Virtual Library of Newspaper Articles

Making Fatherhood a Choice

U.S.A. by Paul C. Robbins, Ph.D. January 5, 2006

Should men have the same reproductive rights as women?

In a recent column, feminist Ellen Goodman answers this question in the negative, writing “Some men protest that they are left with no rights and all the bills. But when push comes to shove, one of two people has to make the decision. Those decisions belong to the one who will bear the child.” For Goodman, reproductive rights are only for humans with the right genitalia. (Such a position makes you wonder what she thinks about voting rights--but I digress.)

If the woman alone makes the decision to continue or not continue a pregnancy, should not the woman alone be held responsible for the consequences of her decision? Why should a man be held responsible for a decision he did not make? As former NOW President Karen DeCrow once opined, independent women making independent decisions should not expect men to finance those decisions.

In fact, men are becoming increasingly restive under a system of reproductive laws that gives them responsibilities without the concomitant rights.

Consider this: today a mother can unilaterally abort the child, place the child for adoption, or abandon the child in a "safe haven," all without the father's knowledge or consent. All these actions end the father's rights and responsibilities for the child, even if he wants the child.

If the mother can terminate a father's rights and responsibilities for a child without his knowledge or consent, should not a father be able to terminate his own parental rights and responsibilities? Reproductive rights for men would give men that optionsometimes called a "paper abortion"--in certain circumstances.

Further, a woman can force a man into fatherhood without his knowledge or consent. How? Here are four ways:

  • If married, she can have a child by another man, but the law presumes her husband is the legal father, even if she divorces him and marries the biological father.
  • A woman can name a man as the father in a default paternity judgment, and most states treat him as the legal father even if a later DNA test shows he's not the father.
  • A woman can use the contents of a discarded condom to impregnate herself, even if the man had sex with another woman.
  • A woman can say she's "on the pill" when she's not, inducing a man to have unprotected sex he believes will not result in a pregnancy.
  • If a woman does not consent to sex, she can file rape charges. If a man does not consent to fatherhood, he has no legal recourse. He pays mom or he goes to jail.

Still, men aren't dying from back alley abortions, are they? No, but they are being thrown into jail for failing to pay child support. A woman's decision to keep a child imposes on the father a legal obligation to support the child for 18 years in the amount dictated by the state or go to jail. For example, an underage boy cannot legally consent to sex, but if he has sex with an adult woman who has a child, he will be expected to pay his rapist support when he turns 18. If he fails to pay, he goes to jail.

If the state is going to jail men for failure to pay child support, it should also grant them the same reproductive rights it grants teenage girls.

One reason the state is reluctant to grant men the same rights it grants women is welfare. A single mother can easily become dependent on the state. The state's only remedy is to go after the father, so the states routinely round up dads and put them in jail. But a fundamental human and Constitutional right cannot be denied men so the state can afford to finance welfareand there's little evidence to show jailing dads reduces welfare costs.

Others argue that if a man plays, he should pay. That argument made sense before birth control, Roe v Wade, unilateral placement of infants for adoption, and “safe-haven” abandonment. Today, men have as much right to mitigate the consequences of an unwanted pregnancy as women.

And how do reproductive rights for men affect women's rights? It extends them. Women would still have the same options they have under current law. If she keeps the child, it is her choice and her responsibility. That's fair. She would also have the option of giving up her rights and responsibilities to the father, who could then keep the child, place it for adoption, or abandon the child in a “safe haven.”

The philosophy behind reproductive rights is that the individual, whether a man or a woman, has the fundamental right to make his or her own reproductive choices. Fatherhood, like motherhood, should be a choice, not a legal trap.

Paternity Fraud
UK National Survey

Paternity fraud survey statistics

Scotland's National Newspaper

96% of women are liars, honest

5,000 women polled

Half the women said that if they became pregnant by another man but wanted to stay with their partner, they would lie about the baby's real father.

Forty-two per cent would lie about contraception in order to get pregnant, no matter the wishes of their partner.

Globe and Mail - Paternity Fraud statistics for Canada

Canada's largest
national newspaper

Mommy's little secret

The article contains info about children's identity fraud at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

December 14, 2002.

Includes interview with employees of Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Ontario, Canada who admit they deny children's identity information to husbands/male partners of mothers who want to hide the real identity of their child because they had an affair. The U.N. Convention on the Rights of The Child specifically supports a child's human right to have a relationship with both his/her biological parents. In addition, this article is proof that The Hospital for Sick Children ("Sick Kids") supports paternity fraud.

Further "Sick Kids" supports a mother's rights only, which they view, supersedes 3 other people's rights, namely, the rights of the biological father, the rights of the mother's male partner/husband and the child's identity rights.

BBC News logo

One in 25 fathers 'not the daddy'

Up to one in 25 dads could unknowingly be raising another man's child, UK health researchers estimate.

Increasing use of genetic testing for medical and legal reasons means Read More ..uples are discovering the biological proof of who fathered the child.

The Liverpool John Moores University team reached its estimate based on research findings published between 1950 and 2004.

The study appears in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Biological father
Professor Mark Bellis and his team said that the implications of so-called paternal discrepancy were huge and largely ignored, even though the incidence was increasing.

In the US, the number of paternity tests increased from 142,000 in 1991 to 310,490 in 2001.

Paternity Fraud - Spain Supreme Court - Civil Damages

Daily Mail UK

Adulterous woman ordered to pay husband £177,000 in 'moral damages'

The Daily Mail, UK
18th February 2009

An adulterous Spanish woman who conceived three children with her lover has been ordered to pay £177,000 in 'moral damages' to her husband.

The cuckolded man had believed that the three children were his until a DNA test eventually proved they were fathered by another man.

The husband, who along with the other man cannot be named for legal reasons to protect the children's identities, suspected his second wife may have been unfaithful in 2001.

Sydney Morning Herald

Biology, not heart, provokes women's infidelity

Sydney Morning Herald, Australia
January 15, 2009

BEAUTIFUL women who have affairs can now blame it on their sex hormones.

Women with higher levels of oestradiol, a form of oestrogen, not only look and feel more attractive, they are also more likely to cheat on their partners, a new study has found.

One-night-stands are not what interest these flirtatious females, who tend to have bigger breasts, relatively small waists and symmetrical faces as a result of their high levels of oestradiol.

Rather, they adopt a strategy of serial monogamy, say the researchers, led by Kristina Durante of the University of Texas.

Paternity Fraud & the Criminal Code of Canada

Paternity fraud: Is it or should it be a criminal offence under the Criminal Code of Canada?

You be the judge.

Independent Women's Forum

Who Knows Father Best?

Feminist organizations including the National Organization of Women (NOW) has objected to legislation that requires the courts to vacate paternity judgments against men who arent, in fact, the father.

Think about that. NOW wants some man, any man, to make child support payments. The woman who doesnt even know who the father is, should not be held responsible for her actions, is a sweet, loving, blameless mother who seeks only to care for her child and if naming some schmuck as father who never saw her before in his life helps her provide for the innocent babe, well then, that's fine.

Innocence is no excuse. Pay up.   Read More ..

Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Broadcast: November 22, 2004

Who's Your Daddy?

Last year, more than 3,000 DNA paternity tests were commissioned by Australian men, and in almost a quarter of those cases, the test revealed that not only had their partners been unfaithful, but the children they thought were theirs had been sired by someone else. Read More ..

Paternity Fraud

Sunday Times

DNA: Why the truth can hurt

The Sunday Times
March 27, 2005

IT sounded too good to be true and it was.

The fairytale that saw Federal Health Minister Tony Abbott reunited with the son he thought he had given up for adoption 27 years ago, ABC sound-recordist Daniel O'Connor, ended this week when DNA tests confirmed another man had fathered Mr O'Connor.

The revelations were devastating for all involved, not least Mr O'Connor.

Still reeling from the emotional reunion with his mother, Kathy Donnelly, and Mr Abbott a few months ago, a simple test of truth has thrown the trio into disarray a situation familiar to thousands of other Australians.

Paternity testing in Australia is a burgeoning industry.

The simplicity of the test cells are collected from a mouth swab grossly underestimates the seriousness of the situation.

Paternity Fraud Australia

Fathers May Get Money Back in Paternity Fraud Cases

18 March, 2005
FindLaw, Australia

Proposed new laws will make it easier for fathers to recover child maintenance payments if DNA testing reveals that they are not the child's father.

The Family Law Amendment Bill 2005 allows people who wrongly believed they were the parent of a child to recover any child maintenance paid or property transferred under an order of a court under the Family Law Act 1975 .

"The bill is intended to make it easier for people who find themselves in this position to take recovery action without the need to initiate separate proceedings for an order from a court of civil jurisdiction, such as a State, Local or Magistrates court," Attorney-General Philip Ruddock said.

USA Today

Men wage battle on 'paternity fraud'

USA TODAY, by Martin Kasindorf, December 12, 2002

An acid sense of betrayal has been gnawing at Damon Adams since a DNA test showed that he is not the father of a 10-year-old girl born during his former marriage.

"Something changes in your heart," says Adams, 51, a dentist in Traverse City, Mich. "When she walks through the door, you're seeing the product of an affair."

But Michigan courts have spurned the DNA results Adams offered in his motions to stop paying $23,000 a year in child support. Now, Adams is lobbying the state Legislature for relief and joining other men in a national movement against what they call "paternity fraud." Read More ..

BBC News logo

Who's the Daddy?

Up to three million Britons may be wrong about who their real father is , experts claim. But using DNA paternity tests to discover the truth can cause its own problems.

BBC, U.K., May 16, 2003

Dad's got blue eyes, Baby brown...

When Tessa found out she was pregnant after fertility treatment, she felt a mix of delight and doubt.

This wasn't simply pre-baby nerves - she suspected that her husband might not be the father. For Tessa had started sleeping with a colleague when the stress of the ongoing treatment became too much.

Keen to build a family with her husband, she let him believe the baby was his. But her lover threatened to reveal all if she ended the affair, and Tessa soon fell pregnant again. This time, her lover started to make nuisance calls to her home.

Tessa had no choice but to tell her husband. "I said to him, 'I've had an affair and you may not be the father of my children.' So with that, he went up the stairs, got dressed and left. And that was it," Tessa says in Women Who Live a Lie, a programme for the BBC's Five Live Report.

paternity fraud in Jamaica

Would you wear the jacket?

THERE IS A story I used to find hilarious in my high school years about a not too bright man. He was light skinned, his wife was of similar hue, but their first child was born with very dark complexion (darker dan Bello, blacker dan Blakka).

When the man wondered aloud about the baby's complexion his wife assured him that the child was born dark because the child was conceived in darkness (they had sex with the lights off). The man accepted the explanation. Because he loved his wife dearly, he also ignored the fact that the child had other obvious signs of resemblance to the young dark skinned man who did their gardening. To fix the problem, the husband put flood lights, strobe lights, spotlights and forty other lights in the bed room so there would be no more darkness to create dark babies.