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Old 11-08-2007, 12:26 AM   #41
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Even proving paternity might not get the husband off the child support hook.

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Old 11-08-2007, 12:37 AM   #42
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Originally posted by maycocksean
It sounds to me like this guy doesn't have much of a case, but to be honest, I'm don't find most the posts decrying him to be that convincing. . .I don't know what it is. . .I'm trying to put my finger on it.

Does a woman have a choice as to whether she can become a parent, but a man has no choice (other than to use protection and hope it works) about it?

Is this not a legitmate question (even if this particularly guy's lawsuit was nonsense)?

I think that the arguments that this guy should have used a condom or abstained from sex all together would have been condemned had they been directed at a woman. . .
Not if said woman were trying to escape financial obligations to a child the other biological parent held custody of, which is the legal issue at stake here. Child support laws apply equally to men and women--they aren't treated as separate categories of persons for that purpose, because the carrying out of financial obligations doesn't take place inside anyone's body. If Matt Dubay were to be allowed to get out of those obligations, then the precedent that would set would be that any man could say "But I don't want to be a father" upon finding out he's impregnated someone, and thus summarily escape all financial obligations should a child result.

In essence, legalized abortion assumes that the state's undeniable interest in procuring future citizens and ensuring their support through to the age of majority is insufficient to justify treating the inside of an existing citizen's body as state property--property over which the state's agency exceeds said citizen's--once said body is in a condition of pregnancy (whether intentionally or not). It confers a narrow right to not remain pregnant (though not necessarily without limits; for example, many countries allow abortion only through the first trimester, save for medical emergencies)--not an open-ended right to evade the financial obligations of parenthood.

True, in practice decisions to abort pretty much always involve more longterm considerations than that, and those considerations might well include preparedness to assume said financial obligations--which is why you're also seeing "posts decrying" Dubay invoking the idea of Wells as an "ass," "scum," "scheming bitch"...she had a meaningful choice to decide whether to accept those financial obligations (among many, many others--but still); he didn't, except in the minimal sense that he didn't even try to protect himself against the possible risks of having sex with a woman he didn't know well enough for it to be anything but ill-advised for him to take her word for it that 'No condom, no problem'. (And for what it's worth, I'd consider a woman who took a man's word for it, in a similar casual dating scenario, that "Oh BTW, I'm infertile plus I've tested STD/AIDS-free, so no need to worry about protection with me!" similarly imprudent.) Still, a decision to abort is obviously never merely about longterm financial commitments, because if the physical, psychological, social-interpersonal, professional, and economic consequences *specific to being pregnant* were truly irrelevant to the woman, then she'd have no reason to abort rather than put the resulting baby up for adoption. Legalized abortion presumes that it's her right, as the owner of that pregnant body, to take those consequences (as well as the 'big picture' ones) into account in deciding whether or not to remain pregnant. Treating whether or not to remain pregnant as synonymous with whether or not to accept financial responsibility for a potential dependent in general is very misleading--in practice there's unquestionably some overlap (and that's precisely the gap Mr. Dubay fell into, which is why as said earlier, I'm sympathetic to his situation), but it only goes so far before you collide with the reality that having a uterus is not analogous to having a savings account at a local bank.

Perhaps in a hypothetical politically 'ideal' world, all reproduction would occur through a man and a woman mutually agreeing to provide sperm/eggs for in vitro fertilization, with gestation taking place in an incubator...then none of us would have to lock horns over all this crap. That wouldn't seem to be in the cards, though...
Originally posted by MadelynIris
Indra, you keep digging deeper. As an involved father, and representing involved fathers everywhere, I can honestly say, our contibution to our children's lives is equally important as their mother's.

Thank you very much.
Willingly becoming an involved father (or mother) is very different from being unwillingly forced into that. The same applies to pregnancy--it has unavoidable physical, psychological, social-interpersonal, professional, and economic consequences regardless of willingness, but accepting those willingly is an altogether different experience from being forced into them. And legally speaking, the former and the latter are very different--'involved parenthood' doesn't take place inside anyone else's body. Being legally compelled (whether you're a man or a woman) to pay X amount of dollars monthly, even for 18 years, isn't analogous to being legally compelled to relinquish ownership of the inside of your own body to the state for 9 months (again, with the aforementioned unavoidable consequences). The state certainly has a legitimate interest in protecting dependent citizens, and to a point in ensuring that new ones are produced (which is why I think the 'European model' of permitting abortion through the first trimester only, save for medical reasons, is a worthy compromise)--but, it certainly also has an interest in protecting existing citizens' say in what goes on inside their own bodies.
Originally posted by BonosSaint
To complicate matters, I believe in many states, the husband is the presumed father (whether or not he is the biological father--say if his wife has an affair) and bears the financial responsibility for child support.
Which is seriously fucked-up...but apparently not a relevant dimension in this particular case.

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Old 11-08-2007, 12:47 AM   #43
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Originally posted by yolland

but apparently not a relevant dimension in this particular case.
Nope. I was wandering.
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Old 11-08-2007, 12:54 AM   #44
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Well, as long as you are married you will support the child, be it yours or not.
ere in Germany, if you have proven that you are not the father, but the real father is unknown, you don't get off the hook.

Only if the real father is found and accepts to be the father your obligation to pay child support vanishes, and you even get your money back (but also have to pay back your tax bonuses).

Problem is, you are not longer allowed to do a secret paternity test and use it as evidence before the court, but have to get the approval of the mother, or if old enough, the child.
You have to contest your paternity with a reasonable suspicion and then, if you are found not to be the father, the real father is to be found, which again is nearly impossible for the "father" to do because he can't force the mother to reveal who the father is, and he can't order a paternity test for another person. So he much depends on the mother's and the real father's help.
Furthermore, if he contests his fatherhood and loses before the court he bears the costs (maybe his legal insurance pays).

But to make matters more complicated, at the moment a new law is in work as was ordered by the "Bundesverfassungsgericht", the equivalent to the Supreme Court.
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Old 11-08-2007, 04:17 AM   #45
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The laws sound very similar. In many states here, even if divorced, the "presumed" but not biological father will still be liable for child support. Similarly, if the biological father is found AND accepts to be responsible, the husband can be released.
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Old 11-08-2007, 05:04 AM   #46
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Originally posted by maycocksean

Does a woman have a choice as to whether she can become a parent, but a man has no choice (other than to use protection and hope it works) about it?

I thought about my own question a bit more this afternoon and finally came up with an answer. . .and it was basically what Yolland said.

In the same way a man can't demand that a woman go along with his desire to have a child, he can't demand that he be absolved of the responsiblities that come when a child he helped create comes into the world.
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Old 11-08-2007, 07:39 AM   #47
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I completely agree that if this woman lied it is totally unfair to the guy and is absolutely morally wrong. But the bottom line is that you can't take the failings of either one of them/both of them out on an innocent child. That child needs to be provided for once he/she is here (regardless of the circumstances of conception). I Googled a bit for some more info about this case (I remember it, it did receive considerable media attention), it is available. I believe one article stated that he asked her to consider putting the child up for adoption and she eventually wouldn't do that for some reason.

I think the comment about using birth control/abstaining applies to both genders-both should know that abstinence is the only absolute prevention. In many cases there can be a certain level of denial involved, and well that denial can eventually involve a third life.
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Old 11-08-2007, 07:44 AM   #48
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I hope that one day people will realize that law is not the vehicle to bring about social change and justice in every instance. It is especially true in cases of family law, where it has arguably done more bad than good. Arguably, of course.

It is true that the courts can and do mandate counselling. Most family divorce law legislation does mandate at least the suggestion of counselling, except in clearly inappropriate cases (like domestic violence, for example). The thinking is that a stable marriage is better for society; the cynic will tell you it's better for the economy. In either case, it's absolutely true that the courts get involved.

The guy really had no case, but beyond that, our courts are not sympathetic in the slightest to men who try to shirk their parental responsibilities. Those times are largely past, which is a good thing. What is the alternative for this child? Probably to receive state funds, which is patently unfair to taxpayers. It's not an ideal situation for this guy, and yes, he may have been duped, but that doesn't matter in my eyes. If you have sex with someone and they tell you they are clean, will you forego the condom because you trust them....even though you barely know them? I surely wouldn't, so it isn't as if he had no choice in the matter.
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Old 11-08-2007, 08:16 AM   #49
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Originally posted by anitram
If you have sex with someone and they tell you they are clean, will you forego the condom because you trust them....even though you barely know them? I surely wouldn't, so it isn't as if he had no choice in the matter.
He did have a choice-and he also chose to trust her too. Does that absolve her if she lied? No, absolutely not. But making that choice for the sake of sexual pleasure, well ultimately it requires personal responsibility on both sides and no law or court or number of lawsuits is going to change that or undo that or the consequences. Whether she lied or not he chose to believe for whatever reason, I assume for sexual pleasure reasons. I'm not defending her actions if they were deceptive, not at all. But her actions don't absolve him of his choices and reactions. It takes two and all that...

It's one thing to choose to trust someone if the possible consequences are only bad for you personally. The key here like I said is that another life can be created.
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Old 11-08-2007, 11:18 AM   #50
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The problem is, this is always going to be one of those unfair issues, since men cannot carry children and women can. The man will always bear the short end of the stick on this one, so their best bet is to always, always use their brain and not their..ahem..other parts when deciding whom to have sex with.

Perhaps we all ought be more careful about the whole sex thing.

We live in a society so hyped up about immediate gratification that we often fail to see the long term consequences of our immediate gratification.

Less sex won't kill you, men. You could be paying for the next 18 years for that two minute quickie.

ETA: And yes, that means I'm saying put it back in your pants. You won't die if you don't have sex. Really. Frikkin get over it, already. I mean, seriously, you can't /not/ have sex why? You don't have many choices, here, gents, so keep it in your pants longer.
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Old 11-08-2007, 05:59 PM   #51
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Originally posted by corianderstem

Maybe she was lying about being infertile, but you know what? Maybe doctors told her she would never have kids ... and then hey, guess what! You're pregnant! It's not unheard of.

So mother was told she couldn't have children after 10 years of trying.

Clearly they were wrong 4 times.

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