Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Child Support for Unwanted Children is Wrong

See my related essay: What is Special about Genetic Paternity?

Generally, before the government can take a person's life, liberty, or property, the person must be afforded due process - a neutral, fair process by which the appropriateness of taking the person's life, freedom, or property can be verified.

Indeed, it is a general moral principle that it is generally wrong to take away someone's life, or property, or freedom - you have to have a really good reason.

Sometimes, the reason is that the person agreed to forfeit property. This is why we enforce contracts.

Sometimes, it is "fair" to take away someone's life, or freedom, or property, if the person has done something that society sees as morally reprehensible. This is the principle underlying the criminal justice system.

Governments can even justifiably take property when a person has not done anything wrong, and has not agreed to give it up, as is the case with income taxation. The justification is slipperier here, but at least there are genuine moral justifications for taxation, even if their correctness is debatable.

But there is no moral justification for forcing a person to pay child support for a child he did not wish to conceive.

In most of the world, for most of its history, men have had reproductive rights, and women have not. In modern Western society, women have reproductive rights, and men do not. But "karma is a bitch" is not a moral argument.

It is wrong to force a woman to have a child when she does not want to have it. Simply consenting to sex does not, in our culture, entail consent to reproduction, nor should it. A sexless world is a miserable world; restrictions on reproductive rights are restrictions on one of the most pleasurable activities humans have access to.

Similarly, it is wrong to force a woman to have an abortion if she does not want one. The bodily invasiveness of pregnancy, and of abortion, should indeed mean that birth and abortion are under the exclusive control of the womb-owner.

But it does not follow that a man should have to pay child support for children he does not wish to conceive. In our society, if a man gets unlucky - a condom breaks, his girlfriend was lying to him about using birth control, his girlfriend was lying to him about not trying to get pregnant, etc. - and unwittingly functions as a sperm donor, he is completely at the mercy of his female sex partner.

Having an unwanted child is a personal and financial disaster. Child support laws should not encourage women to inflict this tragedy upon others.

Memento mori, as Chip says.



"Don't breed or buy while foster kids die"

On an unrelated note, I had a question about what I meant by my "don't breed or buy while foster kids die" spiel. "Breed" is obvious; by "buy," I mean utilizing expensive reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) and surrogacy. It is as immoral to participate in such processes as a sperm or egg donor, or as a surrogate, as it is to participate as a prospective parent.

62 comments:

  1. It might be countered that unwitting fathers can at least foresee that fatherhood is a potential outcome of recreational sex, for which they could justifiably be held to account. Of course, the same principle of foreseeable risk inform the arguments of abortion opponents, who hold that the personhood of a genetically constituted unborn human being takes precedence over (one) parent's bodily autonomy. If the pre-natal personhood trump can be reliably dispatched on whatever grounds (and here I am increasingly inclined to agree with you that it can, though I still find some secular anti-abortion arguments to be at least worthy of consideration) and legal abortion is upheld as a proper extension of libertarian ethics (as it is for all practical purposes under US jurisprudence), then the view that compulsory child support alienates men from their autonomy seems more compelling. In fact is seems an awful lot like conscription.

    However, the problem is further complicated when you introduce the non-trivial problem of paternal uncertainty. As a generation of loyal Maury Povich spectators know too well, dads can be and are wrongly implicated, and cases in which cuckolded men are legally obligated to provide for children not their own are now well documented. Roissy has long argued that this situation speaks to the need for mandatory paternity testing upon birth. I know there are libertarian arguments against this -- and I'm not prepared to sign on -- but it seems that the procedure could be justified as a relatively simple and technologically efficient add-on to the list of established hospital protocols that normally attend any birth. I am curious as to your views on this closely related problem.

    By the way, be careful with those m&ms; they're addictive.

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  2. Chip, exactly - I don't see why "you had sex, didn't you?" is justification enough to suffice for a man's consent to have a child, but not a woman.

    I think paternal uncertainly is interesting, but ultimately, I don't see any moral justification for forcing a person to support a child merely because the child is a genetic relative.

    I think a genetic father who didn't want to conceive is just as innocent as a non-genetic father.

    I kind of want to change the title of this post to "bumbles of joy."

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  3. Is it your view that "wantedness" is consumated (for lack of a better term) when a woman brings a pregnancy to term? And if so, do parental obligations (and/or liabilities) then attach in the manner of an implied contract?

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  4. I think there needs to be some inquiry into "wantedness" on the part of the male. Carrying a pregnancy to term seems to me to be plenty evidence that a child is "wanted" by the mother. Of course, her rights are even greater - she can give the child up for adoption (in some cases without even getting the father's consent, as when he has not had any contact with the baby) whereas a father cannot decide to give a child up for adoption without the mother's consent.

    A father is subject to no inquiry as to wantedness in order to be held financially responsible for a child. Any inquiry would be better than none. A DNA match is all that is required - the mother need not even prove she had sexual intercourse with the father. (She could have, for instance, saved a semen-filled condom after performing oral sex and use it to inseminate herself; "dad" is still on the hook for child support in most jurisdictions, even if he can prove it.)

    The government could alternatively presume wantedness unless a biological father objects to a pregnancy (and files some kind of paperwork), OR could presume unwantedness and require affirmative evidence of wantedness in order for the mother to collect child support without the father's consent. I think the second strategy is more fair.

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    1. Boo hoo It does seem hard on men i agree, but tough shit! Males can't hack a bit of inequality?...welcome to our world.

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    2. Dear other anonymous:
      We should never have given you the right to vote.
      Signed: A Man Who Demands His Sandwhich

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  5. And yes, I think the mother's obligation to the child is based on her willingly bringing the child into existence. It cannot be a contract, though, because the child didn't consent to it. A contract requires mutual agreement.

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  6. Even more strikingly, a 20-year old woman can rape a 14-year old and then be awarded child support. There is a number of references to other similar cases, as well. I'm pretty sure that court decisions like that one are economically motivated, though (taxpayers don't want to pay for someone else's child, so must find a scapegoat). As always. Which is just further proof of human depravity.

    I'm not really so concerned about the financial aspect of the issue, however. Men are free to practice birth control; and if they don't like condoms (and leaving your girlfriend's place with a used condom in hand to prevent a situation like the one you describe would probably be pretty awkward), vasectomies are certainly much less invasive than tubal ligations or even Essure. What is troubling is that our society legally takes the (limited) choice about reproduction that is accorded to women away from men. A woman is free to abort a pregnancy on antinatalist grounds, yet a man has no such recourse, even where he has taken all the reasonable precautions and yet somehow ended up in that unfortunate percentage of "oops" situations. I can't imagine how I would feel if I were somehow made a breeder against my will.

    Of course, most men (even those who are not misogynistic scumbags or anti-abortionists) whose opinion on the subject I've come across dwell entirely on the financial aspect; they have absolutely no ethical qualms about the fate of the resulting child, so long as they don't have to pay up. Hence the emergence of the term "male abortion". But really, male abortion should just be synonymous with regular abortion, and unlike you, I am absolutely for forced abortions, sterilizations, etc., so I find the "wantedness" aspect moot.

    As a society, we already practice coercion and force to a considerable degree; and at least some of it is probably truly necessary to maintain some semblance of justice (even though universal justice is impossible, given the human diversity - one more reason not to breed). Because reproduction harms the person being brought into existence, it only makes sense that as a society, we should disrupt reproduction attempts (especially in the early stages of pregnancy, before the fetus has any claims on moral consideration). And since breeders can claim no right to reproduction (or at least they wouldn't be able to in a rationally benevolent, albeit pessimistic, society), the distress they suffer as a result of the inability to breed is not a justification for breeding (of course, in a society where breeding became so unpopular, most people who are breeders now wouldn't want to be by virtue of pure conformity). Not to mention the fact that the distress occasioned by a single forced abortion isn't likely to be commensurate with a lifetime of negative experiences for the potential child.

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  7. CM, I think the "scapegoat" comment is right on target. Society wants someone to pay for the poor little babies, so we make the genetic fathers pay - even though it's not fair to make them do so. Think of the poor little babies!

    I do not think atrocity is justified in the name of preventing even a greater amount of atrocity, though. Sterilization at birth is, I think, morally justified and fine; but strapping someone down and performing surgery on her involuntarily is not justified pretty much EVER. Even if she's pregnant with handicapped octuplets.

    But I'm not a utilitarian.

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  8. Maybe child support should instead be thought of as a fine for the depraved act of creating life.

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  9. Curator: tranquilizer darts? Seriously, though, I think there is a huge difference between the right to not have your body used as a host against your will and voluntarily using your body to harm others, whether the process of harming occurs inside the body or on the outside of it (like using your body to torture someone else). And if forced abortions are an atrocity, then self-defense must be an atrocity, too, if it causes your attacker any distress.

    TGGP: I think it's a great idea, even though you are probably in jest...

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  10. A forced abortion would be rather unlike self-defence (or, more accurately, defence of others) if the woman took reasonable precautions against pregnancy.

    And TGGP's idea is not a great one. In fact, it misses Curator's very point that child support often befalls men who were unwillig to create a child!

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  11. Atrocity for atrocity - it all comes down to trolley problems. Our intuitions aren't much guide, but they're the only raw data we have. When it comes down to it, I'm way more sure that it's wrong to hold down a woman and forcibly perform surgery on her than I am of my capacity to understand an ethical argument as to why it might be okay if it prevents a certain amount of harm.

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  12. Curator, I would have thought that you are more (if not way more) sure of the wrong of bringing someone into existence than of the wrong of forcibly preventing someone from doing so, even in the repugnant form you describe.

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  13. Constant- if she took reasonable precautions, why would she be against having an abortion? If a reasonable conversation is impossible (because she's a fundie, for instance), then the situation is not unlike using force to stop someone being brutally killed by a schizophrenic who took reasonable precautions against that happening by taking their meds, but they didn't work. If the schizophrenic ends up actually experiencing more distress as a result of being prevented than the victim would have, we have no way of knowing it in advance. I know rights are an artificial construct, but if we were to talk in terms of rights, it seems that the right to be safe from other people harming you trumps the right to harm others in order to avoid distress yourself.

    In cases where it's so late in the pregnancy that the fetus feels pain, or is likely to, I wouldn't force abortions on people because the fetus/potential separate person would get harmed either way.

    Regardless, consistency demands that if you are against getting involved in this case, you should generally acquiesce to all instances of oppression, exploitation, and abuse, or have a good explanation about how reproductive attempts are different from other cases of harming people. As I mentioned above, I don't buy the outside the body/inside the body distinction.

    As for the second point, I was just making an offhand comment to TGGP, but perhaps I should have been more clear. My real position is that heavily fining people for reproducing voluntarily instead of subsidizing them would be a great idea and could potentially deter some
    of them. At least we won't be hearing about people breeding endlessly and shuffling their kids between equally breederrific relatives so they could all get hefty handouts from the state for being "daycare providers". I don't support people made into breeders against their will, as I said above.

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  14. The updated example with the schizophreniac works much better. I'll have to think about it.

    And yes, I agree that reproducers shouldn't be susidized. Only the problem is that this must not be to the detriment of a child. So what you need is family allowance with strict appropriation. Ideally, they wouldn't just get the money, but receive it only as a refund when they present bills for things that are obviously for the child's benefit. Unfortunately, this requires a hell of a lot of administrative work...

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  15. i live in Florida im a 36 male i never want to have a child and my stupid ex-wife trick me in the first 3 years she never get pregnant and i never use a condom , them sudntly when i told she i was getting my dads heritage she want to get pregnant told me she going to get divorced if she don't get pregnant i saw her doing stuff that only my grand mother tell me about it like staying in bed for very long periods of time with her legs facing up and a very diabolic smiling in her face I'm still trusting her and stay in the ritmings, i had a problem and whent out of my job for law 8 that law required cops and law enforcement to give fire arm and badges and go to a mental clinic for a 6 months period ,i cant work or i get fired she don't understand that i could pay for nothing meading while she told me its 3 months pregnant and i whent in to a deppresion because i don't wanna have babys i'm not ready financial and mental and she just wanna have it i dont have to worry about it. them she start taking out the internet because i cant pay i cant used , then she take out the cable tv i was traumatic with pills and no way of entertaiment so i tell her that plug in your ass the fucking cable and internet and she dropp me out of our house i have to left the country cause i don't wan't to kill her cause all she did to me i almost don't have communication with my dougther she almost never call me and i don't wanna talk any more with her mother, now she is with another man in her house and she told me that she is giving her all that I'm not giving .I;m giving her the fucking child support what else she want i don't have more money to travel . I'm being in hell for more than 4 years i just wana kill my self so the fucking state and that fucking bitch get my ssi money thats is all the important thing here no body care about me just the fucking money id there any lawyer can help write me o_escorpion74@hotmail.com

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    1. me me me me me...i dont wanna....me me me....not fair....me me me. Grow up you pathetic manchild.

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    2. Your insults are more childish than his comment.

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    3. Really, I don't see any significant difference between his "I don't wanna" and that of the career woman for whom having a child would get in the way of her personal ambitions (making partner or whatever). Unless, of course, men aren't people...

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    4. Why didn't he just use condoms or have a vasectomy if he's that against procreation. The child didn't ask to be born

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    5. There is the issue of the child's needs, which makes this all a bunch more difficult. If the question is what are kids owed, then the answer is full parental support of both the father and the mother (and whoever else willingly accepts the burden of support - e.g. through adoption). The point still remains that it is considered intolerable for the father to fail to provide support for a child and the state goes to great lengths to force him to do so - up to and including confining him to federal rape-camp for failing to fulfill his obligations. Meanwhile, the mother seems to be under no such obligation. She can give the child away if she wants and if she abandons the child with the father the government doesn't hunt her down and similarly threaten her for failing to meet her obligations to the child.

      As to condoms/vasectomies: surely you recognize that even when preventative measures are taken, accidents do happen (and vasectomies aren't always completed properly, with kids as the result). Somehow, the occurrence of an accident isn't considered good enough reason to force a woman to ever be held accountable to the child that shouldn't have happened but did - it is considered good enough reason in men's case. Why is this?

      There's simply sexism going on here - human adults being held to different standards on the basis of genital configuration. The intuition here is that this is wrong, at least if one accepts that women are equally as capable of responsibility and moral decency as men, or in the absence of some compensating factor which fathers/men receive vis-a-vis children (and it isn't immediately obvious that there is).

      To sum up:

      If children have a right to parental support then they ought to have the right to *both* parents' support and if such a right is to be enforced by the state, it should enforced equally. If, however, children do not have such a right, then the state should not be criminalizing men who haven't actually done any wrong (since they haven't violated anyone's rights).

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    6. There isn't sexism going on here at all. The woman, in this case and many others, has most of the responsibility by looking after the child. All men are being asked to provide is £££

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    7. Responsibility which she has the *choice* to accept or reject through abortion/giving the child up for adoption (which is NOT AT ALL to say that making that choice is easy). The father in question doesn't have that choice.

      It still comes down to: when accidents happen, women should not be forced to deal with the consequences of those accidents, but when accidents happen men should, because having sex is implicit consent to the all the potential consequences that could follow from doing the deed.

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    8. I know it's unfair, but in this case that is unfortunate biology. It's incredible that a law has not been passed to release men from this considering the law-makers are mainly men.

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  16. I'm paying CSA for a kid that should not have been born either. The mother lied to me saying she was on the pill and like any other man I believed her and I became a Father to a kid i don't want to be bothered with. It seems funny how women can destroy a man's life but when a man destroys a woman's life he is branded a murderer. Funny how the Womens Suffrogete Movement in the 1800s had public support over the death of Emily Pankhurst who intentionally threw herself under a horse at Ascot Race course(United Kingdom)to start a feminist propaganda and yet to date since the CSA came into force in 1991 there have been over FORTY FIVE MEN who has killed themselves and NO PUBLIC SUPPORT. Money ought not to cost lives especially to the men who wants to see their kids and kids are being used a weapons to gain money. I don't care for my Daughter as she should not have been born anyway so why should i pay for a child that I've hardly seen ;or should have been born and her mother proved to be a liar but as per usual I'm painted BLACK !

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    1. This whiny example is a good demonstration of people rationalizing their own responsibilities away. This commenter could have decided:

      a) not to have coitus with that woman
      b) to use a condom to reduce the risk
      c) get a vasectomy before having coitus with that woman

      So what if the woman lied? He still consented to the risk that precisely this might happen. His daughter did not.

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    2. Oh hush, that silly "should have been careful" argument is the EXACTLY SAME BLOODY ARGUMENT used by anti-choicers. No, seriously, it's the same backwards logic. "If a woman gets pregnant, it's her fault and she has no right to abort the child."

      Since you obviously don't think that way, think on this. The reason any woman seeks an abortion boils down to a few: financial concerns, where the child will be too much of a burden on the guardian and will consequently be unhappy, not feeling ready to have a child and taking on the burden of responsibility, and finally not wishing to have a child with the biological father, often accidentally through casual sex. (You've also got medical reasons of course, but that's a no brainer that doesn't belong in this argument.)

      All are valid reasons.

      None, however, are exclusive to women. What IS exclusive to women is the ownership of the womb. THIS is where "my body, my right" is a completely logical and relatable statement; we ALL have the right to our own bodies. All of us. Even Osama bloody Bin Laden's corpse was buried according to his customs.

      Naturally, this means that physically only a woman has the right to say what happens to her body. Christian fundies will try and counter that with their "sacred life" argument, which on some levels is understandable; unfortunately, it hinges on a completely primitive notion of the "soul" and "self". We *already* have legal barriers to aborting developing foetuses once they reach the stage where they could be considered a human being (after all, whether or not you've passed through a vagina is pretty arbitrary, subjectively speaking), because at that point in natal development it is no longer just the woman's body but both the woman's and the child's.

      Still, until Christians can come forth and prove to us that this magical soul thing exists, a messy bunch of cells and rudimentary bones do not constitute a human life and women are free to do with their own bodies as they please so long as it truly is only their body.

      There are two clearly separate paradigms when it comes to abortions. The right to choose one's own fate and control the impact of their own reproduction, and the right to do with one's own body as they please.

      Tell me, in clear words, why you think a woman deserves the right to control her own future but men deserve no such rights. Do not even try to bring the possession of the womb into this, because that is a completely separate aspect of abortion. If, within the period in which abortions can be still carried out (where the foetus is yet to be considered a person), a man decides he doesn't want to have a child, why should he? Why shouldn't he be able to sign away *all* rights and responsibilities to that child, thereby effectively making him an informal sperm donor of sorts (from a legal perspective)? Done within that time, the woman still has the opportunity to make INFORMED decisions regarding the pregnancy, so NONE of her rights have been infringed, which is a HELL of a lot more than can be said for men.

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    3. "Tell me, in clear words, why you think a woman deserves the right to control her own future but men deserve no such rights."

      They already have such rights. With the exception of something as statistically negligible as forced sperm donations or female-on-male rape, the act of coitus, especially unprotected coitus without vasectomy, is entirely voluntary. This suffices for men to control their own future. There is no magic force that makes you get women pregnant.

      "Why shouldn't he be able to sign away *all* rights and responsibilities to that child, thereby effectively making him an informal sperm donor of sorts (from a legal perspective)?"

      Because that child will have needs and vulnerabilities for which it has the right to be compensated. This is the predictable result of the actions both of the man and the woman, even if the man would like the woman to abort and she says no. She has bodily autonomy. He can't force her to abort, but this does in no way reduce the right of the child to be compensated for the needs and risks forced onto it by the act of procreation.

      This is even true for sperm donors, who should be fully responsible for child support, and who should ideally have to prove that they can pay for the child support before they even have the legal right to donate sperm. Unfortunately, society cares much less about the rights of the child than it does about the rights of the sperm-donating adult, who is seen as if he had just donated blood or a urine sample, instead of creating a fully conscious person with decades of involuntary needs and vulnerabilities.

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    4. "If a woman gets pregnant, it's her fault and she has no right to abort the child."

      By the way, I would fully agree with this if I saw the fetus as a person with bodily autonomy and the right to live. I just don't see why a brainless thing should be classified this way.

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    5. "She has bodily autonomy. He can't force her to abort, but this does in no way reduce the right of the child to be compensated for the needs and risks forced onto it by the act of procreation."

      As the person with the ultimate say on whether or not the child comes into the world, the onus is entirely hers. Compensation? For what reason is the child owed compensation? No child *deserves* to live through poverty, no, but the fact poverty is undesirable does not necessitate having somebody to fault, not without informed consent. Simply poking your dick into somebody should not be reason enough for ruining your life.

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    6. "As the person with the ultimate say on whether or not the child comes into the world, the onus is entirely hers."

      This would make sense if she were wealthy enough to compensate the child fully for all needs and vulnerabilities forced onto it. In most cases of child support obligations, this is not the case.

      "Compensation? For what reason is the child owed compensation?"

      Are you kidding? Have you not read what I wrote? Decades of non-consensual needs and vulnerabilities?

      "Simply poking your dick into somebody should not be reason enough for ruining your life."

      Also compare: Simply poking a knife into somebody should not be reason enough for ruining your life. You just declare that the forseeable consequences of your actions are somehow not your responsibility. That is simply an absurd stance given our general acceptance of this principle as a legal and moral principle, especially when third parties are harmed by your actions!

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    7. A woman that asks for full custody when a father ask for joint and then files for child support should be held for fraud.

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    8. Why?? the child needs financial support.

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    9. Why don't you want to build a relationship with your daughter? I swear you will grow to love her and there is no other love like it. I say this as a man who was in a similar situation. I wish you all the best though whatever happens

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    10. what is wrong with these men? the child they conceived, a risk they willingly took, has needs that should be met

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  17. Simply consenting to sex does not, in our culture, entail consent to reproduction, nor should it.

    Yes it does, and yes it should. It is the root cause of all childhood needs and vulnerabilities and its consequences are entirely well-known and predictable - at least in the sense of a probabilistic risk following a personal decision. (I agree that rape shouldn't count)

    A sexless world is a miserable world; restrictions on reproductive rights are restrictions on one of the most pleasurable activities humans have access to.

    This is a non-starter as an argument. This would be a justification of rape if taken seriously. Your desire to have coitus does in no way negate the rights of others, including the children's rights to be compensated for the needs and vulnerabilities inflicted on them by their parents.

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    1. Bringing children into a sexless world is worse than bringing children into this world.

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  18. "Yes it does, and yes it should. It is the root cause of all childhood needs and vulnerabilities and its consequences are entirely well-known and predictable - at least in the sense of a probabilistic risk following a personal decision."

    So, you think that women shouldn't be allowed to abort? After all, they had sex and thereby consented to reproduction.

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    1. I think women should be allowed to abort at least until the development stage where the fetus starts having brain function associated with consciousness. Before that point, the fetus cannot count as a person with individual rights in any meaningful philosophical sense.

      Before that, I see no reason why a woman can't abort - it is her body over which she has mastery, after all. However, once we recognize the fetus as a person or at least a sentient being with individual rights, she no longer has the right to abort even though it is her body - after all, just like the father, she took the risk and responsibility of pregnancy and parenthood by consenting to the sex (and not aborting at an earlier stage).

      Another way to look at it would be to see the fetus as a non-person until it becomes a self-recognizing toddler, which would then allow for later abortion or early infanticide as well. It depends on where you see personhood and the associated right to live. But even in that case, the potential suffering would still ethically matter, and it should still legally matter.

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    2. It seems to me that the "right to life" is inappropriately presumed to trump the "right not to suffer." The latter seems much more important to me, especially for a fetus or infant. Conception and birth are Schelling points people latch onto, and it kind of disguises the fact that the current debate promotes the "right to life" ahead of all other rights. Personally, I'd much rather have been allowed to die peacefully as a fetus/infant/toddler/child/teenager/adult.

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    3. Yes. However, the usual abortion debate centers around the right to life, and even accepting that, there is neither a reason to defend it for a non-person nor to treat a non-conscious fetus without brain function as a person.

      There is also the matter of pain during abortion in fetuses at later development stages, or of death in infants.

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    4. I would be more sympathetic to the fetal pain argument if it were weighed against the pain a person is guaranteed to experience if born, which is orders of magnitude greater.

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  19. So, you think that women shouldn't be allowed to abort? After all, they had sex and thereby consented to reproduction.

    Women shouldn't be allowed to divest themselves of the responsibilities of having created a child. Like men, they should certainly be able to end their involvement in the physical reproduction process at any point, and thus cut off the possibility of creating a child. Women's longer involvement in this process certainly gives them more time to consider the consequences of doing so, but this has not traditionally been regarded as a point of envy (to say the least.)

    In my ideal world fathers (and mothers) would have unilateral right of infanticide for a few days after birth, but at the moment that's not going to pass and mandatory child support (those poor deadbeat dads! let us all shed a single tear) seems like the least of all evils.

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  20. My personal favourite is giving any putative father a three-month (arbitrary, yes) grace period from the moment of notification of fatherhood (whether prior to birth or subsequently - even many years later) to give the thumbs up/down to forever being on the hook.

    I find it interesting how there is a subtle bias against men's desire not to support a child financially, even to the point of thinking about what the child is owed now that it exists (fair enough), but we don't hold women to that standard when they give their children up for adoption. It still seems that we think men are able, and so should be made, to own their mistakes while women cannot (poor dears), and so should be entitled to the help of others. I like to think of women as (potentially) fully-grown adults, myself.

    And while, yes, it's articulated in terms of money (because that's all the state extracts from fathers for the benefit of children - certainly not their emotional support or involvement) it's about so much more - namely, whether one will have the freedom to pursue his ends as he sees fit. Child-support payments generally are *not* indexed to one's earning capacities, so if you're a lawyer making big-bucks once and they decide to set your rates on that basis, heaven help you if you ever want to do something else that might make you less money (say, take a risk and start that business).

    Also, I'm completely a fan of mandatory paternity testing prior to the legally-binding signing of a birth certificate. Further, the docs should present the results to the possible-father *alone*. Great hay is made of how emotions can make it hard for women to do what they know they need to (like leave an abusive partner). The same is true for men - they could be emotionally manipulated into signing their futures away for children they may not really want and which might not really be theirs. Goodness, I know that a very important woman in my life perceives my mere disgust with paternity-fraud as a personal attack on her.

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  21. subtle bias?
    more like sonic boom.

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  22. Sorry to necro-post an old thread, but the answer about the perceived "inequity" is the fact that men and women are, biologically, NOT equal. Given this inherent difference, the only choice a man has is who to have sex with (or not), and what precautions to take (e.g. condoms, vasectomy, etc.). Due to their physically having the uterus, women have the added choice of abortion -- but both sexes know this BEFORE they hop into bed. Adoption requires consent of both parents, by the way.

    Child support is the entitlement of the child, not the parents. There is no 'deprivation of property' at issue. In most cases, the bio-dad freely gave his genetic material, even if the woman misrepresented the circumstances (i.e. being on BC or infertile). Her lies do not abrogate the resulting child's need for support, so the state fixes a formula based on the parents' respective incomes, period. Don't want to end up an unwilling father paying CS? Dont have sex, always use a condom (or get a vasectomy--can be reversed later), but know that once you squirt, it's purely the woman's choice whether to carry a resulting conception to term.

    Because the CS is for the child, courts have stricken all attempts at contracts purporting to waive paternal obligations for support pre-birth (even though I think it would be interesting to try to contractually limit CS amount to a reasonable dollar amount per year, that is still likely to be denied because the kid is 'entitled' to more based on parents' earning capacity).

    If you don't want a kid but aren't willing to abstain or force an abortion (by illegal means, e.g.), and baby mama will not allow you to sign away your rights or adopt out the kid, you are on the hook. But you can't cry about it being 'unfair.' Women know going into it that if they get pregnant but dont want a kid, they can abort. Men know they cannot force her to. Their choice is to not have sex w/someone they do not want to risk reproducing with, or to take their own precautions and hope they work (note: even if you have oral sex, the woman can take the sperm and impregnate herself, b/c you willingly 'gave' her your genetic material -- support has been upheld on that basis).

    Just don't risk ruining your lives guys by ****ing sluts and you'll be a'ight.

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  23. Easy solution, only have sex once you are married with your wife. And if you don't want kids get a vasectomy.

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    1. Vasectomy is dope except for the 1 in 3 chance of chronic testicular pain. Not having sex until marriage seems pretty oppressive but I'm not shaming your chastity fetish.

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  24. Give me a fucking break! Get a vasectomy and quit whining! If you want to have non-procreative sex which is unnatural to nature then you need to get a permanent procedure which 90 percent of the time will turn out just fine! Worried it didn't work?? Go to a sperm bank get your sperm count tested! Sometmies you can even get a free vasectomy! As for equality women who feel this way also should grow up and get her tubes tied too without any doctor interference! This is what needs to be promoted not my tax dollars getting RAPED by paying for "non-profits" like Planned Parenthood to fund your sexual lifestyles!!!!!!!! Give society a break and everyone who hates kids or does not want them and wants to be a rolling stone get fucking fixed then!!!!!!!! DAMN BOO HOO my ass Men and women these days love sex more than common sense or then get all passive agressive on their kids!

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  25. Your wonderful world of "free love" is the gift that just keep on giving doesn't it?? In the form of higher STD rates then i don't know EVER.... MASSIVE divorce rates and single parent homes (higher than any other time in history) and more child abuse cases than ever from a beautiful combo of kids being abused by unfit parents and the devalueing of life made by abortion and BTW not human give me a fucking break??? They have fully formed body parts and pain receptors by 8 weeks dream in the womb, practice sucking, you can see them yawning smiling wtc. in the womb get out of the freaking 70s and go view a 4D ultrasound you jackasses HOLY CRAP I could rationalize that you weren't a human by saying that you didn't have a fully functional brain by not being able to grasp this concept. And overpopulation????? Want to be green? Take all of this medicine off othe shelf that allows people to live to one hundred plus these days!!! That would clear some space on planet earth! But news flash young people work, pay taxes, and just keep society going .... in places like Russia there is a drought of youth and they have to pay people to have children bc it's hurting their damn economy to have a society with more aged than youth! I can't wait until you get in a nursing home and you have no kids to take care of your old intolerable asses and the nursing home staff beats the hell out of you all! Holy crap you people are selfish ( men and women) stop dismembering live human beings and having others foot the bill for your birth control too! Get it snipped or man up and settle down!

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  26. you psuedo-intellectuals piss me of with this shit control what you can and get it snipped and stop dreaming about your utopian penis-vagina society!

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    1. You seem to be having a lot of feelings - sometimes we need to take a break from the internet. Here are some tools that might help. Good luck!

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  27. Imagine you have sex and a child comes from it. But you did not expect a child. Are you a moron? Don't want a surprise, keep it in your pants.

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  28. Don't want a child don't open your legs

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  29. Don't want a child don't open your legs

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  30. best way to avoid child support is moving to mexico. .hurry up and learn spanish. that whore won't stop until your life is ruined..runnnnn !!! save yourself!!

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  31. best way to avoid child support is moving to mexico. .hurry up and learn spanish. that whore won't stop until your life is ruined..runnnnn !!! save yourself!!

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