable. It is holding a man responsible for what he does with his seed. And if nothing else, the threat of child support ought to serve as a disincentive for men to be careless.

The only time a man should be allowed out of a child-support arrangement is when the child is clearly not his.

Posted by: brian at November 9, 2007 12:51 PM

>>Yes and yes. Because if he doesn't, who does?

Here's my crazy idea. What about if she does?

Once again, what I think is really the crux of this. If you can't afford to have a kid, then you shouldn't choose to have one. If you are already a couple unit, then you've got two potential incomes on which to make that decision. If you're single, then you've only got your own income on which to make that decision.

Who says that the man can afford to support a kid any better than the woman? That seems a bit outdated.

There is the reality of newborn care by the parent which cuts into earning power for a period of time. Coming from the Canadian side, I think the year of maternity leave is quite adequate for that to be handled.

Please don't suggest that a woman who chooses to go parenthood alone shouldn't have to work and should be able to rely solely on the child support from the man. I might actually blow a gasket!!

Posted by: moreta at November 9, 2007 12:58 PM

I'm not going to suggest that she shouldn't have to, I'd blow a gasket myself before I could get the words out. I will suggest that most people with custodial parentage of a child of under school age don't make enough to cover the cost of child care with enough left over to live on. What about that?

Posted by: Allison at November 9, 2007 1:02 PM

Besides, we don't get a year. We get three months, usually unpaid.

Posted by: Allison at November 9, 2007 1:04 PM

Is there some critical disconnect in my brain?

I mean, is it really so radical an idea that unless you are willing and/or able to accommodate all the possible outcomes of some activity you ought not engage in said activity?

Posted by: brian at November 9, 2007 1:16 PM

Yeah, my perspective comes from the Canadian real world. Employee's pay into E(employment) I(nsurance) and when a woman goes on her year long maternity leave, she gets to collect EI at 60% (I think) of her income. I won't say our EI is a perfect system, but the principle is good. And if 60% isn't enough, save up until it is.

>>What about that?

Then I guess they shouldn't become parents in the first place. I don't have an ethical problem with abortion (within limits), which I understand you do. But it seems there are lots of people out there who do have enough income and are looking to adopt. This applies equally to singles and couples.

If we want to stop the stupids from breeding faster than the rest of us, we've got to quit making it easy for them to create the next generation of them.

Posted by: moreta at November 9, 2007 1:20 PM

I'm late to this party, but man - no wait - but, boy, this Dubay person is a wuss. Last time I checked, taking responsibility for the consequences of one's actions is a key ingredient in being a man. This guy is pathetic. If you impregnate a woman, you're on the hook for child support - and if you are a decent human, you should probably figure out how to be a father to the child. I don't think I want to be a father, but if it were to happen, I'd step up.

Posted by: justin case at November 9, 2007 1:23 PM

That's all I'm saying- if you boil all these comments down to one thing- your responsibility? Your job to pay. You said you didn't waaaanna? You've been liiieed to? That's terrible, but the bill is still due. It's likely going to take two people to handle the job; one to take care of the kid, one to pay the bills. I don't care which one is which, so don't go there. The government has spent the last 30 years convincing women and men it ain't so, but that's still how the game works. So step up to the plate, or stay off the field in the first place.

Posted by: Allison at November 9, 2007 1:26 PM

> Shawn - You are confusing "fair" with "equitable".

Yes, I am. And this dictionary is, too.
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/fair
Fair = 6. b. Just to all parties; equitable

> sole purpose of government in civil life is to
> ensure that no one individual infringes upon the
> rights of another.

If you remove the words "civil life," I more or less agree.

> the threat of child support ought to serve as a
> disincentive for men to be careless.

The threat of not getting child support ought to serve as a disincentive for women to be careless or deliberately deceptive.

> The problem with "fairness" is that it is
> completely relative.

A more precise way to say "relative" in this situation would be "subjective" - as in the opposite of "objective." That's why in my first post I said "my sense of fairness" and admitted that I didn't have anything objective to hang it on. You haven't demonstrated that your sense of fairness is any more objective than mine.

> protect the rights of the child

I would love to see every child in the world grow up with 2 rich, loving parents. I've never thought of it as a right, though.

Posted by: Shawn at November 9, 2007 1:38 PM

Justin - What you are seeing in Matt Dubay is something that troubles a great many people - the seemingly endless extension of adolescence.

Dubay can't man up, because he has no idea what being a man means.

And this is my last post for the day. I've got video games to play and beer to drink.

Posted by: brian at November 9, 2007 1:54 PM

P.S. There's a comment from Liz that got eaten as spam. It's back now...you may not have noticed it, so scroll up a few. (Left at 12:40pm.) Sorry about that!

Posted by: Amy Alkon at November 9, 2007 2:12 PM

RE: Allison
"Women get termination and abandonment options men don't because women have possession, and men don't. Make sense? If it's not legal to leave a baby at the hospital, some women will leave her in a dumpster. If by adoption, she'd risk child support, again, dumpster."

You missed my point that the mother is not actually the sole posser of the child. While it's in her body it's hers. Once it leaves, it should belong to both parents and they should have equal rights regarding legal and financial duties. The problem is still that one parent (female) has the ability to cut all Legal AND Financial responsibilities (which I'm fine with). The other parent (male) does not have that same ability (which I'm not okay with).

Why is it okay for the female to terminate legal and financial obligations, but it's not okay for the man? It takes two to make a baby.

Posted by: Flighty at November 9, 2007 2:39 PM

RE: Brian

"What's at stake here, and this is the part that I think is lost, is that the government, by demanding child support payments from the father, is attempting to protect the rights of the child. Is this "unfair"? Perhaps. But it IS equitable. It is holding a man responsible for what he does with his seed."

I'd like to point out again that the point of this debate is that there are abortion, adopotion and safe harbor laws for women (which are all good in my book). These laws allow women to remove themselves from legal and financial duties to their "seed." Men, on the other hand, have no ability to remove themselves from Legal and Financial duties. Why are men MORE responsible for their "seed" then women?

If you believe in abortion, adoption and safe harbor laws for women, then how can you not give men EQUAL opportunity under the law. Because of these laws men cannot force women to being responsible for a child (which is good). BUT women can force men into being responsible for a child (which is bad and unequal treatment under the law).

Posted by: Flighty at November 9, 2007 2:54 PM

First to all those suggesting the man get a vasectomy. If he has kid sure easiest shit in the world, go to the doc say "Snippy Snippy" and your done. Now try (as I have) to get the snippy snippy before you have kids. No doctor that I could find or have even heard of would touch me (bad pun). I was about to get forged birth certificates from Russia (my home land) to get the procedure. The lawyer I could afford had a vested interest in my not getting fixed so I didn't.

On the subjet of support. I have to side with the best interest of the child. Don't really give a flaming fuck about either of the parents. I have no pity for shit happening to people that had options (the whole range) to prevent it but didn't. The kid had nothing to do with it he/she should not suffer at all ever and in any way for it.

As far as what happens with guys who won't pay support and what penalties are incurred I have this to say. I want every women (in a mixed gender relationship) on this board to think about this question. If your partner tells you that he refuses to pay support or have contact with his the kid/s you would be completely fine with it.

Posted by: vlad at November 9, 2007 3:00 PM

Why is it okay for the female to terminate legal and financial obligations, but it's not okay for the man? It takes two to make a baby.

What I meant by posession is that the woman possesses the baby while she's pregnant. If you make it too hard for her to walk away she might hide the pregnancy, give birth in secrecy and kill the baby. Save haven laws are written to prevent dumpster babies, not out of fairness to women. It serves society to allow women a safe option to abandon babies. It dosen't benefit society to allow men that. It's not fair, but those laws weren't intended for fairness.

Posted by: Allison at November 9, 2007 3:07 PM

But I'm just a stubborn-ass bitch who always figured birth control was my responsibility because even if I got some cash, the possibility of the real responsibility landing entirely on me was an indisputable fact.

Exactly the way I've always seen it.

Also, I think children are best off with two parents, and make that two parents who really, really want to be there, and checkbook daddyhood is unfair to them.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at November 9, 2007 3:17 PM

If you want to call abortion, adoption or single parenthood "outs".

((abortion and adoption are outs for parenthood))

Yes, no and yes, respectively. However, in the instance of abandonment, I'd rather babies are left at the fire department than a dumpster. I'll assume that's why Baby Moses laws exist.

((At least your consistant, how about a comprimise - as long as women have the leagal right to abortion and abandonment men have the same opportunity. If abortion and abandomeent ever becme illegal men lose sid options))

Not when it comes with joint custody or child support.

((Fair enough))

Apples and oranges, and judging from the intelligence of your usual comments, I'd say you know it.

((Worth a shot))

How is it emotional hell to receive child support? Assuming, that is that having a responsible involved Dad is out of the question?

((Because cash dont come free - any person(man or woman) FORCED into servitude is going to have a chip on their shoulder and the kid will be dragged in and out of the court system along with the mother as the guy fights it every step of the way - and that isnt even taking into consideration the the child will be brought up with the knowledge that half of them comes from a person who wants nothing to do with them and will most likely be villifed by the others familly
Do you think it might be harmful to grow up with the notion that half of you is wrong and bad??))

Evidenced by the fact I'd like men to support their own kids, rather than shoving the task off to the government and prisons? Because that's who does the job when Dad dosen't.

((Given that happens allready with children of divorce whne fathers who WANT to be there are shoved out of their childrens lives I doubt there will be any noticable increase))

Seriously, dude, that post was lame. Try again, please.
((how was that?))

>

Yes and yes. Because if he doesn't, who does?
Women get termination and abandonment options men don't because women have possession, and men don't. Make sense? If it's not legal to leave a baby at the hospital, some women will leave her in a dumpster. If by adoption, she'd risk child support, again, dumpster.

In the very unlikely event a women squeezes out a condom to get pregnant, and the guy can prove it, he should be able to sue for custody with preference due to her behavior. Once granted, he can have the same adoption rights as she would have, and can then sue her for restitution. How about that?

((thats just nuts, suppose a guy and gilr go out they wind up at her place, he kisses her goodnight, turns to leave and the next thing he knows he is tied naked to a chair being raped. Should he have to pay child support then?

And before you answer consider this - A year or so ago while flipping thru the channels I came across a Montel episode. An 18yr old boy had just been sued for 4yrs of back dated child support, seems when he was 14 a 20yr old woman seduce him and had gotten pregnant. Now this 24yr old woman was retroactivly asking for child support for the time when this kid was still in jr high.

Posted by: lujlp at November 9, 2007 3:28 PM

i initially agreed with amy on this, but am now waffling..

i do absolutely feel that the larger responsibility for birth control rests with women, but i can't get past the fact that you have TWO consenting adults here & when a 3rd be responsible for it.

and the notion that if women were made to be responsible entirely for accidental babies would equal fewer of them? possibly, but forcing men to be doesn't seem to have made THEM any more responsible for their behavior...

life's not fair. children that cannot be cared for adequately by their parents (single or otherwise) are a burden on us all.

boys & girls, EVERYONE needs for cowboy up & be responsible for their actions...

Posted by: sourpuss at November 9, 2007 3:53 PM

Just a few thoughts...

1. I'm in favor of temporary, effective birth control for men. That would put an end to this discussion, wouldn't it? A man may not want to do the snip-snip if he thinks he may want a child in the future. I'm not even suggesting the method be safe. Hell, women have been taking hormone baths for 60 years - why should we have all the fun?

2. Re: "20 years of emotional hell" - you're talking about my childhood, and I lived with both of my parents! Both parents being present doesn't guarantee a happy childhood. If a parent is resentful of a child or dislikes the child it's best if he/she isn't around.

3. The guy didn't use contraception because she said she couldn't get pregnant, but what about disease? He should have covered up if just for that reason. It makes it hard for me to feel sorry for him.

4. I can think of several ways to enjoy a sexual encounter without making an egg and sperm souffle. Get creative people!!

Posted by: Laurie at November 9, 2007 4:02 PM

"BUT women can force men into being responsible for a child (which is bad and unequal treatment under the law)."

Flighty,

Except paying for a supportive share of the child's care is not equal to primary physical care of that child - which falls to the woman in your "unequal" case here.

So that balances the unfairness somewhat, I think.

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at November 9, 2007 5:08 PM

((abortion and adoption are outs for parenthood))

Yeah, they are. I'll leave my pregnancy resentments out of it.

((At least your consistant, how about a comprimise - as long as women have the leagal right to abortion and abandonment men have the same opportunity. If abortion and abandomeent ever becme illegal men lose sid options))

Here's a compromise for you- when men get pregnant, they can have equal abortion rights. That is all.

((Because cash dont come free - any person(man or woman) FORCED into servitude is going to have a chip on their shoulder and the kid will be dragged in and out of the court system along with the mother as the guy fights it every step of the way - ))

That's circutious, and in my opinion, a big load of horse crap. The kid is yours? You owe child support- no fight in the court system, as the case is closed.

((and that isnt even taking into consideration the the child will be brought up with the knowledge that half of them comes from a person who wants nothing to do with them and will most likely be villifed by the others familly
Do you think it might be harmful to grow up with the notion that half of you is wrong and bad??))

Letting the guy walk away scott-free gives the same message. My way, the kid gets a check.

((Given that happens allready with children of divorce whne fathers who WANT to be there are shoved out of their childrens lives I doubt there will be any noticable increase))

That sucks, and deserves it's own post. But the ratio is 50-50 at best. Now, back to the issue of child support...

((how was that?))

Much better up to these last two.

((..I came across a Montel episode. An 18yr old boy had just been sued for 4yrs of back dated child support, seems when he was 14 a 20yr old woman seduce him and had gotten pregnant. Now this 24yr old woman was retroactivly asking for child support for the time when this kid was still in jr high. ))

When she gets out of jail for statutory rape, perhaps he should sue her for child support. Btw, you believe everything you see on daytime tv? I've got some ocean-front property for you- in Arizona.

((...suppose a guy and gilr go out they wind up at her place, he kisses her goodnight, turns to leave and the next thing he knows he is tied naked to a chair being raped. Should he have to pay child support then?))

Oh, for fuck sake. Are you being serious here? I don't want to answer that, I might lose IQ points. I think I lost a few reading it. Thanks alot.

Posted by: Allison at November 9, 2007 8:16 PM

Flighty -

The point that you and all the others who argue that women have the 'out' of abortion miss is simple.

The woman has possession of the zygote/embryo/fetus. The law recognizes her, and her alone as the one who gets to make the call as to whether or not it becomes a baby. When the woman takes the option of abortion, there is no child to worry about. When she puts the child up for adoption, there are no child support issues to deal with.

What you are asking for is not the ability to ensure that the child is either prevented from being born or that the child is cared for, but the ability to abandon that child to a life of poverty and despair.

Personally, I think that an abortion is the single most selfish thing a woman can do, but being as I'm not a woman, I don't get a call on that. What you're advocating is no less selfish.

Once you've deposited your seed, that's it - what happens, happens; and you don't get a say in the matter. Unless you want to advocate for the ability to force her to get an abortion, or give the child up for adoption. In which case, I just don't know what to say. But there's certainly no libertarian case to be made for it.

If you do not like that idea, then I suggest that you either limit your dalliances to sexual mechanisms that do not lead to procreation, or you only engage in intimate relations with a woman you find to be acceptable wife and mother material.

There is a very good reason that pre-marital and extra-marital sex were frowned upon prior to 1960. People like Matt Dubay are examples of that reasoning.

Posted by: brian at November 9, 2007 8:33 PM

Oh, for fuck sake. Are you being serious here? I don't want to answer that, I might lose IQ points. I think I lost a few reading it. Thanks alot.

I am being serious, I had a freind in high school who got drunk at a party, passed out we put him in a room upstairs and when he woke up he was naked and the mother of the guy throwing the party was on top of him. He was raped. Had that woman wound up pregnat should he have been responsible for child support??

And dont give me the line about him getting child support once shes out of jail. First off its hard enough to convict men of rape, and nearly impossible to convict a woman, secondly on the off chance the world flips inside out and she did wind up in jail(unlikley given that MURDER gets a woman 3months these days), how is a 16yr old sophmore going to raise a child ?

Posted by: lujlp at November 9, 2007 9:54 PM

Sorry, lujilp, I thought you were making that up. Again, chip on my shoulder, but I don't think being raped by a woman is a fear that crosses most mens' minds, much less something that effects them daily, and I saw the story from you as a way of making light of a problem that women truly live with.

I don't know what else to say but that rape is a crime and she should go to jail, not collect child support.

I agree that women seem to get a pass on all kinds of crimes and it really burns me up. I call it the "weak-minded woman defense." She was a victim of domestic violence, so she killed her husband. She was suffering from post partum depression, so she killed her child. The message seems to be that women are too helpless and irrational to be held responsble for any crime, no matter how reprehensible. Again, sounds like a separate post. I don't say that to dismiss it, it's just that that's a one in a hundred type of scenareo, and we're discussing simple child support here, for children a man does not dispute are his, conceived in a consentual relationship. I truly don't mean that dismissively. But the fact that that happened to your friend dosen't change my opinion that men beyond the age of consent who willingly participate in sex that results in children should take some sort of responsibility.

Posted by: Allison at November 9, 2007 10:25 PM

Oh, lujilp, almost forgot, how about this one?

http://blogher.org/node/20679

Posted by: Allison at November 9, 2007 11:01 PM

re: Jody
Except paying for a supportive share of the child's care is not equal to primary physical care of that child - which falls to the woman in your "unequal" case here

The primary physical care only occurs if the woman chooses to keep the baby. The mother has the very real choice to abort or give up for adoption and thus completely relinquish physical, emotional, and financial care of the child. It is her choice to keep the baby. The man can't force her to keep the baby (which is good), but if she can choose to not care for the child - men should have the equal option to reliquish physical, emotional and financial care if the law is to be equal.

re: brian
I think that your anti-abortion stance is coloring your view of my opinion a bit. In my first post I said that because women have these options available to them to reliquish financial and legal care of the baby (which is good - I think safe harbor laws make good sense too, I'm not advocating removing any of these laws), that men should also have the same ability if they so choose. I clearly stated that I didn't believe men should be able to force women into an abortion. Just that men should have the same right to relinquish financial and legal rights to a child as a woman does.

Now I hope most men who have impregnanted a woman do not choose to do this, but that doesn't mean I feel they should be forced to become a dad, when it is impossible to be forced to become a mom.

Posted by: flighty at November 9, 2007 11:03 PM

Allison, Re: lujilp's story.

Look up the Alexander Shire case from Michigan, I believe it was. 14yr old boy, alcohol involved with 20 year old married babysitter. 12 years later she gets child support from the guy after her ex hubby finds out the kid isn't his and she needs more money to raise her son.

Posted by: JS at November 10, 2007 1:02 AM

It's actually a bit hard to find. Here's a link. His name is redacted:

http://www.canadiancrc.com/articles/Macomb_Daily_14_pays_support_21FEB04.htm

Posted by: Amy Alkon at November 10, 2007 2:19 AM

Flighty - That's simply not true. Your position is flawed by one simple omission: the rights of the child.

Now regardless anyone's position on abortion, I think we can all agree that once a child is a separate entity from its mother, it possesses basic human rights. At some level we, as a society, have determined that the child has the right to not live in squalor. And if there are parents capable of providing for that child, they ought to be compelled to do so.

The point I was trying, ever so indelicately, to make is this: (I'll start with the part of your argument I find flawed)

Woman has an abortion -- which you say allows her to ...completely relinquish physical, emotional, and financial care of the child.... -- thus for true equality that man ought to be allowed to similarly sever his ties with the child.

Here's the flaw: When a woman has an abortion, there's no child to sever ties with.

When a woman has an abortion, there is no probability of continued suffering of a third party.

When a man abandons his child, there is a nonzero probability that a third party will be grievously harmed.

The fact that some women spend the child support payments on themselves should not be used to dismiss the entirety of requiring child support from the man.

And I can appreciate the desire to free a man from the burden of a child born of deceit. But sex is not like most other economic transactions. If the baby is defective, you can't return it for a refund. And if you end up with a baby even though your agreement was "no children", tough shit.

The answer remains as it always has - if you do not wish to be responsible for another life, then don't engage in behavior that is likely to create same. Wishing for the law to absolve you of responsibility for your actions is a pipe-dream.

Posted by: brian at November 10, 2007 7:11 AM

((Look up the Alexander Shire case from Michigan..))

I'll take your word for it, and I'm truly speechless- I'm flabbergasted. Rape is a crime. Statutory rape is a crime. I don't know why this woman a)isn't in jail b)has custody and c)is getting child support from her admitted victim. This sucks. Truly.

But as much of a travesty as that story is, it

Does. Not. Change. My. Opinion.

When a man of the age of consent who willingly has sex and fathers a child, he should be. held. responsible.

That's it- that's all. Weird stories of criminals flouting other existing laws notwithstanding.

Posted by: Allison at November 10, 2007 8:58 AM

Ok, I read it- looks like there were no charges filed and the statute of limitations ran out. That still sucks, but you wouldn't be able to prosecute anyone for rape under those circumstances, to my knowledge. I'm sure someone will correct me if I"m wrong.

I'd be interested to know what would happen if he filed for custody and sued her for support, but the article dosen't mention.

Of course, the KID is a total hostage on this one, and will be the ultimate loser regardless of the outcome. That's what really sucks.

Posted by: Allison at November 10, 2007 9:14 AM

Well said brian (and Allison too) for pin pointing flighty's flaw.

It also troubles me that flighty's attitude appears to spring from an ungenerous source: that because conventions have eased the legal and social hostility to women in a position of reluctant pregnancy, men should also pick up a few benefits.

This seems to erase the fact that the old hostilities were amazingly one-sided.

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at November 10, 2007 9:48 AM

I think quite a few guys think that the hostilities have just changed sides. In some ways, it looks like they're right about that. Women do seem to get some social and legal passes that guys don't. What it's hard to get people who feel that way to see is that pregnancy, birth and parenting are unique situations. They don't have precidents for comparison, and aren't ever going to be fair. It appears to be a struggle between men and women, and people get so tied up in that, they forget the third party-and that is where all the difference lies.

Posted by: Allison at November 10, 2007 12:08 PM

Okay, this is my last comment. Feel free to respond however you see fit.

I'd like to try and limit this as much as possible to see if I can get some other people to see this from my point of view.

I'm only going to talk about adoption. ADOPTION ONLY. No abortion talk, no safe harbor law talk. ADOPTION ONLY.


1. Do we all agree that once a child is born, the mother has the right to give the child to an adoption agency rather than raising him/her as her own? (If you disagree with this point and want to talk about personal responsibility, then reading the rest of the post is pointless because this then enters into an entirely different debate)

2. Do we all agree that once a child is given up for adpotion, the parents should no longer have any legal and financial responsibilities to the child? (i.e. the mother who gives up the child for adoption does not have to pay the adopting parents child support). If you don't agree with this statement, then you again go into a different debate, but I personally think you're actually a lot closer to "equitable treatment under the law."


So if you agree with the previous two statements, then you have to agree with the idea that taking a child home and assuming legal and financial responsibility is in fact a CHOICE. Now this may in fact be a horrible and terrifyingly emotional choice to have to make, but that doesn't stop it from still being a choice. Because of adoption, no one can force a woman into legal and financial responsibility for a child (which is good). Having sex did not cause her to have to assume legal and financial responsibility. Because there are adoption laws she CHOSE that responsibility. I believe that this same right to in fact CHOOSE legal and financial responsibility should be extended to men.

Now, those who don't agree with me, are probably arguing: But what about the "best interest of the child?" Well here's the rub: you already agreed with me that someone who gives a child up for adoption doesn't pay support to those who adopt. Wouldn't giving the adopted parents more money to care for the child also be in the "best interest of the child?" Giving more money to raise a child is always in the best inerest, but women are granted the CHOICE to avoid all financial responsibilites. I simply believe men should be extended this same CHOICE, so there is equal treatment under the law.

For a man and a woman, getting pregnant sometimes is and sometimes is not a choice. For a woman bringing the baby home and having legal and financial repsonsibility for the baby is ALWAYS A CHOICE (because of adoption laws). I just believe that men should always have the same equal CHOICE of fancial and legal responsibility.

That's it for me. Thanks everybody for the good debate. I look forward to reading your responses.

Posted by: Flighty at November 10, 2007 1:21 PM

Flighty -

You continue to present a false choice, and you ignore another one that is at least as inequitable.

First, if a woman chooses to give up the baby for adoption, then she's unilaterally chosen to absolve the father of financial responsibility as well. In order for your desired scenario of giving men the same "equal choice" to exist, you would, in fact, need to allow for the man to FORCE the woman to give the baby up for adoption.

"But brian, how can you possibly believe that?" you ask. It's very, very simple. Although the present situation is one-sided in who holds the power of decision, the outcome is perfectly equitable - both parties to the creation of the child are dismissed from their legal responsibilities to said child. When the woman makes her choice to remove herself from the child's future, her choice is binding upon the father as well. In order for the father to have the same "choice", and achieve the equality you so desire, then the father must be able to unilaterally decide that the child shall be given for adoption at birth. Simply opting out of caring for the child is unacceptable, as it now imposes an extra burden upon the woman in either caring for a child alone, or forcing her to put a child she would rather raise as her own up for adoption.

Oh, and the option you've ignored? What if the father wants to raise the child, and the mother does not? At present, the law does not recognize any rights for the father in determining the disposition of the unborn child. The woman holds all the cards, and may dispose of the child in any manner she sees fit, and the man has little or no legal say in the matter. Even marriage is insufficient to give him a legal interest in the whole sordid affair.

Please note that I've studiously avoided arguing the rights of the child here, as that does not appear to enter into your decision tree. I've limited myself to allowing for the access to "perfect rights" that you desire.

Where the entire paradigm falls apart is when the desire for perfect equality rams head first into reality. In the areas of sex and reproduction, men and women are most decidedly not equal under the laws of nature. Attempting to make them so under the laws of Man is, at best, an exercise in futility.

Posted by: brian at November 10, 2007 1:52 PM

Wow, lots of comments to get through.

Allison -

Heres a squeeze out the condom to get knocked up.

One of my brother's friends is a doctor. Way back when he was in med school, he had a one night tryst, using protection. Fast forward six years. Single mom isn't making it as a stripper anymore. He is just getting ready to start a family of his own and start paying of student loans. She admits in court that she squeezed his jizz out of a condom to get pregnant. She lives eleven hundred miles away and does not want him to have involvement with the son. She gets 30% of his income and while he is allowed visitation, it is at his expense, with a six year old boy he doesn't know, who has apparently been raised to hate men. In the aftermath, he and his wife were forced to sell the house they had just financed and cut back his student loan payments to the bare minimum. They also decided to hold off on kids of their own, indefinitely. (they both were just waiting for him to finish school to start a family)

Or we have my own experience.

Having an uncle die of AIDS, I was a condom nazi (remarkable the number of women who object, like refuse to screw if you wear one object). What health class failed to mention; condoms become seventy percent less likely to work, if you have sex in a hot tub. I have the sex with a young lady in a hot tub (I was young too).

Three years and a few months go by. I learn that I have procreated. I am by then, a sex, drugs and rock and roll kind of guy. No visible means of support, other than the paltry sums I bring in from playing clubs. Occasional slinging of the dope for cash and drugs of my own. Sleeping with three to four different women a week, sometimes a night, occasionally at the same time.

Mother doesn't want me to have the slightest thing to do with her child (I certainly can't blame her, I wouldn't want anyone like who I was then, around my own kids). Unfortunately, she is also on state assistance, so they both grant her wish not to have me in his life and decide that I should pay child support.

Now I happen to be a firm believer in covering my mistakes. I didn't have a problem providing support. But I really don't believe that I should have been legally obligated.

Fast forward to mine and my partner's temporary separation. I had our son half the time. I paid for clothes and sundry items. I paid most or all of her rent, the every month we were separated. I also covered the start-up costs for her cleaning business gear and regularly bought her supplies for that. She had our son on the Oregon health plan and got less than a hundred dollars a month in food stamps.

DHS came after me for child support. This wouldn't have been a problem, as I was already giving her more than they were coming after me for, except that it would have put a six week lagtime, between my first payment and her receiving it. It also would have charged an extra twenty dollars a month, to contribute to the food stamps. (I also regularly gave her food money, when she was short)

As it was, I was on the fringe myself. I was always down to the wire with rent. I ate once a day, sometimes not that. I almost let my truck insurance lapse. There was no possible way for her to lose the income I provided for six weeks. There was also no possible way for me to give any more to compensate. I ended up having to borrow money to make it all work and she then had to give me back the child support checks to make it all balance.

Finally, we have my buddy Eli. He also had his daughter half the time. He also paid for her clothes and gave generously to his ex. She was on assistance and thus the state made him pay support. Eventually she got off assistance, when she partnered up with another guy. Then she gets pregnant by him and goes on assistance for medical care. Two days later, Eli gets a letter from the friend of the court, demanding child support again.

So you know what? The system is entirely fucked. And while it's easy to say that guys should just keep it in their pants, if they don't want to get saddled with support, reality doesn't work that way. If a women convinces a guy that she can't reproduce, then gets pregnant, screw her. If she can't afford to raise the kid without help, there are plenty of committed couples who not only can, but desperately want to. Most of them could also provide the child with a hell of a lot better than a single parent could.

And even in this day and age, there are plenty of very ignorant kids out there. Many of them believe the most ridiculous things, because their parents kept them out of the sex ed, or their school doesn't teach it, other than to say sex is bad. This has been known to carry over into "adulthood."

Posted by: DuWayne at November 10, 2007 4:53 PM

Hey DuWayne,
Sorry about your uncle, that must have been tough to watch.

I'm tired of the cut and paste thing, and probably Amy is too, being the girl who pays for the bandwidth, so I'll try to hit all your points.

Ok, a girl squeezed out a condom to get pregnant. Wow, she must have been a real psycho. You shouldn't sleep with those. I know it's hard for a man to turn down free sex, but my advice would be that as a man, you should refuse to allow women dangling sex to lead you around like a little kid who wants some candy. Women don't respect that, neither does anyone else. It's pathetic. I don't mean that any ruder than I can help, but there it is.

Now, if your baby's mom is on state assistance, that is exactly my and several others' argument as to why you SHOULD be obligated to provide support. It's your kid, DuWayne. The woman is on state assistance, which means the rest of us are paying for it. She has the kid, so her ability to work is limited. Why should you not pay for it?

There's a 6-week lag time in child support payment cycles because the government sticks it into one big account and hangs on long as possible to create interest, from which it profits. That's the crux of this whole, shitty mess, and the real reason the government is so concerned about it all. I'm sorry that the situation with that caused you to have a hard time, but you have yourself to blame, man. I have responsibilities too. I'm a fairly new mom, I teach night school at a local junior college, but I quit my regular job to have more time with my daughter. My COBRA insurance payment is almost $500 a month. My husband's income is about what mine was- $40K. It's tough to pay bills and have money left over to live on, but we're adults and that's life. I make the choices that bring me the most of what I want in life and I give up the things that I find worth the trade. I don't whine about it and I don't want to hear you do.

Yeah, hot tubs ruin condoms. So does vaseline, or any oil based lube. So does being carried around in a wallet, or left in a car. So does opening the package with your teeth. They expire after a time, too. Girls know this stuff, because it's pounded into our heads by every issue of Cosmo. But we've got motivation to avoid pregnancy, no? Guess they don't write articles about birth control in Stuff? Don't get me started on sex ed. I was 30 years old before I learned the biological facts of life. Until then I actually believed, as I'd been told at least a thousand times, that I could get pregnant any time I had sex. Technically true, only considering most of us don't know when we ovulate, so we assume it could be at any time. I had no idea about any of the biology of the matter, until I read abook about it- Taking Charge of Your Fertility, by Toni Weschler. A woman can get pregnant about two days in every 28. A man can get a woman pregnant 365 (is it?) days of the year. Might it be smart for you guys to take a little more initiative than slapping on a condom and figuring we'll do the rest?

I don't mean to be snarky, DuWayne. I enjoyed this debate, and I like your comments. You sound like a decent guy. But you, as an adult have two choice in life. You can go wherever the free-sex wind blows, blustering away about how unfair it is you have to pay child support, or you can make your own choices in life, based on your knowledge of the real and not wishfully-thought consesquences. Best of luck, man.


Posted by: Allison at November 10, 2007 10:25 PM

A good friend of mine was in his early 20s in the 1970s. He came home from work one day to find his steady girlfriend waiting for him ... to give him the "exciting news" she'd received from a visit to her doctor. My friend said he couldn't be the father and promptly broke up with her.


About a year later, he got a summons to appear in court for a paternity suit brought by the ex-girlfriend. He showed up in court without an attorney. And after the ex-girlfriend's attorney concluded his arguments, he approached the judge and handed him a copy of a surgeon's bill from when he was 18 years old. He always knew he didn't want to be a father and had a vasectomy back then.


He also handed the judge the results of sperm motility counts taken even six months following the vasectomy, showing a ZERO count in all cases, proving he was legally sterile.


The judge got very angry with him ... telling him he should have informed his ex-girlfriend's attorney of these facts before the trial to avoid wasting the court's time. He, in turn, got very angry with the judge (grin) ... telling him something like, "Excuse me, your honor, but who's the REAL victim here? First, she lied to herself. Then she lied to me. And later, she lied to her own attorney who, in turn, lied to you about me being the father of her child. But she not only wasted the court's time, she wasted mine."

The judge dismissed the case ... but took no action against the ex-girlfriend who brought the fraudulent case against my friend. Women can still get away with cases against "presumed" fathers ... and men will still get told off by judges if they, the victims, don't do the judge's work for him. The judge SHOULD have demanded a medical paternity test BEFORE the hearing. THAT would have saved everyone's time.


I'm assuming it's already been done by now. But if it hasn't been done, Dubay needs to "demand" that medical testing be done to "prove" he's the father. Anyone who's ever watched the Maury Povich Show on TV knows what I mean. Woman after woman swear to Maury, Jesus, and God Almighty that one particular guy just HAS TO BE the father of their baby ... only to find out after testing that it's biologically not possible ... that the father has to be some other man. I'm not saying that this is what's going on in this particular case. But if it IS what's going on, it wouldn't be the first time a woman tried to "trap" a man into either marriage or support obligations ... and it surely wouldn't be the last time, either.

Posted by: Alec at November 11, 2007 1:16 AM

Correction to my last post. In the third paragraph, I said:


He also handed the judge the results of sperm motility counts taken EVEN six months following the vasectomy, showing a ZERO count in all cases, proving he was legally sterile.

I meant to say:

He also handed the judge the results of sperm motility counts taken EVERY six months following the vasectomy, showing a ZERO count in all cases, proving he was legally sterile.

In any case, since then, I've always wondered why women aren't fined by courts for bringing paternity cases against "presumed" fathers without having them "tested" first. In fact, prior to filing paternity suits, a woman should be required by law to present one of two types of evidence attaching to the filing:


(1) A medical statement signed by a doctor proving that the defendant is in fact the father. Or...


(2) A statement by the plaintiff's attorney that his client (A) served the defendant with papers requesting he submit to biological testing to prove fatherhood, and (B) that the defendant did not comply with the request within a reasonable length of time.


Posted by: Alec at November 11, 2007 1:34 AM

In my own case, I divorced my wife after 20 years of marriage ... and after multiple infidelities on her part. I should have divorced her much earlier. But, I honestly believed her infidelies were somehow my fault (she always suggested they were). Oddly, it was a marriage counselor who finally wised me up to the fact that I was married to a master manipulator.


I knew she'd been unfaithful because, during the course of our marriage, she had four abortions of other men's children. And on two occasions, she gave me sexually transmitted diseases. And, after the birth of our first child, I had a vasectomy - testing myself with each subsequent pregnancy to make sure my sperm motility count remained at ZERO.

I never forced my ex to get any of her abortions. On the first out-of-wedlock child, she asked me if I was willing to raise the child. I told her I'd be willing to do so if the child's natural father agreed to acknowledge his paternity and his child support responsibilities. If he didn't agree to it, I told her I'd have to divorce her ... since I knew it had been long established in courts that non-biological fathers are still "hit" with support responsibilities if they establish a track record of support. As you might guess, the first father didn't want anything to do with paternity or support.

The father of the second out-of-wedlock child was a married man with a wife and his own kids. My ex didn't even bring up the subject ... and just had the abortion on her own. The same was true of the 3rd/4th out-of-wedlock pregnancies ... though they were each with different fathers.

One thing men should keep in mind. You don't HAVE to be a biological father to get zapped for support payments. If you don't believe it, try marrying a woman with kids from previous relationships (where she conviently can't remember who the fathers were). Establish a track record of supporting kids that aren't yours and you're stuck.

Posted by: Alec at November 11, 2007 2:37 AM

I think that sex education for boys should start with a family law attorney, and several hours of watching polititicans vowing to "stick it to dead beat dads", followed by an outline of how the law conceerning reproduction and responsibility differs for men and women, then followed by appearances from men who WANT to be involved in their children's lives, but are prevented from doing so, and then testimony from men who had no intent to become a father, but are now obligated to subsidizing someone else's reproductive choice. THEN we can have a few hours of gruesome photos of STD cases that make the medical journal.

Quick summary - when it comes to reproduction, the current rule is - you stuck your dick in it, you gave up any decision making for years to come.

In my brother's case, he had a relationship with someone who was unfit to raise a child. He was in the service, and redeployed. Their relationship was over before his deployment, and without his knowledge that she was pregnant.

She made no further attempt to contact him. Not to be crass, but there was a number of possibilities as to the childs father, which is why the relationship ended. If I understand the situation, the mom continues to have emotional, psychological and substance abuse issues, and has, at best, minimal contact with her son.

Without making any effort to determine who the boy's father was or to contact him, the court awarded custody to the maternal grandmother, a retired woman who's on social security. After a few years, Grandma decides that she deserves child support, contacts the DA. Hilarity ensues.

DNA testing eventually shows my brother to be the biological dad. He is ordered to pay child support, based on standards in a different state. He is employed in the private sector, and lives on the opposite coast of the country, so the courtroom tactics employed by both the state and the grandmother involve asking setting hearings, then on the date of a court appearance, asking for endless continuances, with the judge not caring a whit about the travel expense.

My brother asked for custody of his son. Grandma has raised the boy to think that his father abandoned him, when it was only in pursuit of funds that he was even notified. Grandma makes the excuse that she can't live without the boy - that is to say, she can't make ends meet for herself, without the child support check. The conclusion is that my brother's good enough to pay child support, but not good enough to be a parent.

She continues, without consequence, to interfere with visitation, not only with my brother (the biological dad), but with anyone from his side of the family. Any attempt to contact, send birthday / christmas gifts, etc, are rebuffed.

In my former step son's case, his mother decided that the biological father was a deadbeat, and decided that her best bet would be to marry someone willing to adopt him. Considering that I'm ex-husband #3 out of 4 1/2, with the 1/2 guy still fending off claims by her that he's the biological dad (she has refused dna testing to this point), she's still shopping for a dad/ wallet to subsidize her drinking habit. The state has been made aware of who the best guess (by her family) of who the real biological dad is, but they refuse to act, or take any effort to identify, locate and prove this tragic boy's biological father and possibly place him in his care where he can be safe. (I have sole custody of our children, since she proved that she's a menace to them). I'm guessing the 1st rule of consulting applies - if you're not part of the solution, there's money to be made prolonging the problem.

The question remains - why is it that when it comes to finding a safe place for someone, the state will do nothing. But, when it comes to collecting child support (from men), the state will spend tons of money, go through all kinds of legal malfeasance (LA county is notorious for it) and crow about it to anyone who will listen? The answer - looking "tough on deadbeat dads" gets votes. "Equal protection under the law" - not so much emotion there, and certainly no federal matching funds.

The area of family law has earned a fair amount of scorn, at least by men, for the double standard. In the Michigan case, the ruling isn't that children are due the love, support, experience and nurturing of both parents, but rather that children are entitled to the FINANCIAL support of both parents - i.e., equal parenting = money from daddy-o. Be a man = write a check, and get the hell out. Quit your whining and get back to work. Fraud? What fraud? We only have the best interests of the state, er, the child, at stake here, and you're complaining about fraud and bad faith? WTF is wrong with you?

I've said this before - if we stop paying women to be single parents, and rewarding them for using children as weapons of revenge, we'll stop having single moms to the extent that we do.

Until then, I propose we scare the living shit out of young boys and men about what they're going to face.

P.S. A bit of important information that is usualy not told to the partners of women who are taking anti-biotics, but I think should fall under 'informed consent' - many, if not all anti biotics will neutralize birth control pills and other hormone base birth control products. So, that Zithromax pack she just finished might mean you're now well on the way to a fun time in family court. Enjoy!

Posted by: Offended_Dad at November 11, 2007 12:38 PM

Offended Dad -

Interesting. Of the situations I described, all but one were in or at least partly in MI jurisdiction. During the brief period we were separated, my partner and I were (Still are) in Oregon.

Posted by: DuWayne at November 11, 2007 1:19 PM

The law can't make people be good parents.

The law can, and does, make people bad parents, however. It's called: good enough to be a father, not good enough to parent.

The undercurrent that torpedoes all the logic and reason in the world (and in this impressively long thread of comments) is that having kids and keeping parents separated makes strangers billions. It makes billions for lawyers, social services, psychologists and counselors, the judiciary, and the gender feminist lobbies.

It's called the custody regime and keeping that cash flowing is the work of everything from VAWA and Title IV-D at the federal level to your local government's tax coffers. Our protagonist will lose because if he doesn't, he won't have to pay. And paying is what the State lives for.

Alec nailed it:

In the Michigan case, the ruling isn't that children are due the love, support, experience and nurturing of both parents, but rather that children are entitled to the FINANCIAL support of both parents - i.e., equal parenting = money from daddy-o...We only have the best interests of the state, er, the child, at stake here, and you're complaining about fraud and bad faith?

Get a copy of Stephen Baskerville's latest book to learn just how the road to that hell is paved with conventional wisdom about government, fiscal policy, and parenting. Oh, and kids raked over the coals before they had a chance.

Posted by: JHoward at November 11, 2007 9:13 PM

I'm just going to point something out. I know the law in Ontario (not sure this is Nation wide) is different from the one in the US. But here in Canada the only time a Mother has the option to give up the child for adoption without consent of the Father is when the Father is unknown. Otherwise both Parents must take responsibility for the child, with the one with custody getting support of the other.

Posted by: starimine at November 11, 2007 10:47 PM

Get a copy of Stephen Baskerville's latest book to learn just how the road to that hell is paved with conventional wisdom about government, fiscal policy, and parenting.

Just got it, actually:

Taken into Custody: The War Against Fatherhood, Marriage, and the Family

Posted by: Amy Alkon at November 11, 2007 10:58 PM

Hey Amy, posting from work- not sure if you get emails from my address, as I think I've been IP banned- Sunday morning at around 1am maybe?

Posted by: Allison at November 12, 2007 7:14 PM

Hi...you need to e-mail me right away when that happens, and let me know which entry it was, otherwise, it could be fatal! Will go look now.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at November 12, 2007 7:30 PM

Okay, I found it, but it took me a bit of digging...please, in the future, just e-mail me right away so I can retrieve it easily.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at November 12, 2007 7:43 PM

Allison -

The comment you were responding to got eaten too.

Guy meets girl in bar, they fuck. This happens every night to thousands of people, especially college students. There is no reason for this guy to have assumed that this women was a nut who would do that. Unfortunately, he now has to pay the cost. Including making serious changes to his and his wife's plans for life. I am entirely of the opinion that she shouldn't get a cent. If she can't afford to take care of her child, she should give him to a family that can. This isn't a case of a man tagging behind like a kid for candy. It's two consenting adults engaging in relatively anonymous, recreational sex.

My only real problem with my first inadvertent attempt at reproduction, is that I was given no say in anything. I was told by the court that I couldn't have visitation, because I didn't have a legit address or income. I was also told that I had to come up with ninety-eight dollars a week for support and an additional eighty dollars a month until I paid for the cost of his birth. This, in spite of the lack of legit address or income. I really didn't care about that, figuring that I could sling some dope to give her some help. Being afraid of having to explain my income, I gave her the money direct - which we were both told I could. Only I couldn't and ended up with thousands in back support owed. Personally, I don't believe that they should come after someone for support, when they aren't even allowed to see the child. It's only in hindsight that I realize that I really shouldn't have been around him. At the time I desperately wanted to see him. Apparently, sometimes the only thing the father is good for is money.

As for potential condom failures, I seriously doubt she knew any of that. Not a big reader of cosmo or teen magazines. I can almost guarentee that I knew more about safe sex than she did. Unfortunately, I was a victim of realy crappy sex ed. What I did know, I learned of my own volition for the most part, because of my uncle (and yes, it was hard - still is as I do occasional inhome care for HIV/AIDS victims through a support group). Really unfortunate, even today sex ed sucks in a lot of places.

What really pissed me off about paying my partner support, was that she listed every dime I gave her as income to the DHS. They knew that she was already getting a lot from me and depended on it. They also knew that neither of us could afford the six week lag time. It was her case manager who suggested the system of her giving the money back to me to work out the lag time issues. Had I not been able to borrow the money to start the support, one of us would have ended up homeless. As it was, I had to tighten my belt until it got on course. I actually got sick from hunger, because I have issues with taking foodbank food - I have a delicious fantasy that those are for people who are really desperate. My pastor insisted on bringing me a food basket, which really helped.

It is not the problems that I have had that concern me. I am smart enough and lucky enough to make a decent living for a high school dropout. I am not whining about it, merely pointing out that it's not all cut and dry. My first biological child was pure ignorance. I have no one to blame, nor does she. But I was living in the woods at the time this all came about. I had an average of a hundred bucks a week coming in from weekend gigs. I had four nights a week of bistro gigs - literally singing for my supper. I had absolutely no prospects for employment or a notion of what I could do. Judge tells me to start coughing up cash for her or I go to jail. No, I can't see the child, probably never will be allowed.

There is something seriously fucked with the system as it stands. There is something seriously fucked about the insistence of holding child support for six weeks. There is something seriously fucked about demanding support from the father of one child, because the mother goes on assistance because of a new baby. There is something seriously fucked about demanding support from a parent who is already paying more which the mother is declaring as income. Not that I would begrudge them the paltry sum they kept, I would have happily paid it. But she was already getting the support they demanded and some. All that did was fuck us. There is something seriously fucked about a psycho getting thirty percent of some schmo's income, instead of having her psychosis paraded for all to see and her kid taken away.

BTW, I don't actually pay any child support now. My first biological son was adopted by his mother's husband. I am back together with my son's mom and we have another on the way (first or second time in over a year and a half that we have the sex, she get's knocked up). I am a mere matter of weeks from having health insurance for the first time since I left home at sixteen (I did have some with a job for a short time, but it doesn't count as it did, well, nothing). It's entirely plausible that this time next year, I will be a full time, work from home at twice my current income. I'm not whining for me, my troubles are mostly done with. I'm whining for the myriad men who make the mistake of fucking a women who thinks her pussy is the gateway to the guy's wallet. I'm whining about the guys (and mom's) getting fucked because the state wants all the funds to flow through them, on their bullshit timing.

Another BTW, it actually is possible for a women to get pregnant when she's not ovulating, it's just highly unlikely. I know two couples who were using natural family planning who got pregnant. Believe me, they knew their cycles. I can't remember the name (I was twelve, it had pictures of nekked womym - there were also words, OCD wouldn't let me not read them), but a women's studies book I used to own explained that this is a popular misconception. Not ovulating, you can still get pregnant. Tubal ligation, you can still get pregnant. Vasectomy without checking sperm counts, women can still get pregnant. IUD, you can still get pregnant. As I go on, the likelyhood goes down, but in all of these the women can still get pregnant. But yes, sex ed is in a very poor state, even in this day and age.

Posted by: DuWayne at November 14, 2007 9:07 AM

Men need reproductive rights. Under current law, men and women who engage in consensual sex without the intent of reproducing do not have the same consequences for their actions should and accidental pregnancy occur.

The woman is in no way obligated whatsoever to enter into parenthood if she becomes impregnated. There are numerous methods of intervention she can pursue to abort or prevent the pregnancy. She can keep or abort the child with or without the consent of her male partner.

The man, however, has no rights or options if she becomes impregnated. His future is decided for him by her, regardless of his wishes and without any obligation to consider what his best interests might be. She has the power of law behind her to control the next 18 years of his life if she feels she wants a child in her life.

That seems like unequal consequences for equal actions. Laws with this sort of landslide bias of rights for women and responsibilities for men have no place in an equal society.

It is her body, it is her right to choose if she wants to keep the baby, but it is not her right to choose for him when he becomes parent. If the man doesn't want a child, and she does then the child is entirely her responsibility and would not legally be his.

If abortion is unlegalized again, then the current laws would make sense. But abortion is legal, accessible, and easy if done early. Men need the same degree of reproductive liberty that women have.

Posted by: Billy at November 14, 2007 12:39 PM

Hey DuWayne,
((Not ovulating, you can still get pregnant.))

Nope, can't. Not ovulating means no egg to fertilize. Your sex ed was sorry indeed. You might mean that ovulation could happen at any time, but that's why the proper use of the method requires daily temp-taking- it spikes up a few degrees the day before the egg is released. I'm talking about the sympto-thermal method. I think you're talking about the rhythm method.

I can see that the system is stacked incredibly against men. It's done on purpose, to pit women against men, keep people on the dole and create single-parent families. Powers-that-be like all those things. It lets the government collect more taxes in the name of fixing it all. It gets politicians elected on platforms of fixing it all. It keeps lawyers, judges, social workers, politicians, journalists and authors employed and making fat money.

If I were a guy, I'd educate myself about biology and birth control and teach my sons (and daughters) to do the same. Because you can't count on the system to watch out for your interests. Agreed? Seriously, I'm going to let this post go. It's really been fun.

Posted by: Allison at November 15, 2007 12:17 PM

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