Relationships and Unplanned Parenthood

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Re: Relationships and Unplanned Parenthood

Postby setzer777 » Thu Mar 17, 2011 6:47 pm UTC

I was wondering why this thread was back and had like 20 posts I hadn't read. Before I noticed the merge I was disturbed by people talking about the "OP" making claims about unequal rights, when I was pretty sure I never did.

jules.lt wrote:What about adoption?
Since both parents' bodily autonomy limits have been reached, why would that opt-out option be reserved for women?

Whatever the gender, if one parent wants the baby adopted and the other doesn't, then the baby is the responsibility of the parent who wanted to keep the baby.


I'm not sure what you mean here. As far as I know adoption is completely gender neutral. It takes the consent of both parents to put a child up for adoption, and if either refuses (and presumably takes full custody), the other is financially responsible for their portion of supporting the child.

Actually I'd say the bigger question adoption raises is why when both parents agree they should be able to escape all financial responsibility for their child. Seems like the same argument against the government paying the unwilling parent's share of support could be raised against the government paying for both parents' share (until another person or couple agrees to take full custody).
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Re: Relationships and Unplanned Parenthood

Postby Azrael » Thu Mar 17, 2011 6:50 pm UTC

jules.lt wrote:What about adoption?
Since both parents' bodily autonomy limits have been reached, why would that opt-out option be reserved for women?

It's not reserved for women.

It's reserved for the parent with legal custody.

(Feel free to subsequently argue that defaulting to the mother for custody should be changed. I agree ... and think that's another thread entirely)

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Re: Relationships and Unplanned Parenthood

Postby setzer777 » Thu Mar 17, 2011 6:53 pm UTC

Azrael wrote:
jules.lt wrote:What about adoption?
Since both parents' bodily autonomy limits have been reached, why would that opt-out option be reserved for women?

It's not reserved for women.

It's reserved for the parent with legal custody.

(Feel free to subsequently argue that defaulting to the mother for custody should be changed. I agree ... and think that's another thread entirely)


Oh, can the parent with legal custody put a child up for adoption without the consent of the non-custodial parent? It seems like in non-abuse scenarios the non-custodial parent should have the right to take full custody (and consequently receive financial support from the formerly custodial parent to help raise the child).
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Re: Relationships and Unplanned Parenthood

Postby drkslvr » Thu Mar 17, 2011 6:59 pm UTC

setzer777 wrote:Incidentally, I've realized a way to make this scenario gender neutral. If a woman gets pregnant, and she and her partner agree to give the child up for adoption after birth, but then one of them changes their mind when it's too late to abort.

What about this scenario? No one really addressed it when it was first brought up.
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Re: Relationships and Unplanned Parenthood

Postby Chen » Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:19 pm UTC

bigglesworth wrote:
drkslvr wrote:It seems like a no-fault kind of accident to me. And when you're on the road and a no-fault occurs, everyone has to pay for their own damages. No one is forced to pay for anyone else.
And no-one is. Each party pays for half (or whatever proportion local laws enforce) of the costs of the result (the child). There is one 'damage' and the responsibility is 50/50, what with the 1 penis in 1 vagina thing.


I think the point was that what the father has to pay is ultimately decided by the mother. If the mother chooses abortion it doesn't matter if the father wanted to pay, he cannot. Similarly if the father didn't want to pay but the mother wants to keep the child, the father has to pay.

Aside from sort of contract made beforehand (which has already been mentioned if I recall this thread correctly) the current way is still the best compromise in terms of outcome, even though it is inequitable for the father. Fixing this inequality just results in a situation that will usually end up worse for the child and/or mother.

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Re: Relationships and Unplanned Parenthood

Postby Azrael » Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:26 pm UTC

setzer777 wrote:
Azrael wrote:
jules.lt wrote:What about adoption ... why would that opt-out option be reserved for women?
It's not reserved for women. It's reserved for the parent with legal custody.
Oh, can the parent with legal custody put a child up for adoption without the consent of the non-custodial parent?

I'd expect non-custodial could take custody as you mention. Which only strengthens that adoption is not a woman-only opt out. It's a both-parties-agree out.

The scenario that was presented was one where both parties wanted out. If Person A is disclaiming all interest, then Person B (the custodial parent) can make that decision.

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Re: Relationships and Unplanned Parenthood

Postby jules.LT » Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:29 pm UTC

Chen wrote:I think the point was that what the father has to pay is ultimately decided by the mother. If the mother chooses abortion it doesn't matter if the father wanted to pay, he cannot. Similarly if the father didn't want to pay but the mother wants to keep the child, the father has to pay.

Aside from sort of contract made beforehand (which has already been mentioned if I recall this thread correctly) the current way is still the best compromise in terms of outcome, even though it is inequitable for the father. Fixing this inequality just results in a situation that will usually end up worse for the child and/or mother.

Allowing the father to renounce parenthood while abortion is still possible (+some delay) will make things worse only for those women who decide to make things worse for themselves. Then the child's situation is no worse than that of any kid whose parent(s) choose(s) to have more than they can afford to raise.
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Re: Relationships and Unplanned Parenthood

Postby greengiant » Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:44 pm UTC

Azrael wrote:
setzer777 wrote:
Azrael wrote:
jules.lt wrote:What about adoption ... why would that opt-out option be reserved for women?
It's not reserved for women. It's reserved for the parent with legal custody.
Oh, can the parent with legal custody put a child up for adoption without the consent of the non-custodial parent?

I'd expect non-custodial could take custody as you mention. Which only strengthens that adoption is not a woman-only opt out. It's a both-parties-agree out.


This is tangential to the point you were making, but your comment just brought it to mind. There's only an option for a father to take custody if he is aware that he is a father. Does anyone know if an effort is made to gain consent from an unaware father in a situation where a baby is put up for adoption? Or more broadly I suppose, does a mother have any legal obligation to inform the father that he has a child (assuming paternity is clear)?

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Re: Relationships and Unplanned Parenthood

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Mar 17, 2011 8:04 pm UTC

If there's no child support being asked, I don't think a woman should have/has any legal requirement to contact a father.
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Re: Relationships and Unplanned Parenthood

Postby Azrael » Thu Mar 17, 2011 8:09 pm UTC

greengiant wrote:There's only an option for a father to take custody if he is aware that he is a father. Does anyone know if an effort is made to gain consent from an unaware father in a situation where a baby is put up for adoption? Or more broadly I suppose, does a mother have any legal obligation to inform the father that he has a child (assuming paternity is clear)?

Google tells us that the answer is complicated. Fathers listed on the Birth Certificate or those who have chosen to be legally involved (registered via a Putative Father Registry or the like where available) in an actual or possible child have a notification right. Meaning that a father has a right, but has to exert it. Typically, any such exertion requires participation in child support as well.

So yeah, if I tell some states that I'm a possible father of a child with a specific mother during a specific time frame, I get to be notified of legal happenings regarding that child. I would then have to establish paternity before doing anything.

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Re: Relationships and Unplanned Parenthood

Postby greengiant » Thu Mar 17, 2011 8:17 pm UTC

Thanks for the link. Turns out 'unmarried father rights' gets much better results than my searches. What a messy area of law. I'll have to try and see what the deal is over here in the UK.

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Re: Relationships and Unplanned Parenthood

Postby LaserGuy » Thu Mar 17, 2011 8:25 pm UTC

greengiant wrote:Thanks for the link. Turns out 'unmarried father rights' gets much better results than my searches. What a messy area of law. I'll have to try and see what the deal is over here in the UK.


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Re: Relationships and Unplanned Parenthood

Postby setzer777 » Thu Mar 17, 2011 8:49 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:If there's no child support being asked, I don't think a woman should have/has any legal requirement to contact a father.


Hm, I think I disagree with this. If we're going to say that contributing genetic material is enough to create responsibilities towards the child (which I agree with), then shouldn't it also create the right to help take care of the child if desired? It seems like once the child is born both parents should be equal in rights and responsibilities towards it (unless there are extenuating circumstances).

It seems like to do otherwise would be making the law (rather than biology as in the case of abortion), give the mother ultimate say in how involved the father is in the child's life.
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Re: Relationships and Unplanned Parenthood

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Mar 17, 2011 8:53 pm UTC

Valid point, but my position is more in place to protect women from potentially abusive individuals. If they want to sever ties to the person, legally, it should be easy for them to do. I also sort of feel that if a woman isn't asking any resources from him, again, similar to abuse cases, it should be easy for her to do so...
But yeah, I totally recognize that there are plenty of fathers out there who aren't abusing anyone. I also recognize a potential medical imperative for a father being involved in a child's life, if there's, say, a fatal/dangerous familial genetic abnormality that the child should be made aware of, such as, for example, Huntington's disease.
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Re: Relationships and Unplanned Parenthood

Postby jules.LT » Thu Mar 17, 2011 8:56 pm UTC

If the woman doesn't have to inform the father of her pregnancy, which is pretty often the case since she can just say that she doesn't know who the father is, it also means that she can give the child away for adoption without consulting him. Ergo adoption is NOT gender-neutral.
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Re: Relationships and Unplanned Parenthood

Postby Dark567 » Thu Mar 17, 2011 9:03 pm UTC

setzer777 wrote: If we're going to say that contributing genetic material is enough to create responsibilities towards the child (which I agree with)
Would that include sperm donors? This would seem a little ridiculous. If I donate sperm a woman shouldn't be able to come back to me and demand child support, or really any responsibility to the child.
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Re: Relationships and Unplanned Parenthood

Postby setzer777 » Thu Mar 17, 2011 9:06 pm UTC

Yeah, I totally understand about avoiding abusive individuals, and I think maybe the law should be....loosely enforced perhaps, to make such avoidance possible. I just feel like in the general policy there should never be responsibilities without corresponding rights (unless someone has done something to forfeit those rights).

When we defend abortion we say that a woman should be trusted to make decisions about her own body. When we defend default sole custody (i.e. if she doesn't specifically choose to involve the father), we are saying that a women should be trusted to make decisions about her own child. But shouldn't a man be trusted to make decisions about his own child, until he's shown cause that he shouldn't be?

I realize that the reality of the situation can make it dangerous in practice to contact the father and/or wait until he's shown definite proof of being unsafe. But I'm uncomfortable with having the official policy be that the mother has complete control over the rights and responsibilities of the father.

Edit: In terms of sperm donors I think there is a written contract absolving them of responsibility. I do think that if a woman is willing to sign a written contract (before the pregnancy) agreeing to take sole responsibility for the child, such a contract should be honored. Of course we'd have to be as sure as possible that it wasn't signed under duress.
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Re: Relationships and Unplanned Parenthood

Postby greengiant » Thu Mar 17, 2011 9:12 pm UTC

Dark567 wrote:
setzer777 wrote: If we're going to say that contributing genetic material is enough to create responsibilities towards the child (which I agree with)
Would that include sperm donors? This would seem a little ridiculous. If I donate sperm a woman shouldn't be able to come back to me and demand child support, or really any responsibility to the child.


It has happened. Although that was only because the arrangement was informal rather than through a clinic. I suspect that at a clinic the man would sign something renouncing paternity and the woman would sign something absolving him of paternity. The fact that these conditions are explicit makes thing nice and clear.

Edit: Mostly ninjaed

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Re: Relationships and Unplanned Parenthood

Postby LaserGuy » Thu Mar 17, 2011 9:17 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:If there's no child support being asked, I don't think a woman should have/has any legal requirement to contact a father.


She does because the child has the right to know his/her parents. Generally, laws involving children must act in favour of the child, not of the parents. Similarly, child support is defined a right of the child, not of the custodial parent.

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Re: Relationships and Unplanned Parenthood

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:25 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:
Izawwlgood wrote:If there's no child support being asked, I don't think a woman should have/has any legal requirement to contact a father.


She does because the child has the right to know his/her parents. Generally, laws involving children must act in favour of the child, not of the parents. Similarly, child support is defined a right of the child, not of the custodial parent.

The imperative you put forth doesn't mean a woman has a requirement to contact the father, but that the child can if they want to. It also means that because the law is purportedly aimed at protecting the child, that a father should not be able to waive paying child support.

setzer777 wrote:But shouldn't a man be trusted to make decisions about his own child, until he's shown cause that he shouldn't be?

Yes, potentially. To be clear, I'm uneasy about this as well. I think legal action should be available to a father who is non-abusive, even if the mother refuses child support, in terms of being able interact with their child, but I'm not sure how to broach that.
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Re: Relationships and Unplanned Parenthood

Postby greengiant » Fri Mar 18, 2011 12:09 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:
Izawwlgood wrote:If there's no child support being asked, I don't think a woman should have/has any legal requirement to contact a father.


She does because the child has the right to know his/her parents. Generally, laws involving children must act in favour of the child, not of the parents. Similarly, child support is defined a right of the child, not of the custodial parent.

The imperative you put forth doesn't mean a woman has a requirement to contact the father, but that the child can if they want to. It also means that because the law is purportedly aimed at protecting the child, that a father should not be able to waive paying child support.


Not really. Saying it's the child's responsibility to contact the father is like saying it's the child's responsibility to seek child support. They're not in a position to do so, so others must act on their behalf. If the law said that an infant should be in contact with his/her father and the mother is the sole guardian, she may have the responsibility of organising this (in the same way a guardian must look after any need/right of a child).

I'm not sure whether or not a child does have a right to a relationship with his/her parents, but that's a slightly different question. I'm also not sure that 'right' is quite the correct word here. Since an infant isn't in a position to make any decision about the parent it doesn't really make sense. All we can really say is that an infant should/shouldn't have contact with their parent - saying they have a right to contact suggests they're in a position to make a choice.

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Re: Relationships and Unplanned Parenthood

Postby Azrael » Fri Mar 18, 2011 12:41 am UTC

jules.lt wrote:If the woman doesn't have to inform the father of her pregnancy, which is pretty often the case since she can just say that she doesn't know who the father is, it also means that she can give the child away for adoption without consulting him. Ergo adoption is NOT gender-neutral.

A couple things:

This is exactly why putative father registries exist. As mentioned, the father has to exert his right to be notified by putting himself on the list. It's not perfect, but the state certainly can't (legally) invade the mother's privacy to that extent or (practically) enforce such a requirement were it to exist.

But on the whole, a woman's ability to adopt off a child without the father's even knowing (because he wasn't interested enough to register) that she was pregnant doesn't go very far to support your assertion that the father needs an opt-out to avoid conniving mothers attempting to hold him financially responsible for his kid.

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Re: Relationships and Unplanned Parenthood

Postby PeterCai » Fri Mar 18, 2011 12:46 am UTC

Why does the child have the right to know who his/her parents are?

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Re: Relationships and Unplanned Parenthood

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Mar 18, 2011 1:57 am UTC

Presumably there are medical reasons, but mostly, I would say none.
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Re: Relationships and Unplanned Parenthood

Postby LaserGuy » Fri Mar 18, 2011 5:38 am UTC

PeterCai wrote:Why does the child have the right to know who his/her parents are?


I'll point you to the Convention on the Rights of the Child as a good place to start.

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Re: Relationships and Unplanned Parenthood

Postby jules.LT » Fri Mar 18, 2011 8:54 am UTC

Azrael wrote:This is exactly why putative father registries exist. As mentioned, the father has to exert his right to be notified by putting himself on the list. It's not perfect, but the state certainly can't (legally) invade the mother's privacy to that extent or (practically) enforce such a requirement were it to exist.

But on the whole, a woman's ability to adopt off a child without the father's even knowing (because he wasn't interested enough to register) that she was pregnant doesn't go very far to support your assertion that the father needs an opt-out to avoid conniving mothers attempting to hold him financially responsible for his kid.

emphasis mine

Illinois Putative Father Registry FAQ wrote:Who should register with the Putative Father Registry?
A man who thinks he is the father of a child [...]

So this does not help at all if the girl never tells you she's pregnant.
(or should you report in whenever you have sex?)

Therefore the woman has two opt-out options without even having to consult the father, while the father has none.
Making sex a willing exposure to 18 years of financial contribution while there are so many options to prevent it even in the worst case is simply unfair, especially when it's so easy for the woman to increase the chances of conception and then she gets to make all of the decisions.
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Re: Relationships and Unplanned Parenthood

Postby Azrael » Fri Mar 18, 2011 12:37 pm UTC

Shit dude, babies only grow inside women. That's just not fair.

... and it's not unfair towards men, by the way.

Abortion isn't an opt-out. It's not legal everywhere, or at all times. It's not available most places where it's legal. It's not financially (time off, travel, procedure) feasible for all women. Nor is it universally accepted, morally or religiously. So stop whinging that since you can't make someone else do what you want with their body. It's not your body. For at least the fifth time, you don't get to demand a third turn just because the other party goes after you. That's not fair. That's being whiny.

Second, you claim adoption is a women-biased in the sense that she can opt-out without telling the father. But it gets ye olde Father out of being a parent too, in case you forgot. Making your case that he needs an opt-out there completely spurious. Clueless uninvolved guy who impregnated someone on a one night stand just got off the hook.

You seem so direly focused on conniving women getting pregnant and not telling the father. But women certainly aren't the only ones who can be deceiving. They aren't even close to the majority. The reverse is far, far more common. Do you know how many single mother there are out there who aren't receiving child support?

And what if, after a couple agrees to have a child, it's the father that has a change of heart (which, statistics demonstrate is much more common)? Now he has your opt-out to completely screw mother and child. That's why the State doesn't get involved; it sees two things 1) an entirely messy he-said / she-said situation and 2) a competing balance of interests between [1 person] and [1 person caring for a baby]. It's entirely clear, from a societal standpoint which has precedence -- and that's the kid. The state looks at the two most directly responsible parties (mother & father) and says "You're It".

As for putative father registries: Yes, if you want to exert your notification rights, you have to register. Otherwise, guess what? No one is aware of who you've been having sex with, nor can they compel women to reveal everyone they've been having sex with. But this is for men who want to be involved, which isn't particularly germane to your arguments to 'protect' fathers who want out.

Lastly,
Making sex a willing exposure to 18 years of financial contribution

... making? It's ALWAYS been that way. Only recently has there been any shift away from that model. Abortion, even as limited as it is today, has only been available for 30 odd years. Even adoption, the way it currently exists in the US (family creation rather than adoption of already related persons) is a relatively new phenomena (virtually non-existent 50-60 years ago) that isn't at all widespread in other cultures.

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Re: Relationships and Unplanned Parenthood

Postby jules.LT » Fri Mar 18, 2011 2:13 pm UTC

Laws are about making unfair situations more fair. "That's how it's always been" is hardly an argument.

I never said that men should be left completely off the hook: only that there should exist a reasonable exit that doesn't depend on the woman. Not because women are conniving but because when there are various solutions to a situation they shouldn't all be in the hands of the same party.
Leaving the option open until some time before abortion becomes impossible is good, because it gives the woman the opportunity to make an informed choice.
If that option existed, I believe that you would get much less runaway dads. There would be less single mothers without child support if they had known that that would happen before it was too late.

* I already answered the arguments about abortion: adoption.
* A legal exit obviously implies paperwork, so no "he said/she said" mess. I would make that part of the standard abortion paperwork in case the girl has a last-minute change of heart (that's not conniving, but it has the same effect)
* The fact that women can get out of parenthood through adoption whatever the father would think is a parallel with the situation where the genders are switched around. The point is not that "he gets off the hook too", it's that she can do it and he doesn't get a say.
* The point I made about putative registries is that they're irrelevant to the situation which made you mention them.
Last edited by jules.LT on Fri Mar 18, 2011 2:25 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Relationships and Unplanned Parenthood

Postby greengiant » Fri Mar 18, 2011 2:23 pm UTC

jules.lt wrote:* The point I made about putative registries is that they're irrelevant to the situation which made you mention them.


Just to be clear, I think the discussion about registries was in answer to my question about whether the father ought to be informed of his fatherhood (so that he has the option of getting involved). I don't think anyone is saying that registries have anything to do with fathers being given the option of renouncing their parenthood.

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Re: Relationships and Unplanned Parenthood

Postby jules.LT » Fri Mar 18, 2011 2:34 pm UTC

Azazel earlier tried to say that men and women were equal when it comes to adoption, to which I answered that the woman didn't even have to inform the father, and he "countered" that with "this is exactly why putative father registries exist".
Unless a guy decides to report every sexual encounter he has to the registry, this is completely irrelevant. In fact, the registries seem to assume (duh) that the potential father knows the baby is on the way.
Last edited by jules.LT on Fri Mar 18, 2011 3:03 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Relationships and Unplanned Parenthood

Postby setzer777 » Fri Mar 18, 2011 3:01 pm UTC

Curiosity: if a father ends up with custody of a kid, and for whatever reason there is no birth certificate, could he put the child up for adoption without contacting the mother? I guess it's a little less plausible for him to claim he doesn't know who the mother is.

Edit: point being that if the answer to my question is "yes", that would be evidence that adoption law is actually gender-neutral, and it's again biology (the fact that babies are always in proximity to their mothers when born), that makes things unequal in practice.
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Re: Relationships and Unplanned Parenthood

Postby PAstrychef » Fri Mar 18, 2011 3:25 pm UTC

Posters here are asserting that a woman surrendering a child for adoption has an easy time of it. First you have to decide that going through with the pregnancy is feasible-do you have health insurance? Can you afford to miss a month or more of work? (Just sitting up for long periods when 8 months along can be hard). Then there's labor and delivery-still expensive even though the hospital part of the process is now only 2-3 days. Here are some numbers showing that over half of the women who surrendered their child felt forced to do so-hardly a compelling argument for the idea that women give their kids away "just because".
The procedures for surrendering a child are more complex than just leaving an infant at a safe-have location. Remember-safe havens were developed as an alternative to infanticide and abandonment in random places. Also, according my my basic researches, the father must be notified and also surrender his parental rights for the adoption to be legal-one reason so many kids are in foster care is the refusal of one or both parents to do so, while they are also found to be unfit as parents.
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Re: Relationships and Unplanned Parenthood

Postby jules.LT » Fri Mar 18, 2011 3:55 pm UTC

I'd say that being unable to take care of a child properly for whatever reasons is a bit stronger than "just because".
And abortion is still usually an option if you don't want to go through pregnancy.

I don't know about America, but in France a mother can just leave the kid at the hospital and he'll never know her name (link). But then again we probably don't grant allowances for a kid that the guy never wanted in the first place either, I'm not sure about the exact laws.
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Re: Relationships and Unplanned Parenthood

Postby LaserGuy » Fri Mar 18, 2011 4:16 pm UTC

Azrael wrote:Shit dude, babies only grow inside women. That's just not fair.

... and it's not unfair towards men, by the way.

Abortion isn't an opt-out. It's not legal everywhere, or at all times. It's not available most places where it's legal. It's not financially (time off, travel, procedure) feasible for all women. Nor is it universally accepted, morally or religiously. So stop whinging that since you can't make someone else do what you want with their body. It's not your body. For at least the fifth time, you don't get to demand a third turn just because the other party goes after you. That's not fair. That's being whiny.


Nobody is arguing that men should be allowed to compel women to have an abortion. That is a strawman. What people are arguing is that if a woman chooses to have a child, she should not be able to compel the man to take care of it, financially or otherwise, as long as he makes his intentions clear well in advance of delivery.

Azrael wrote:You seem so direly focused on conniving women getting pregnant and not telling the father. But women certainly aren't the only ones who can be deceiving. They aren't even close to the majority. The reverse is far, far more common. Do you know how many single mother there are out there who aren't receiving child support?


And a feature of the proposed system is that the woman will know long before she has the child whether or not she can expect support from her partner. If she wants to go ahead with the pregnancy anyway, that's her prerogative, but at least she will have correct information.

Azrael wrote:And what if, after a couple agrees to have a child, it's the father that has a change of heart (which, statistics demonstrate is much more common)? Now he has your opt-out to completely screw mother and child. That's why the State doesn't get involved; it sees two things 1) an entirely messy he-said / she-said situation and 2) a competing balance of interests between [1 person] and [1 person caring for a baby]. It's entirely clear, from a societal standpoint which has precedence -- and that's the kid. The state looks at the two most directly responsible parties (mother & father) and says "You're It".


Nobody is proposing that men can opt out after the child has been born. Indeed, most people arguing this point have specified that the man's opt out window should be much smaller than the woman's abortion window. Similarly, I don't think anyone would argue that such a system is workable in places where abortions are made unnecessarily difficult to achieve.

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Re: Relationships and Unplanned Parenthood

Postby setzer777 » Fri Mar 18, 2011 4:38 pm UTC

Hm, I dunno, it seems a little questionable to make it where after the potential father makes his statement, the only way for a woman to avoid taking sole responsibility for the child is to have a publicly contentious and morally-debated surgery.
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Re: Relationships and Unplanned Parenthood

Postby Azrael » Fri Mar 18, 2011 5:19 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:Nobody is arguing that men should be allowed to compel women to have an abortion. That is a strawman.
Uh, it would be a strawman, sure. But I'm not saying that anyone is making that argument. I'm accusing quite a few people of whining because "it's not fair" that a women gets her bodily autonomy, just like they do. You can't make her do what you want. I'm pretty sure everyone knows that. But that fact does not entitle you to another 'turn'.

LaserGuy wrote:What people are arguing is that if a woman chooses to have a child, she should not be able to compel the man to take care of it, financially or otherwise, as long as he makes his intentions clear well in advance of delivery.

Nobody is proposing that men can opt out after the child has been born. Indeed, most people arguing this point have specified that the man's opt out window should be much smaller than the woman's abortion window. Similarly, I don't think anyone would argue that such a system is workable in places where abortions are made unnecessarily difficult to achieve.

Oh, way to make my argument waaaaaaaaaaaaay easier. But, for what it's worth, yes. People are proposing exactly that. See the entire line of discussion regarding adoption.

Anyhow, see my last post: Abortion is not even close to universally available, and for more reasons the geographical closeness to a provider. Those places you mention? Pretty much everywhere. Once impregnated, giving birth is not entirely dependent on a woman's choice.

setzer777 wrote:Curiosity: if a father ends up with custody of a kid, and for whatever reason there is no birth certificate, could he put the child up for adoption without contacting the mother? I guess it's a little less plausible for him to claim he doesn't know who the mother is.

Edit: point being that if the answer to my question is "yes", that would be evidence that adoption law is actually gender-neutral, and it's again biology (the fact that babies are always in proximity to their mothers when born), that makes things unequal in practice.

Yes, in that case, he theoretically could. But, as you mention, hospital records would make that scenario pretty much impossible. Point stands though, person with custody make the decisions. Biology tends to make it the mother who has custody.

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Re: Relationships and Unplanned Parenthood

Postby nitePhyyre » Fri Mar 18, 2011 5:28 pm UTC

Azrael wrote:Abortion isn't an opt-out. It's not legal everywhere, or at all times. It's not available most places where it's legal. It's not financially (time off, travel, procedure) feasible for all women. Nor is it universally accepted, morally or religiously. So stop whinging that since you can't make someone else do what you want with their body. It's not your body. For at least the fifth time, you don't get to demand a third turn just because the other party goes after you. That's not fair. That's being whiny.
If someone says something like, "In places where ending a pregnancy is easy, we should update child support laws to reflect that." a response of "But there are place where it isn't easy, therefore we shouldn't change any laws any where." isn't exactly the greatest response.

Azrael wrote:Those places you mention? Pretty much everywhere.
Funny story: Apparently not everyone lives in the southern USA. Some people don't live in the USA at all. Crazy, eh?

Azrael wrote:You throw a ball, I miss the catch. Or my glove breaks. I was distracted, I was somewhere other than where you expected me to be or you just have terrible aim. Whatever, the ball leaves your hand and your ability to influence it stops. Between that point and the point the ball breaks window, I'm the only one able to influence the outcome, but even then my ability is limited. The window breaks. You, personally, have every right to be angry or disappointed with me for not stopping the ball and preventing the breakage. But both of us are going to be responsible for the consequences of restoring that window.
Distracted?? "Yeah, so I was going to go get an abortion, then I started to watch a movie, next thing I knew it was 9 months later and I was crowning." How the hell does that work exactly?

Sure, when catching a ball there is a random element. Have you ever heard of an abortion failing? Giving your kids up for adoption, then coming home and he is already there with a note saying: "Surprise! You get to keep him!"? I haven't.

It seems, more than anything, you view the morning-after pill/RU-486/abortion/adoption as invalid. Given that, your view on child support makes sense. Thing is, not everyone shares those views. From my limited experience that view is becoming less and less common.

Azrael wrote:And what if, after a couple agrees to have a child, it's the father that has a change of heart (which, statistics demonstrate is much more common)? Now he has your opt-out to completely screw mother and child. That's why the State doesn't get involved; it sees two things 1) an entirely messy he-said / she-said situation and 2) a competing balance of interests between [1 person] and [1 person caring for a baby]. It's entirely clear, from a societal standpoint which has precedence -- and that's the kid. The state looks at the two most directly responsible parties (mother & father) and says "You're It".
Minor Quibble: I would say that writing child support laws, and garnishing pay if someone refuses to pay isn't 'not getting involved'.
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Re: Relationships and Unplanned Parenthood

Postby Azrael » Fri Mar 18, 2011 5:35 pm UTC

nitePhyyre wrote:
Azrael wrote:Those places you mention? Pretty much everywhere.
Funny story: Apparently not everyone lives in the southern USA. Some people don't live in the USA at all. Crazy, eh?

Way to demonstrate that you're not particularly familiar with abortion law. For what it's worth, far more of the world's population exists where abortion is illegal. You also didn't read the immediately preceding sentence: Geographical closeness to a provider does not mean that someone meets all the other criteria for access. Or that one can dictate their religion and morals to them.

Distracted??
I'm sure you're aware that an analogy can be overextended until it's no longer valid? Congratulations, you found that point. If getting distracted while playing catch is the biggest complaint with the analogy, you must not have much of a complaint.

You also missed the point of the analogy -- although I've said it elsewhere in the thread as well -- just because your turn to influence events came first does not mean that the only way to be 'fair' is to get another turn.

It seems, more than anything, you view the morning-after pill/RU-486/abortion/adoption as invalid
Not at all. But that only works if the mother knows that protection failed, and within a very short time frame. It's even less applicable than abortion.

jules.lt wrote:Laws are about making unfair situations more fair. "That's how it's always been" is ...

... an excellent argument against your use of the word "making". Which was exactly my point. And no, that's not really what laws are about. If anything, laws are 'about' protecting rights.

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Re: Relationships and Unplanned Parenthood

Postby greengiant » Fri Mar 18, 2011 6:04 pm UTC

Azrael wrote:
greengiant wrote:There's only an option for a father to take custody if he is aware that he is a father. Does anyone know if an effort is made to gain consent from an unaware father in a situation where a baby is put up for adoption? Or more broadly I suppose, does a mother have any legal obligation to inform the father that he has a child (assuming paternity is clear)?

Google tells us that the answer is complicated. Fathers listed on the Birth Certificate or those who have chosen to be legally involved (registered via a Putative Father Registry or the like where available) in an actual or possible child have a notification right. Meaning that a father has a right, but has to exert it. Typically, any such exertion requires participation in child support as well.

So yeah, if I tell some states that I'm a possible father of a child with a specific mother during a specific time frame, I get to be notified of legal happenings regarding that child. I would then have to establish paternity before doing anything.


I realise this was a while back in the thread, but I've only just got round to looking into what the situation is here in the UK and I thought some other people might be interested. Apparently, since the UK has ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child, every child has the right "to have contact with both parents wherever possible". I would imagine this means that in the UK a mother who deliberately kept the existence of a child secret from the father would be violating the child's right to have contact with him. I can't find any reference to it actually being taken to court however, so it may be that this is not how the law would be interpreted.

For those of you in the US, it seems that you have not ratified the UNCRC so this does not apply to you. However, according to wikipedia, Barack Obama promised to review the ratification so it may do soon.

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Re: Relationships and Unplanned Parenthood

Postby Azrael » Fri Mar 18, 2011 6:35 pm UTC

jules.lt wrote:If that option existed, I believe that you would get much less runaway dads. There would be less single mothers without child support if they had known that that would happen before it was too late.

I missed this earlier:

No. No way in hell. You'd get more fathers denying paternity, because they have a convenient mechanism to just walk away. There would be more single mothers without support.

Sure, there would be fewer Fathers criminally dodging support. But that's only because you've decriminalized dodging support.


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