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Thu, Mar. 9th, 2006, 11:45 am

Now heres one guaranteed to cause controversy. a mens rights group wants to introduce measures to let a father-to-be opt out of parenthood. Their reasoning is that since abortion is (in many cases) a case of the woman opting out of parenthood then they should have a similar right.

Obviously this is a bit crumbly under scrutiny - abortion is (usually) a much tougher decision to take than saying "I don't want to pay child support because I didn't want this kid" but the whole area of pregnancies that are unwanted by one person is worth looking at.
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Thu, Mar. 9th, 2006 12:13 pm (UTC)

Well, *legally* that isn't an actual option, though I'll grant you it very very frequently happens. I think their point is that the scenario you describe isn't supported by the law - the current situation amounts to
Man: "I do not want to be responsible for a child"
Woman: "Well I do"
Law: "Suck it dude"
and that does need addressing to some degree. I don't agree with the idea that a woman can "just" have an abortion though.
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Thu, Mar. 9th, 2006 12:22 pm (UTC)

No argument there but I'd rather see those inequalities addressed rather than putting in a measure that allows someone to utterly abandon responsibility. I'm entirely pro choice but theres something wrong with a situation where the woman can say either "I'm not having this child and you have no say in the matter" or "I'm keeing this child and you have no say in it, furthermore you are now financially responsible for this child forever". Even leaving aside the issues about access and father's rights thats an inbalance that needs to be dealt with by introducing *more* responsibility, not intruducing an opt-out.

Thu, Mar. 9th, 2006 12:26 pm (UTC)

Part of me just want to say "Y'know what? If you don't want kids, don't have sex. It isn't a basic human right and you don't get to say that you don't want to deal with the negative repercussions any more than the bloke who catches an STD gets to wish it away. Dipping your wick has consequences, deal with it. Oh and Ladies - it may be your body but it isn't all your goddamned decision. You might have the ability to make the ultimate choice but that doesn't mean you're right to do so. Grow up the lot of you. Assholes."
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Thu, Mar. 9th, 2006 12:56 pm (UTC)

Thats not what they're proposing though. I'd hope for the same thing you describe but they're asking for the ability to abdicate responsibility regardless of the wishes of their (former) partner - NOT measures to ensure that the decision to bring a child into the world is a mutual one.
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Thu, Mar. 9th, 2006 12:57 pm (UTC)

I think that comparing abortion with abandoning parental responsibility is an apples and oranges job, because at the time that the abortion takes place, the fetus is treated as a non-person, so it's all about the mothers rights, but by the the baby is born, it is a person, so it's all about the rights of the child.

And the child has a right to family, both mother and father. It's about the child's right to have a father not your right to not have a child.

What I am curious though is whether adoption is handled equally.

Does a woman have an absolute right to give her child up for adoption? Surely, the fact that a child has a right to a family might temper that?

Let's say for example, a baby was born of a couple who'd had a one night stand and then broken up. The mother decides she doesn't want the baby and announces that she will give the baby up for adoption.

The father comes forward at that point, says that he is against adoption, and that he will raise the child himself (and will take any necessary DNA tests to prove parenthood).

Surely at this point, the child's right to family will trump the mother's desire to not have a child? Surely, the court would then place the child with the father, giving him custody?

And if that were to happen, no adoption would take place, and since (under UK law at least) adoption is the only way you can get out of parental responsibilities, the mother would still be legally the mother, with all the responsibilities that entails.

i.e. The father could then (in the UK) take her to the Child Support Agency and make her pay up the cash.


Anyone know what the legal position is? Am I talking bollocks?
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Thu, Mar. 9th, 2006 01:41 pm (UTC)

But the key point is that if a women definitely does not want to be a mother, but decides not to have an abortion and instead offer the baby up for adoption, she is actually (if I'm correct) ceding away her absolute right to avoid motherhood...

...because if another family mother steps up to have the child she will end up being a mother whether she likes it or not, including having to pay child support.

Which ironically is a good argument for abortion. If a women has an abortion it's her decision and hers alone; go to full term and now everyone else might potentially have a say.

I think...

Thu, Mar. 9th, 2006 01:57 pm (UTC)

In Ireland, as regards adoption, where the parents aren't married, the father has a right to be "consulted" where the mother wants an adoption. The father's wishes may or may not be taken into account. Where they are married - there can't be an adoption. Unless either the child is taken into care or they voluntarily place the child into care to fulfill the legal requirement that they must both be shown to have abandoned their parental duties. This latter bolloxology is due to be amended/vastly improved later this year.

Thu, Mar. 9th, 2006 02:00 pm (UTC)

I must admit, I find it hard to see why a child might be deprived of his/her fundamental human right under the European Convention of Human Rights to have/see/be raised by his father, merely because said father wasn't married to the mother.

I would have thought that this would look very dodgy if tested in the European Court.
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Thu, Mar. 9th, 2006 02:19 pm (UTC)

Occam's razor?

Maybe Wombat only has guys reading his LJ at this time of day?

Thu, Mar. 9th, 2006 10:55 pm (UTC)

I just got off the plane. Let me get some coffee and some popcorn before reading the rest of it ;-)