This question seems like a no-brainer, right? But, apparently, some people think women are “disgusting” for demanding such a thing. Some think that if, years earlier, both the man and the woman agreed that the woman would abort or give a baby up for adoption if their recreational sex resulted in an unwanted pregnancy, that it’s not OK for the woman to change her mind and then expect the man to help support the baby he helped to create.
(Speaking of babies, my own is sick and teething like crazy today, so I gave the babysitter the morning off and am taking Joanie to the doctor when she wakes up from her nap. Today’s quick Topic of the Day post will have to suffice for morning content.)
Anyway, what are your thoughts on this issue? If a woman decides to keep her pregnancy to term and raise the baby, despite the biological father’s protests, is it morally right for her to demand financial support from him? Or is it “her problem” since she’s the one deciding to keep the baby and, if she can’t afford to raise it herself, she should abort or give it up for adoption? What if they decided beforehand that, if they were faced with an unwanted pregnancy, they wouldn’t keep it and then the woman changed her mind? Is it fair of her to expect/demand that the guy help financially support the kid?
Azma May 12, 2016, 8:14 am
I don’t think a woman is “disgusting” for making such a choice, but I do think that if the couple had previously agreed to have an abortion if an unplanned pregnancy occurred, and they were using birth control that failed, then it is unfair of her to proceed with the pregnancy if her partner is adamant that he doesn’t want a baby. If she feels ready for a child and is willing to raise one alone, she could have an abortion and then get pregnant again using donor sperm. This “what if” scenario is played out so many times, and one part of the equation that’s rarely acknowledged is that abortion is so stigmatized in the US that women are taught to feel guilt or shame if they seek an abortion– even when they’re pro-choice.
RedRoverRedRover May 12, 2016, 8:34 am
So a woman should abort a wanted baby, and then go get pregnant again with donor sperm??? I can’t believe you even suggested that.
Azma May 12, 2016, 9:11 am
Can you explain why? I’m honestly asking this because I don’t see why this is an outrageous suggestion if you believe that abortion should be legal and accessible.
RedRoverRedRover May 12, 2016, 9:23 am
Because if you want the baby, having an abortion is killing it. Babies aren’t just interchangeable. I doubt there are many women who could go, oh well, I’ll just kill this one and have another, same deal.
Not to mention, just because you got pregnant once doesn’t mean you’ll be able to again. How would you feel if you killed the baby you wanted and were never able to have another? The whole idea is so messed up.
And note that when I say “killing” the baby, that’s more of a description of how the mother would feel about aborting a wanted baby. I don’t think abortion is murder. But to a woman who wants the baby, it would feel like it.
Cleopatra Jones May 12, 2016, 10:36 am
Not to mention that donor sperm isn’t accessible for everyone. It’s very cost prohibitive because of the large up-front payment. Also, your medical insurance may not cover it so that isn’t always an option.
Additionally, while the idea of donor sperm is great most of those clinics have a very narrow racial and ethnic demographic. The selection of donor sperm for women of color is very very slim or non-existent.
Bittergaymark May 12, 2016, 11:35 am
Oh for fucks sake — if you can’t afford to buy some fucking sperm — you REALLY can’t afford a baby. End of story…
keyblade May 12, 2016, 11:42 am
I agree not everyone should be a mother but we aren’t talking about that. We are talking about mothers that can make it but still require the bio-dad’s to pitch in what the state mandates.
Azma May 12, 2016, 2:03 pm
The language you’re using in your comment just supports my point. Abortion isn’t killing and there is no baby involved, unless you’ve been convinced by the pervasive anti-abortion rhetoric in this country.
Most abortions abort embryos, and they are often treated as interchangeable. Just walk into any infertility clinic for evidence of that.
And if you got pregnant accidentally while using birth control (note that I specified that in my original comment– it’s an important distinction) then that very much suggests that you’re quite fertile.
RedRoverRedRover May 12, 2016, 2:33 pm
So… you ignored my last paragraph where I explained why I used that language? I specifically described it that way so that you would understand the emotional/psychological trauma that your suggestion would cause to women who wanted the baby. I’m saying baby because women who want a baby think of it as a baby as soon as they’re pregnant. They don’t call it “the embryo”. They look forward to the end result, which is a baby. They say “I’m having a baby”, not “I have an embryo”. And sorry, but most pregnant women would not describe embryos as interchangeable. How you can even think that is beyond me.
And getting pregnant once doesn’t indicate the ability to easily do it again. Secondary infertility (not being able to get pregnant a second time) is very real and very common. Even for women who easily got pregnant the first time. Not to mention that most of the time when women get pregnant on BC it’s not because they’re super-fertile, it’s because that BC isn’t as effective for them as it is for other women.
Azma May 12, 2016, 7:38 pm
And I’m saying that the trauma you’re assuming women feel is because of our particular historical and political moment. Before abortion was politicized in the United States (and granted to find this moment you have to go back to the 19th C.) it was simply not associated with the trauma you’re attributing to it. Abortion was actually a common form of birth control, and women didn’t experience the kind of shame or loss that’s often attributed to the practice. I know this is getting us off topic from the original post, but I’m committed to fighting the way abortion is currently viewed in the US– even by many people who claim it should be legal (as demonstrated by many of the responses here).
keyblade May 12, 2016, 8:14 pm
Your comments are interesting, but surely you can allow that a woman coerced into an abortion she doesn’t want may experience it as psychologically traumatic. I’ve heard of women who have reported feeling traumatized by miscarriage. I think you have a well-intended agenda. I hope you don’t muddy it up by devaluating other people’s experiences.
Azma May 12, 2016, 9:13 pm
I absolutely don’t think any woman should be coerced into an abortion. I’m sorry if anything I wrote gave that impression. My point is simply that it seems preferable to me to have a baby on your own than with a man who says he doesn’t want a child (with you). And that if we didn’t live in such an anti-abortion culture then maybe it will be easier to say hey, this experience of being pregnant has taught me that I’m ready to be a mom, but why should I bring a child into this world who will bear the burden of a father who resents him or her? I’ll try this again on my own and, as Wendy says, MOA. In my utopia it would be easier for women to reach this decision!
RedRoverRedRover May 12, 2016, 9:05 pm
I agree it doesn’t need to be a traumatic experience for women who don’t want the baby. But do you seriously think that a woman who really wants the baby isn’t going to be traumatized by having it terminated??? Who wouldn’t be traumatized by that? Like keyblade said, that’s similar to a miscarriage, which is an extremely difficult experience, psychologically and emotionally, for women who wanted to have the baby.
Azma May 13, 2016, 12:19 pm
Comparing abortion to miscarriage is interesting because like abortion, miscarriage is extremely common but it’s also not discussed as openly as it should be. 10- 25% of pregnancies end in miscarriage (and that number is MUCH higher if you count chemical pregnancies that are miscarried before a missed period. See . I think miscarriage can be a traumatic event, especially if the couple has struggled with infertility. But even in a fertile couple miscarriage is a normal part of human reproduction, and I think if more women knew just how normal it is and just how likely it is to have a healthy pregnancy after a miscarriage then it would be less of a traumatic event. It would of course still be sad, very sad, but not the extremely difficult experience you describe it as. (Not on the level of trauma, and I speak here from personal experience.) It’s also why I think it’s so important we discuss miscarriage more openly (thank you Wendy for helping with this!).
SpaceySteph May 12, 2016, 9:30 am
I do believe abortion should be legal and accessible. But that’s not the same thing as saying that women should have them without giving thought to whether they want to go through with the pregnancy, or that women should be forced into them by men. I’ll give you a few reasons why I think this is crazy:
1) if the woman really thought she would get an abortion but then when it happened she felt connected to the fetus and didn’t want to abort.. then it’s not about having a baby, its about having that baby. You’re asking her to abort a wanted baby and then go try to immediately have another baby?
2) having an abortion, while less risky that childbirth, does carry risk. so you’re advocating a woman should have a medical procedure that she doesn’t want and doesn’t need, just to absolve a man of taking responsibility for where he left his semen?
3) abortion and artificial insemination are both expensive and in this case both unnecessary expenses. Also if she’s got that money kicking around, I doubt she needs child support.
This is about an already-conceived fetus that a woman doesn’t want to abort. To suggest that would be equivalent to aborting it and then going to get re-impregnated is an opinion so callous to both women and the potential life in her uterus that I think even most “abortion on demand without apology” people would think “whoa, too far”
jilliebean May 12, 2016, 9:56 am
Yup – I am a firm supporter of the right to choose abortion but the callousness of this suggesting shocked even me.
csp May 12, 2016, 8:43 am
Honestly, adoption is stigmatized as well. My son’s birth mother went through so much when people found out she was placing the baby with us. People say “giving up” and said things like “i could never give up my baby” and acted like she was emotionally dead inside. My husband and I are put on this moral pedestal for adopting and she was shamed for giving me the most wonderful gift. An abortion you can do quietly but taking a pregnancy full term invites public judgement.
Dear Wendy May 12, 2016, 9:05 am
csp, I’ve been thinking about you. How is motherhood going? Congrats, again, on your new addition whom I know was very much wanted and anticipated. I hope all is going well for your family!
csp May 12, 2016, 9:32 am
Thanks Wendy. It has been so wonderful. We are tired and busy and just so so happy. It has been a crazy road and to finally be here is just the greatest. I will send an update soon because our adoption story is crazy but right now we are just enjoying life in the slow lane 🙂
Dear Wendy May 12, 2016, 12:04 pm
Glad to hear!
Addie Pray May 12, 2016, 3:41 pm
I’m looking forward to hearing your adoption story! I didn’t know you were adopting / had adopted a child. That is wonderful!
keyblade May 12, 2016, 9:16 am
That is terrible. I don’t blame men for having feelings. I don’t blame men for feeling trapped or upset from parental responsibility. But it matters what people choose to do with their feelings. I don’t fault men for making it clear that they would prefer to give up their parenthood to someone else and or be clear that they have no inherent desire for a child. In some cases, I wish birth mothers would consider adoptions more. For some abortions are not a big emotional deal, at all. For some giving a child up for adoption is not an emotional ordeal and does not come with a sense of grief or loss and this should be respected and not be judged.
On the other hand, people are not the same. Not everyone is capable or willing to give a child up for adoption. Not everybody experiences pregnancy the same way or views a fetus’s existence the same way. I don’t think it is all socialization and stigmas (but I do believe stigmas are skewed towards anti-abortion). I believe there are many cases where a birth mom has every intention of giving their child up for adoption, but changes their mind. There are things that society and law cannot insist a person endure, in my opinion.
I think Anon is trying to make the point that fatherhood should be one of them. And if we lived in a utopian state where all babies and children were given free access to medical care, love, nurturing, education, clothes, shelter, safety, in some perfect commune, maybe I could take his point to heart, more. But the decision of parenthood doesn’t affect just two adults, it affects a child. And it must be that the child’s rights to support trump those of the adult. This must be for the health and functioning of society.
I don’t know what I would do if I was impregnated by a man who was adamantly opposed to being a father. That would likely be very important to me. But there is no easy or perfect blueprint for a parent to follow. I can’t and don’t judge a woman who takes on parenting and puts up a boundary around how much of her partner’s dilemma she is willing to emotionally take on and account for.
Keilah May 12, 2016, 11:56 am
Yes! I love your comment and the truth that is behind it.
I’m a birth mom and wanted to say something about Wendy even mentioning giving a baby up for adoption. Just for educational purposes and not to come off as a total bitch, its so much better to say “placing” the baby for adoption.
Dear Wendy May 12, 2016, 12:05 pm
keyblade May 12, 2016, 12:31 pm
Noted. Though I do think describing it as “giving a child up” might be accurate for someone who ultimately decides that is what it means to them and they don’t wish to do that. But for the beautiful adoption stories like parents like CPS, I will use “placing” to describe it.
honeybeenicki May 12, 2016, 2:52 pm
It always makes me sad when people are shamed for placing their kids. Its the greatest gift you can give the child (a stable, loving home!) and the parents (a new family member to love!) and the bio parents (a chance to make their life what they need or want it to be!).
keyblade May 12, 2016, 3:25 pm
I so agree. It’s really a beautiful thing to place a child with loving, dedicated parents. I respect this choice and the people who carry it out enormously.
Azma May 12, 2016, 9:15 am
I wanted to add that I responded to this without reading the link that Wendy posted to. I agree that if this was a conversation that happened 7.5 years ago and was never revisited then that changes things. But to me that also suggests a problem in the relationship: how could you not discuss this again in such a long relationship!? (And if you have such bad communication with this person do you really want to have a baby with him?)
Lianne May 12, 2016, 9:49 am
Wow. This line of thinking is actually disgusting. Abort to just get pregnant again!?!?! Are you serious? Abortion is not only a physical trauma to one’s body, it’s also an emotional one. Anyone can change their mind about anything. If two consenting adults decide to have sex, they also need to understand the consequences of said sex could be pregnancy and assume the pregnancy will result in a child.
JudgeSheryl May 12, 2016, 1:50 pm
sorry, this is really dumb. If she gets pregnant accidentally, but decides she wants to keep the baby and go it alone… that is the same as getting a sperm donor. There is no need to abort a wanted baby, regardless of your terms.
A father cannot force an abortion (i.e. refuse to have his genetic material walking about some day).
Anon May 12, 2016, 8:18 am
No it’s NOT ok. Jesus.
If you think it is, then you’re off your rocker.
An agreement is just that. If the agreement is voided simply because the woman had a change of heart (saw her baby on an ultrasound, heard a heartbeat , whatever) and wants to keep it, then she can obviously do so, but there was an agreement in place for a reason. Shit happens yes, but NO , if she changes her mind towards the agreement and the man took their agreement to be the word, then he should NOT be on the hook financially because she changed her mind.
RedRoverRedRover May 12, 2016, 8:31 am
Child support is for the child. Neither parent should be allowed to opt out of support unless they find a replacement who will support the child (as in adoption). The end. The kid exists, the kid needs support to live.
Like I said on the other thread, men can opt out of having children by having a vasectomy. Or, you know, even bothering to wear a condom which most men in this situation don’t.
muchachaenlaventana May 12, 2016, 8:32 am
I am sorry but if your friend and his gf as sexually active consenting adults had a conversation 8 years ago about adoption that was NEVER revisited as they continued on in their relationship, they are not very good at having an adult relationship and are both responsible for whatever their current actions result in. To take someone at their word and not expect them to change their mind over 8 years (even over 8 months) is insane and stupid and reaks of a lack of maturity and empathy. Is everything in your life so black and white, something you say once you are then held to forever?
Firestar May 12, 2016, 8:35 am
You seem to think the decision to have or not have a baby happens after the baby is conceived. It happens before. That’s the opportunity for the man (and woman) to decide they don’t want a child and take the necessary steps then. After conception it’s too late for the man. At that point only a woman can decide what happens. Since, you know, the fetus is inside her body and all. There is no contract here that a woman has to be bound to. There is no consideration passing hands. There is action and consequence. That’s it. Want to avoid the consequences? Take appropriate action. It isn’t brain surgery. Millions of people manage to avoid impregnation every day.
Scooze May 12, 2016, 8:38 am
If a man wants an iron-clad contract that cannot be broken, he needs to present it up front and allow his sex partner time to have her lawyer look it over before signing.
The fact is that one simply does not know how they will feel when presented with an unplanned pregnancy. Many people think they know how they feel, but they change their mind. This is common knowledge in our society – everyone knows people who didn’t plan to have kids but then were thrilled when they got pregnant. That is life. One cannot take a hypothetical guess at face value in something so very important and life-changing.
RedRoverRedRover May 12, 2016, 8:42 am
I doubt if any lawyer worth his salt would write up such a contract. Child support is something driven by the state, not by the parents, so no matter what they agree to the state can still void such a contract.
Unless you’re talking about a contract that says that the woman will be forced to have an abortion if she gets pregnant. Which, again, I can’t see how that could possibly be enforced. Medical procedures require consent of the patient. If she withdraws consent, the contract will be meaningless.
SpaceySteph May 12, 2016, 9:07 am
Yeah, not gonna fly. You can’t write child support into a prenup, because ultimately the court decides what is best for the child.
I don’t foresee a lawyer writing or a court upholding any kind of contract specifying either no child support or forced abortion. Sorry, there’s no binding way to have an “agreement” like this.
Do everything you can to prevent pregnancy and be prepared to face the consequences of your actions like an adult…or don’t have sex.
Vathena May 12, 2016, 10:03 am
You know what, if a man doesn’t want to have a baby THAT much, then he should GET A FUCKING VASECTOMY. Jesus Christ! If you think that some succubus is going to ensnare you financially with a baby you don’t want, TAKE SOME GODDAMN RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR FUCKING SPERM! Sorry guys, this just makes me feel kinda stabby this morning. FFS.
saneinca May 12, 2016, 10:12 am
Cleopatra Jones May 12, 2016, 10:39 am
I’m with you on that except this subject makes me punchy. 🙂
If a guy absolutely does not want children then he needs to make sure he’s wearing a condom during sex. Or at the very least don’t have continued long term relationships with women that want kids.
Jahaafincher May 12, 2016, 11:08 am
AMEN!! I was just gonna say that! Its like $800 without insurance and Planned Parenthood. How come women are held liable for all things baby? Or, if they dont want a kid they should then be ok with wearing and buying condoms every damn time.
Otherwise- f em. They knew the risks too.
Kate B. May 12, 2016, 9:03 pm
You would be amazed how many men never think of this. I had a conversation once with a male friend who was adamant that he did not want kids ever. The conversation went like this:
Him: I do not ever want to have any children.
Me: What have you done about it?
Him: *blank stare*
Me: You do know there are things you can do to insure you never have children, right? You could have a vasectomy.
Skyblossom May 12, 2016, 8:20 am
A man old enough to make babies is old enough to prevent making babies. If he doesn’t want to be a father he can take precautions. He can wear a condom. He can make sure the woman is also using some method of birth control and if he isn’t sure that she is or isn’t sure that she uses it properly he can refrain from having sex with her. He can also have a vasectomy. He can also pull out before ejaculating. No one is forcing men to leave sperm in the vagina of a woman.
It isn’t the woman who forces the man to take responsibility for the consequences of his sex life. It is the state. Why should all of us take responsibility for his irresponsible actions just because he doesn’t want to take responsibility? We all know that if you have sex babies can happen. The state says that a woman can’t give up her child’s right for financial support. Two adults can’t choose to give away what the child is owed. It is sad when the state has to make the parents both financially support a child. There are times when women also don’t want to financially support their child/children and the state steps in and makes them pay also.
The reality is that you can be responsible before having sex or you can be forced to be responsible for 18 years after having sex. The choice belongs to each individual.
csp May 12, 2016, 8:33 am
Great answer! Just because you didn’t mean to cause a car accident…
BG May 12, 2016, 10:42 am
You could argue that parents who give their child up for adoption aren’t taking responsibility for their actions. What about safe haven laws where you can just leave your baby at a hospital, fire station, etc. That is the definition of not taking responsibility.
Skyblossom May 12, 2016, 10:49 am
It is being responsible to give up a child for adoption. When the two parents find alternate parents to raise their child then they have been responsible. It isn’t at all the same thing as someone deciding that they don’t want to pay for the child they created but are still responsible for raising.
BG May 12, 2016, 10:56 am
Giving a child up could be to the state, it’s not always to another family. They aren’t taking responsibility for raising the child at all. They are shirking it off onto the taxpayers, since that seems to be the common argument for child support.
Firestar May 12, 2016, 11:11 am
No problem. If the birth father can find someone to take over his financial responsibility to the child so that the child is provided in the same manner had he not abdicated his responsibilities, then I have no problem with that. Courts make orders about parentis loci all the time.
BG May 12, 2016, 11:56 am
How about handing over financial responsibility to the mother who chose to have the child as a single parent?
Ange May 12, 2016, 6:39 pm
Because single mothers are a disadvantaged group economically and the kid shouldn’t have to suffer because one parent is struggling, there is another parent to assist.
We can debate all day about the morality of keeping kids against one parent’s will or having a child when one is already in financial dire straits but the fact is once the kid is here it doesn’t deserve to be punished because its parents were irresponsible.
SpaceySteph May 12, 2016, 12:04 pm
So wait, you think adoption is irresponsible, too. So the only remaining option is abortion.
And aside from the fact that the woman doesn’t want to undergo this medical procedure that you apparently think is the only responsible option, abortion is also incredibly hard to obtain in the US, especially if you are a poor woman (you know, the kind who might need child support payments).
So what is the solution then? And do not say don’t get pregnant, because they (both parents equally) had that chance and it didn’t work.
BG May 12, 2016, 12:12 pm
I don’t think adoption is irresponsible at all, I am just pointing out that the argument doesn’t work.
Gwyneth6 May 12, 2016, 5:46 pm
Very unlikely, most infants are healthy and due to rising age of people starting their families infertility (Invirility also?) is only rising, there is a huge demand for healthy infants. Since carrying, birthing and then giving it up (using this term instead of “placing” because of the context) a baby is no easy thing for many I can’t imagine we will have an epidemic of safe haven babies any time soon. Especially since birth control access and parental attitudes about teen sexuality are generally improving in wonderful ways.
ele4phant May 12, 2016, 12:10 pm
So let me first state I fully believe men are responsible for paying child support, even if they would have preferred adoption or abortion.
But it’s still hard for me to wrap my head around arguments like this:
“A man old enough to make babies is old enough to prevent making babies. If he doesn’t want to be a father he can take precautions. He can wear a condom.”
To me, that’s the male version of “If a women is old enough to have sex, she is old enough to raise a baby. If she didn’t want to be a mother, she should have taken precautions. She could have taken birth control, or not had sex.”
Again, I ultimately agree men are responsible for children they father. But I feel this tack is the same thing anti-choice folks use to argue women should carry pregnancies to term, and that it’s their fault they had an unintended pregnancy.
Anon May 12, 2016, 12:40 pm
It is their fault! It is a direct consequence of choosing to have sex! Having sex=taking responsibility for your actions=possible consequences including STIs and pregnancy, regardless of contraception. That’s why sex education and access to birth control are so important, BUT at the end of the day no birth control is guaranteed to be effective %100 of the time right? It’s like getting in a car to drive to work. You drive safely and take all the precautions to prevent an accident, but you know that there is still a risk of getting in an accident and you accept that risk, and the consequences, by still getting in your car and driving. You may not think about it every time you go to pick up groceries, but the risk is still there.
Ange May 12, 2016, 6:41 pm
And having an abortion or placing the child for adoption or yes, keeping it, is taking responsibility. The woman will always end up taking some form of responsibility for a surprise pregnancy.
ele4phant May 12, 2016, 9:29 pm
Yeah, this isn’t what I meant.
Obvisouly, two people have sex, there could be consequences. And women, because they bear those consequences so much more heavily than men.
My point was that using the language of “Meh tough shit men you didn’t want to be a dad should’ve kept it zipped up” is the same logic as “Meh tough shit women you didn’t want to have a baby you should have kept your legs shut”. If we reject that reasoning for the latter we shouldn’t try to use it for the former.
Men should be responsible – financially – for children they fathered but did not want because of biological realities. It isn’t equal, but it is equitable given the reality of how pregnancy works. And children deserve resources to thrive regardless of what their biological parents did or did not want. Child support is ultimately about giving kids the best shake in life, not holding the parents accountable for the consequences of their actions.
muchachaenlaventana May 12, 2016, 8:30 am
(posted in the forums) Maybe 5 years ago if I got pregnant I would have told my boyfriend we would have an abortion … now I am 5 years older, could financially support a child, am more stable and would probably have it if I ended up pregnant. Yes, this has been on ongoing thing we have talked about but people change their mind based on a lot of factors. If he held me to something I agreed to 3 years ago I would think he was an irrational asshole. Someone who would maybe give up their child for adoption when they are 19/20 may not when they are 27/28. That is pretty fucking normal and not understanding people can and do change their minds on that is just bizarre to me.
Also my best friend is in the position of someone who had a baby because her and the baby’s father made an irresponsible choice, together, to not use birth control when they had sex. They took plan B immediately but she ended up pregnant. She was going to get an abortion but then heard and saw the baby and decided she couldn’t. It was seriously one of the hardest things I have ever seen a person go through, her depression, uncertainty, shame, etc. especially with the overall terribleness of the dick head father. He badgered her in to getting an abortion, badgered his family into badgering her getting an abortion, denied he was the father and was basically just all around awful. Then he met the baby at 6 months and decided, no he actually didn’t want to give up parental rights and they entered this long battle to try and get him to pay child support. He is now and has a visitation schedule but he is an absolutely shit father. This beautiful little girl is now 4 and understands more and honestly, thank god he is paying child support. He does literally nothing else. She is still his child and he has a responsibility to ensure she is not living in poverty, is eating and can attend school or daycare. His sperm and his choice went in to having the child and as soon as the worst case scenario happened he wanted to give up all responsibility for his actions. Your opinion @bg is everything wrong with the entitled fucking shitheads being raised and born and brought up right now. You make a choice and you have to deal with the consequences, even if you don’t like them. Sex is a choice. Sex no matter how safe you are with birth control (really we have all heard the stories in every fucking scenario and with every variety of something happening) can result in a child. If you have that child, you need to take responsibility for it, even if you didn’t “want” it. That is called being an adult and dealing with the outcomes of the decision YOU make. Men decide to have sex, they know the possible outcomes. Deal.with.it
BG May 12, 2016, 10:31 am
And I think you regarding a child as a “consequence” they need to deal with is what is wrong.
At 24 I got pregnant with my then boyfriend’s kid. I was horrified. I was too young to have a kid, not financially stable, and he would have been a terrible father. We had a fun relationship but I didn’t want a kid with him. (We stayed together for 2 more years.) We were not as careful as we should have been so this was both of our faults. I could have been sterilized to prevent this pregnancy, but I later married and I now have a child I love completely. My husband and I chose to have a baby, she is in no way a consequence. I can’t imagine how horrible it would be to grow up with parents who see you as a consequence.
Suggesting a man have a vasectomy because he doesn’t want a child yet is ridiculous. I would hate my ex boyfriend if he had been able to force me to have that child and I would probably resent the child.
Do any of you put yourselves in that situation and think of how you would feel if someone forced you to have a child you didn’t want?
Skyblossom May 12, 2016, 10:47 am
The alternative would be to force someone to have an abortion that they didn’t want.
No one forces the father to be actively involved in the life of the child but he must be financially responsible for his own actions. That’s life. It isn’t much different than being responsible for the damages in an car accident or if you burn brush on your own property and the fire gets away from you and you burn down your neighbors house. You are responsible. You don’t get to choose after the fact to not be responsible.
No one says that a man must get a vasectomy. He could wear a condom. He could orgasm without having his penis in a vagina. He could make sure they are using at least two forms of birth control. If he really doesn’t want to be a father he can do a lot to make sure he isn’t a father.
kare May 12, 2016, 4:05 pm
My friend’s ex-boyfriend forced her to have an abortion. Well, maybe “forced” is the wrong word, but I would consider doing something under the threat of death to be force. Of course she’s not the only person I know pushed to have an abortion. There was a rich guy in my high school that paid for at least 2 abortions of different girls, probably more. The money was offered along with threats. Other girls I knew were told by their parents (hypocritically since they’re “Pro-life”) to find a way to get rid of the baby or be homeless. So I mean, there is a way to opt out of child support if you want to be a despicable human being. But again, what sort of human being would want to deny an innocent child with half of their DNA basic needs because their money is worth more?
RedRoverRedRover May 12, 2016, 10:50 am
Are you talking about rape? Because if not, then the conception happened entirely through the choices of the two people having sex. Just because a woman has additional options after conception, doesn’t take away from the man’s choice which led to him helping to create the baby in the first place.
BG May 12, 2016, 10:59 am
It was the choice of two people. Those two people should he a choice about whether they want a child. I don’t think anyone should be forced to have an abortion or carry a child to term. By that same token, I don’t think anyone should be forced to be involved with a child they don’t want.
RedRoverRedRover May 12, 2016, 11:05 am
Well, I’m just glad you’re not in charge then. Because you still haven’t answered the question I asked multiple times in the other thread – who should be supporting the children then? How do we alleviate the huge child poverty problem that child support was created to address? If you took away child support, what would you replace it with? Higher taxes or starving children?
BG May 12, 2016, 11:26 am
Oh, I don’t claim to have a perfect answer for that. I know that is an issue. At the same time intact families with two partners fall into poverty and rely on the state for support and I don’t know that anyone has an answer for that.
More complete sex education, access to free/low cost birth control, access to abortions, and making sure people make a living wage are all a great place to start.
You commented elsewhere that I am teetering on the edge of eugenics and I suppose to some it seems that way. I may well be and I will have to think on that. I really do believe that it is irresponsible to have a child you can’t afford.
I was incredulous that when I left the hospital they didn’t make sure my husband and I knew anything about taking care of a baby before we left with her. Despite having the finances and resources to take care of her, I felt so ill prepared to care for this amazing little human. I knew that they wouldn’t test us or ask for a bank statement, but suddenly holding her and strapping her into her car seat it really hit me how big and scary and beautiful and amazing this is. It is a huge responsibility and undertaking to have a child and it is so sad to think someone is forced into it. It is so sad to think that someone else was taking her little girl home that day to a life with a man that fathered her, but who will have nothing to do with her and resents her very existence.
My baby girl came home to parents who adore everything she does and other kids, who are just as cute and perfect, who laugh and take their first steps, shriek with delight, and make adorable pouty faces right before they cry, are seen as a burden that has been forced upon someone.
Kids are wonderful and terrifying and if you are not ready or you don’t want a kid with that person, you shouldn’t be forced to participate.
RedRoverRedRover May 12, 2016, 11:36 am
A man can’t be forced to actually participate, he can only be made to hand over money. Which is not even close to the same thing, and which is valuable to the child no matter what the actual relationship between the father and child is.
I’m surprised that having had a child, you can’t understand what it would be like for someone who gets pregnant and wants the child. I know you said you had an abortion in an earlier relationship, but in that case YOU didn’t want the baby either. Which is a very different situation from wanting the baby and having to have an abortion.
Imagine this scenario – your husband and you decided to try for a child. Then after you got pregnant, your husband said he changed his mind and didn’t want it. But you still very much want it, and can’t afford to raise it on your own. What is your recommendation to that version of you? Abort it? Really, truly think about what that would mean for you for the rest of your life, having terminated a baby that you dearly wanted. I don’t think I could do it, personally, even if I couldn’t really afford it. I’d tell myself there were ways to do it, we’d get by, etc. That’s what happens in the real world.
Without child support, all it does is make the situation harder/worse for that single mother, and much worse for the child. Like I’ve already said, I know child support isn’t a perfect solution. But it’s better for our society, and for these children, than not having it. That’s why I advocate for it.
The closest thing to a perfect solution, in my opinion, is male BC. We’re not there yet, but hopefully soon.
BG May 12, 2016, 11:43 am
I am not arguing, anywhere that someone should be force to have an abortion! That would be beyond awful! It’s partially my perspective as a mother that makes me so upset that someone who couldn’t care for their child would choose to bring it into that situation. I want to give my daughter every opportunity in life to succeed. If I couldn’t even feed her or put a roof over her head I wouldn’t have had/kept her.
And definitely not male.
BG May 12, 2016, 11:48 am
Sorry, definitely not opposed to male birth control. Free birth control all around!
RedRoverRedRover May 12, 2016, 1:44 pm
But it essentially IS forcing abortions to take away the financial support that the child needs. Realistically, very few people are in a position to raise a baby completely alone. It’s much more expensive than doing it with a partner, and it has to be done on a single salary. So if you take away child support, you make it so that the majority of women can’t afford to keep the baby, no matter how much they may have wanted it. Thus pushing them into abortions that they don’t want to have. It’s just another way of coercing them, because it’s limiting their choices to a lifetime of poverty, or an unwanted abortion.
BG May 12, 2016, 11:46 am
If I choose to have a child as a single mother, it is my responsibility to provide for that child.
saneinca May 12, 2016, 12:02 pm
Only if you are using a sperm bank.
BG May 12, 2016, 12:10 pm
A choice is a choice. Either way you are choosing to have a baby by yourself.
snoopy128 May 12, 2016, 12:46 pm
That argument works only if you *chose* to get pregnant all on your own.
It’s not so black and white. Partners can say they are supportive and change their minds any time in the process.
BG May 12, 2016, 11:27 am
I didn’t mean to ignore you with the other thread, I just unplug at night can focus on family time.
SpaceySteph May 12, 2016, 10:59 am
I don’t think the child is the consequence, but supporting them is definitely a consequence.
And I agree with you that a child shouldn’t grow up with parents who think of them as a consequence, which is why I think abortion should be legal and available, why I think birth control should be super available, why I think comprehensive sex education should be mandatory, and why I think that people who do not want to have children should take all the possible precautions to not have children.
But once a fetus exists, I do not support forcing a woman into an abortion or adoption, both of which have lasting consequences on a woman who doesn’t want one. And if the woman chooses to carry that fetus to term, and a child results, I do not support condemning that innocent child to poverty because their parents can’t take responsibility for creating them.
muchachaenlaventana May 12, 2016, 11:11 am
con·se·quence =a result or effect of an action or condition.
doesn’t have to mean anything negative, a child or potential child is a consequence of having sex. In an ideal world the only children born would be children wanted 100% but both parties. In an ideal world if a woman gets pregnant through a mutually agreed upon sexual activity and then decides to have that child even if the male partner does not “want” it, there would be social safety nets in place to that could make it feasible for a women to potentially and without financial support from the parent who doesn’t want the child, to raise the child on her own. We don’t live in that world, financial support from both parties in necessary. Attempting to shirk that responsibility because its not something you want, is irresponsible and not dealing with the outcome of the original choice that was made, sex, which can and does result in children and this does not work in my opinion.
Firestar May 12, 2016, 12:01 pm
Thank you. It’s cause and effect. Nothing negative about it. Two people DO have a choice. BEFORE CONCEPTION. No one is being forced. FFS.
Skyblossom May 12, 2016, 11:27 am
Even wanted children cause consequences. We have two kids who were very wanted. One of the consequences of those kids is that when we buy plane tickets for travel we buy four tickets instead of two. Another consequence was that someone needed to be available to care for them when they were sick when they were little. A consequence was that we were responsible for their care. A consequence was that we were and still are responsible for getting them to school on time.
All of life’s decisions have consequences. If we choose to buy one car we don’t buy another that we may also like. If we spend too much on the car we may have to give up going out to dinner. If we choose a home that requires a commute we are then committed to the commute. Every single choice you make has consequences. To say that someone shouldn’t have to take the consequences of their choices is ridiculous. We all live with the consequences of our decisions all day everyday.
RedRoverRedRover May 12, 2016, 11:38 am
Exactly. Consequences aren’t necessarily negative. They’re the things that happen due to the choices you make. They can be positive (you’re fit because you exercise) or negative (you’re tired because you stayed up really late last night).
Crochet.Ninja May 12, 2016, 8:32 am
if you have sex and your gf gets pregnant, yes, you are obligated to pay child support, whether you wanted it or not – should have thought about that beforehand.
that being said, if i was the woman in that situation, i would have the father relinquish his rights, and i wouldn’t push for support. i’d figure it out (but i’m also lucky enough to have family that would help me)
artsygirl May 12, 2016, 8:32 am
I don’t know if you can ever make a blanket statement on the morality of the situation since there could be thousands of variables (were they in a relationship or just a causal hookup, was there any discussion on what would happen in the case of an unplanned pregnancy, did one of the partners intentionally attempt to get pregnant, etc). That being said, ultimately a man is legally responsible for raising his child no matter if that child was planned or not which trumps morality in the eyes of society.
SasLinna May 12, 2016, 8:39 am
The main rationale behind making biological fathers pay child support is simply that otherwise a lot of children would be far less well off. It’s a way of securing the child’s well being. There’s also the problem that a lot of bio fathers would probably claim that they didn’t agree to the pregnancy if that gave them a way out of their financial responsibilities (even if they, in fact, agreed). Under the current system, letting bio fathers off the hook would be a bad idea.
However, this doesn’t necessarily reflect a deep truth about bio fathers’ financial responsibility. The claim that bio fathers owe support under all circumstances is actually kind of hard to maintain, especially for people who believe in abortion rights and the right to give a baby up for adoption. This article looks into this:
RedRoverRedRover May 12, 2016, 8:47 am
The thing is, what it comes down to is that if the children end up needing support, someone has to provide it. Either the father or the taxpayers (the mother is already supporting as much as she is able). Poor kids need food, clothes, somewhere to live, school programs for lunches and books, etc. Taxpayers pay for all that. If more kids are in poverty, taxpayers will have to pay more.
Everyone frames this discussion as the mother paying vs the father, but that’s not what it is at all. It’s the father vs the taxpayer. So if we’re going to talk about justice, what’s more just – that the father supports the child, or the taxpayers take on more of the support burden?
SasLinna May 12, 2016, 9:14 am
That’s basically what I’m saying. The argument for making reluctant bio fathers pay child support is largely a pragmatic one. It has a lot to do with single mothers often being poor.
In theory, there isn’t a huge argument against making the taxpayers pay IMO. This is partly what Brake argues in the article I linked to. If you take preventative measures, such as wearing a condom, but still get someone pregnant, this is similar to causing an accident even though you drive carefully or getting sick even though you live a healthy lifestyle. For these latter cases we have insurance and also societal solidarity in sharing the costs, at least to an extent, but not for unwanted fatherhood. The question is if that’s entirely fair. I don’t think it’s 100% fair. It’s just better than all alternatives.
The problem with socializing the costs would of course be that it would create a huge moral hazard issue. Men would be less careful to avoid pregnancy if they could get out of child support. And that would be a bad result.
RedRoverRedRover May 12, 2016, 9:37 am
Agree with you. The thing I always come back to is we’ve already tried “no child support”. That’s how it used to be, men could decide whether they wanted to bother with the kid or not. And it was awful for the children, and the mothers, and for society as a whole. So why on earth would we go back to that?
I don’t think child support is a perfect solution. But it’s better than not having it. I haven’t heard anyone yet come up with something that will work better than what we have right now. When they do, I will fully support it. In fact, the best option would be male birth control, and I really hope it comes out soon. I think the testing was projected to be done in 2017. That would make this whole discussion moot.
And I can’t get to that article without paying, but I really don’t like comparing this to abortion because abortion comes with a whole bunch of other considerations such as bodily autonomy. If we support bodily autonomy, we have to support abortion. Whether it lets women “opt out” of parenthood or not is beside the point, frankly. That would only become a discussion if we decided to do away with the concept of bodily autonomy altogether.
SasLinna May 12, 2016, 9:56 am
Oh, I definitely agree with you.
The comparison with abortion only comes into play in the following way: Women can opt out of the financial obligations of parenthood by having an abortion, and men can’t. That is a difference. It’s not purely biological because we could in theory give men the option of renouncing their parental rights and obligations during pregnancy. This wouldn’t restrict women’s bodily autonomy either.
I don’t think we should actually do this, for a variety of reasons, mainly children being left without adequate support. But it’s worth thinking about what the reasons for making bio fathers pay child support are.
BG May 12, 2016, 10:33 am
So, as a mother, shouldn’t you look at the quality of life your child would have before deciding to have and keep the child?
RedRoverRedRover May 12, 2016, 11:02 am
That’s not the only consideration and you know it. Some women have no access to abortion. Some can’t afford it. Some are willing but then find they can’t go through with it, and same for adoption.
Taking away the possibility of child support makes a difficult situation even harder. And frankly, you’re teetering on the edge of eugenics here. You’re basically advocating that women who can’t afford to raise a kid alone should abort them… So… Yeah.
SpaceySteph May 12, 2016, 8:53 am
The bottom line for child support is about the best interests of the child. If the baby is born, then regardless of what the woman does or doesn’t deserve in terms of support, the child (with half the father’s DNA) deserves a shot at a decent life.
You can’t force a woman to have an abortion (even one that she, in abstract before getting pregnant thought she wanted) and you can’t force a woman to give up her child for adoption. The only thing you can do is take all precautions possible to not get a woman pregnant in the first place.
Is it fair? Remember when your parents told you life isn’t fair? It’s like that. It’s not fair that a woman should bear the complete physical burden of 9 months of pregnancy, and baby weight, and post-partum depression, and midnight feedings. It’s not fair that once a man leaves his sperm in a vagina, he loses control of what happens after that, up to and including, whether it ultimately ends up as a child he has to help support. It’s not fair or unfair, it’s biology.
juliecatharine May 12, 2016, 8:54 am
Ugh we’ve had this debate before. Gentlemen, if you don’t want the possibility of financially supporting a child you have simple choices–don’t have sex, get a vasectomy, or use multiple forms of birth control. Not getting someone pregnant is actually really fucking easy so stop whining about your choices being taken away.
kare May 12, 2016, 9:12 am
I’ve known a lot of guys who don’t think they should pay child support (and they don’t). They use the reasoning “well I never wanted the kid in the first place”. However, in every single situation, the guy in question has expressed some desire to have a child at some point between the pregnancy and the time they chose to be a deadbeat. Usually it goes something like: pissed off at the pregnancy, comes around and is excited about the baby, takes super cute pictures with the newborn baby, then leaves after a couple of months when they realize this is a forever thing.
If you really don’t want to have a child, wear a condom even if your partner is using birth control. I’m seeing two guys that are adamant that they don’t want kids. Both of them never have sex without condoms. All the guys I know with unplanned pregnancies were using the pull out method. Or just not using any method and assuming the girl would miscarry or get an abortion.
Honestly I think a lot of guys consider birth control the woman’s responsibility. Which is pretty irresponsible. I like being in charge of my birth control, and I would never be able to let some one else bear that responsibility. I would be too concerned they wouldn’t practice perfect use, and I don’t want to depend on someone else for what happens to my body.
MissAnneThrope May 12, 2016, 9:34 am
If you can’t tell from my name, sometimes I just don’t feel like I have time for this bullshit. Without reading the linked article, I’m familiar with the discussion. The theory behind child support is that SOMEONE, ideally TWO someones, should be paying to raise a child together. Because the majority of the time it took two people to make said baby.
1- The law doesn’t care if you’re the bio dad or not. Like it has been stated in some other letters, so long as you are on the birth certificate and/or have paid or acknowledged the child, even if you have a DNA test that latter proves you are NOT THE FATHER (read that in Maury’s voice please) you’re still on the hook in most states.
2- From a purely theoretical standpoint, if there were no court-enforced child support (i.e. it all came from taxpayers or no where) does anyone think that would have an effect on unplanned pregnancies? Or if the father is under 18, a requirement that the paternal grandparents help pay child support until the son is 22ish?
Ele4phant May 12, 2016, 9:46 am
It is unfair that a woman can unilaterally make decisions and that a man might not want a child but will end up on the hook for child support anyways.
You know what’s also unfair? Human biology. That women assume all the physical and emotional burden and risks of pregnancy, they get more say. Sorry, but unless we somehow make pregnancy itself equal opportunity, the choice about what happens in the event of an unwanted pregnancy isn’t equal opportunity either.
Men should absolutely have these discussions throughly before having sex, and should take as proactive a role as possible in preventing pregnancy to control their own fertility.
But if a woman they have sex with ends up pregnant and wants to keep the baby, sorry bud that’s how it works.
Lady_Red May 12, 2016, 4:30 pm
Vathena May 12, 2016, 10:12 am
Also, I fully expect all of these loser dickheads who refuse to take responsibility for their children to be out at every NARAL march, to be at the Supreme Court on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade every year, to be writing to their state and federal legislators and loudly declaring that access to birth control and abortion services be available to every woman wherever she lives. You want your partner to have an abortion? You think NO MAN EVER should have to support a child he didn’t want? Then make sure that every woman in this country is able to obtain birth control, and make sure that should a woman decide to have an abortion, she doesn’t have to drive 12 hours and endure endless waiting periods and invasive “tests” designed to get her to change her mind. I just cannot for the life of me figure out why reproductive planning is relegated to being “just a women’s issue” in policy matters. For every woman who gets pregnant, there is a man who will also be affected. So I call on all you weasels to get out there and join the fight for the right to choose! Hey, even if your lady wants to screw you over, you can help some other dickhead get off the hook for his “whoopsie”!
Dear Wendy May 12, 2016, 10:21 am
Vathena May 12, 2016, 10:30 am
Right?! I mean, ALL of these guys are like, “Well, she should just get an abortion!” Like it’s so fucking easy to get one – sometimes a woman doesn’t know she’s pregnant until 8-9 weeks or more (I didn’t). Maybe these men should take a look at their state’s policies that are expressly designed to make it a LOT harder for women to get abortions, especially after a certain point. Maybe they should take off a week from work, walk into a clinic with someone screaming “Baby killer!!!” in their faces, and have a wand shoved up their asses while they are forced to listen to a heartbeat. Goddamn. If a guy wants his partner to get an abortion so badly, make sure that SHE CAN!
Juliecatharine May 12, 2016, 11:19 am
girltuesday May 12, 2016, 10:55 am
*slow clap* THANK YOU!
haggith May 12, 2016, 12:30 pm
snoopy128 May 12, 2016, 12:49 pm
I’m glad I endured the above comments to read down to this one. Thank you.
Just Max May 12, 2016, 1:24 pm
Perfectly said. Thank you.
Can I quote this?
Vathena May 12, 2016, 3:30 pm
Just Max – do you mean what I wrote? Yes, by all means!
Anonymousse May 12, 2016, 3:25 pm
Endured. Yes. Holy shit.
JudgeSheryl May 12, 2016, 2:00 pm
yeah, this is pretty much what I was thinking.
who knows if this will get read so late in the game but in countries where things are pretty darn close to equality (like many of the nordic countries), I actually think allowing the father to “opt out” of legal/emotional responsibility for the child makes sense, and is fair, just as a woman is allowed to choose to have an abortion if she does not want a child. In those countries, women get (a lot of) paid maternity leave, equal pay for equal work, government healthcare/womens health, etc. Men are also not expected to open doors for women as a default, but yeah…nbd, I can open my own door, thanks.
it doesn’t make sense here, where women are treated like vessels, still get only a portion of men’s wages, and have to jump through hoops to get an abortion… so yeah, you want to treat women like we aren’t equal, don’t expect equal in return. but in a that ‘equal’ scenario, I do think men should be able to choose to “opt out”.
saneinca May 12, 2016, 10:28 am
When 2 people are having sex, the partner/s who does not want a baby should take all steps to ensure to avioid pregnancy.
Men have many contraceptive options just like women. (protection, spermicide, vasectomy)
When paying child support it is for the child, not a favor to mother. The child did not ask to be born.
And here is a PSA. Soon men also the pill option- they can no longer claim trapping by a woman:
BG May 12, 2016, 10:39 am
Everyone is taking the whole “life’s unfair” argument. My original comment was that it is morally repugnant. Life is unfair and sometimes you need to make hard decisions (like whether you should have a child that you can’t afford). Put on your big girl panties and deal with the consequences of your decisions.
That being said, I don’t think you should have a child you think of as a consequence and I don’t think you should trap a man into a situation where he views the child as a consequence.
saneinca May 12, 2016, 10:45 am
And I think the same applies to guys as well. They need to put on their big guys boxers and support children they fathered whether they like it or not.
Skyblossom May 12, 2016, 10:52 am
The only way to trap the man into the consequence of sex would be to somehow have sex with him without his consent. When he is willingly putting his penis into a vagina and ejaculating he is taking the risk that a pregnancy will happen the same way that a woman does when she allows a man to put his penis in her vagina and ejaculate. No one is forcing men to go around having sex and impregnating women. If it is that morally repugnant he shouldn’t be out taking the risk.
snoopy128 May 12, 2016, 12:50 pm
The ‘trapping a man’ argument is so disgusting.
RedRoverRedRover May 12, 2016, 10:56 am
But, a child *is* a consequence. Just like an abortion is a consequence, or adoption is a consequence. There is a consequence to every choice you make. You seem to think men should have no consequences and no responsibilities.
And please give us a break with your comment about “trapping” men. If a man impregnates a woman, she’s much more trapped than he is. She is stuck, she has to deal with the consequences of terminating, giving away, or raising the baby. There’s no “opt out” for women, they absolutely have to go through one of those things, none of which are easy. So how is it somehow “fair” to make it even harder on the woman by saying the man has no consequences at all???
kare May 12, 2016, 11:08 am
Let’s be real, even if a guy is stuck with child support, it doesn’t mean he will pay it. I know lots of people whose dad’s owe tens of thousands in child support. Men who were married, chose to have a child, loved said child, then left once the marriage fell apart and never looked back. Believe it or not, backpay of child support is not a priority for the government (at least not in my state).
Furthermore, life is unfair sums up the whole unplanned pregnancy decision. Get an abortion (if you are fortunate enough to be in a state with a clinic close by), give up a baby for adoption (something that can be just as traumatic as abortion), or put yourself through 9 months of hell and a lifetime of responsibility. Really fucking unfair, but that’s life. The guy can leave at any point and dodge child support for a decent amount of time.
Honestly though, it takes an extremely callous person to look at a woman you loved or shared a loving relationship with at one time and say “so I know you bonded with the thing growing inside you, but I want you to get an abortion anyways. Oh and walk through protestors calling you a whore and baby killer, further traumatizing you because I can’t give up 20% of my income to spare you that personal hell”.
BG May 12, 2016, 11:31 am
Not every unplanned pregnancy is with someone you shared a long term relationship with or someone you loved.
I am only saying men should be able to opt out from the get-go, the same way women can have an abortion at the very beginning of their pregnancy.
kare May 12, 2016, 12:28 pm
That’s very true – all the more reason you should be using multiple forms of birth control if you aren’t in a committed relationship. Have sex without a condom and you are running the risk of getting an unplanned pregnancy or diseases. I guess though with a child you’re only on the hook for 18 years, HIV is a lifetime.
If you participate in adult activities, you are responsible for the consequences of those activities.
Jahaafincher May 12, 2016, 11:38 am
Unfortunately, its not that easy. It would be easier if no one ever had sex except for procreation. Then we wouldnt be having this conversation. But, that sounds ridiculous right?
As a child of a poor, young, single mother i actually agree with. Can’t afford a kid DONT FREAKIN HAVE ONE. Get an abortion. Do the kid a favor by not bringing it in to a shitty situation.
BUT, THE WORLD DOESNT WORK THAT WAY. Its full of grey. Hormones are actually released in your body so you choose the baby when u hear its heartbeart. There are these things called emotions. They get in the way.
And yeah, everyone should have great parents that are ready to be parents. But the world should also have less idiots. seeing as though both verge on to eugenics and at the end of the day that sounds a bit crazy. We will just have to realize that the world works in weird ways. Irresponsible people will have kids. Responsible ones wont be able to birth them. And we all will be inbetween trying to make it work so our world will become better for it instead of worse.
Monkeysmommy May 12, 2016, 10:53 am
I have no moral issue with it. I think a man knows the possibility of getting a woman pregnant is there when he has sex. If he isn’t prepared to take on financial responsibility, then have a vasectomy. Don’t have sex. Wear condoms. Be responsible. Accidents still happen, but are far less likely when then man is also proactive. That being said, I have a 15 year old son I never forced support for. It wasn’t worth it. I didn’t want him in our lives and he was fine with that. No contact in 14 solid years. Trust me when I say my son is better off- and no, i didnt need governent assistance. But, I have zero issues with the women who do pursue it against the man’s will.
girltuesday May 12, 2016, 10:59 am
Honestly, it takes two to tango. To echo everyone else here, men can also take precautions. I know me and my SO do. Late on a pill? Using condoms for 7 days, etc etc.
Also, another topic of discussion, there was a study that came out recently that a test group of women (lower-income, IIRC) did not choose LARCs because of lack of education on them and were more likely to get pregnant/discontinue methods such as the pill, condoms, etc. I wish there was more education on LARCs. (If someone can find this study, I would be grateful – it was very eye-opening!)
kare May 12, 2016, 11:14 am
Colorado used some of the profit from legalizing weed to fund programs for LARCs for those deemed “high risk” for unplanned pregnancy. Women that were unlikely to return to a doctor for post-partum visits were given an IUD or implant before being discharged from the hospital. The unplanned pregnancy rates and abortion rates have dropped significantly.
Abortion, child support, etc are symptoms of a much larger issue – a lack of comprehensive sex ed, access to reliable birth control methods, healthcare costs, etc.
girltuesday May 12, 2016, 11:27 am
I am a huge warrior for contraceptive access. I love that the ACA makes birth control free. All these conservatives screaming about abortion and refusing to provide contraceptive access is mind-boggling to me.
I’m getting a LARC myself, and I’m a bit nervous, but very excited!
BG May 12, 2016, 11:07 am
I’m clearly in the minority, but I still think no one should be forced to have a child they don’t want. If you want to opt out, you should be able to.
I have been really irresponsible in the past about sex so I have compassion for people who make a mistake. Maybe I am the problem with women. Admittedly I only know one woman who got pregnant and forced a man to pay for the child he didn’t want. They had been on a couple dates and he broke it off before finding out she was pregnant. She did force him to pay child support and he did sign away his parental rights (as far as I know, we are just Facebook friends now). I have always thought that was pretty shitty of her to force this. She really liked him and told me that was part of the reason she kept the kid, she wanted him in her life.
saneinca May 12, 2016, 11:21 am
A guy could always opt out of unzipping his pants and having unprotected sex with a woman.
BG May 12, 2016, 11:33 am
Protected sex can result in unplanned pregnancy
saneinca May 12, 2016, 11:55 am
That is why I mentioned unzipping pants – that itself is a risk he is taking.
BG May 12, 2016, 11:59 am
That’s quite a sex shaming argument. So no one should have sex with anyone ever unless they want to have a baby with that person. That is what you are basically saying.
saneinca May 12, 2016, 12:05 pm
Nope. It is just that there is always a risk of pregnancy when someone has sex.
BG May 12, 2016, 12:08 pm
Yes, but I have the choice to have or not have a child. I don’t have to give up my income to support a child I never wanted.
saneinca May 12, 2016, 12:29 pm
It is a risk/reward assessment. Do I want have sex and risk a accidental pregnancy ? That is a decision every one should make.
What one wants does not equal to what one gets.
ele4phant May 12, 2016, 5:53 pm
So I don’t agree with BG’s conclusions (I do think men are responsible for paying child support for a child they don’t want), I do think your argument is problematic.
The logic that “A man can prevent pregnancy by keeping his pants zipped…he didn’t, ergo he’s on the hook for that child” is some of the same logic anti-choice people use to argue women shouldn’t have access to abortion: “A woman can prevent pregnancy by keeping her legs shut, she didn’t ergo she’s on the hook for that baby”.
Frankly we don’t need the personal responsibility argument to justify why men are responsible for child support:
The choice about whether or not to bring a pregnancy to term isn’t fair and equitable because pregnancy isn’t fair and equitable. Women assume disproportionate bodily and emotional risk, therefore they get disproportionate say.
Also, child support isn’t about the mother and or father, it’s about the child.
saneinca May 12, 2016, 10:04 pm
I already said pretty much the same in my post – that child support is for the child and not a favor to mother.
We are talking about options here. In an ideal world, men and women take precautions to avoid pregnancies until they are both ready and on board with having baby. The reality is that a man doesn’t have any right to tell woman that she should have an abortion because a) he doesn’t want the baby and b) doesn’t want to pay child support.
He only had the option of not having sex. Once it happens and there is a pregnancy, he has run out his options. He reaps what he sows.
Stonegypsy May 12, 2016, 12:26 pm
I think it would be more accurate to say (as my grandmother so often used to): Don’t have sex with anyone you are not *prepared* to have a child with. Period. Man or woman, that is the sometimes consequence of sex. So if you are not prepared to deal with the potential consequences (as a woman, the potential consequences are: Have a child, carry a child to term and then give it up for adoption, have an abortion, all of which carry significant weight. For a man, the potential consequences are: pay child support) then don’t have sex. That’s not sex-shamey. It’s just the way things are.
kare May 12, 2016, 12:45 pm
You only know one woman forcing a guy to pay child support for a child he never wanted because it’s a rare thing. The amount of guys who don’t pay child support for children that they wanted at some point and time is astronomical. Seriously, all of my friends with divorced parents have father’s that never paid child support. I have friends who grew up visiting their fathers even though they were not paying a cent to help support the child. I see it all the time now with people my age that are having babies. They claim “well I never wanted to be a father”, but all the Facebook posts and such from the first few months of the baby’s life suggests otherwise. Very few guys are adamantly supporting abortion when an unplanned pregnancy happens. Every guy I’ve known with an unplanned pregnancy – which is a lot – has wavered on the issue before ultimately deciding they will “be there”. I have seen friends go through this same issue. My friend is debating leaving someone, and he doesn’t think they should do court-mandated child support because he didn’t want a child. Did she refuse to have an abortion? No, she told him if he would pay for it, she would do it. Did he? Nope. Once she went to the doctor to find out how far alone she was, she found out she was having a girl. He told her she should still get an abortion because he didn’t want a girl. She refused. He was unspoortive during the entire pregnancy, but came around once she had the baby. Their daughter is 2, and he is now pro-life. But again, doesn’t think he should pay for child support. I guarantee you the large majority of these situations are filled with just as much back and forth, gray areas, and empty promises. Which is why I can list dozens of single moms not receiving child support from the same guy who used to post loving updates about their newborn child, and you can only name one guy stuck paying for a kid he never wanted at any step along the way.
SailBobo May 12, 2016, 11:17 am
From a practical standpoint, the baby has to be cared for, regardless. From a philosophic point of view, it is not fair that at the point of conception all of the man’s choices have been taken away – despite all of the discussions equality “equality”. From that point on, any decisions about his financial future for the next 18 years have been taken out of his hands. It is not fair, but it is a necessity for the welling of the child (although, even in that, he has no voice in how much of his money goes to benefit the child, v.s. how much goes to benefit the mother’s lifestyle). The mother does have a choice in whether to put her body through it.
I’m surprised at how much I hear, “They chose to have sex.” or, “If they didn’t want a baby they could have kept it in their pants.” These are the exact same arguments that are rejected in the abortion debate. It’s generally agreed that accidents do happen, and they shouldn’t always have to entail 18 years of your life.
I will also agree that the support that new mothers get in this country is shameful, but on the face of it the, “We’re treated unfairly, so you should be too”, argument sounds like playground logic. We should all work toward seeing that everyone is treated as fairly as possible.
saneinca May 12, 2016, 11:27 am
Men have no right to tell women what to do with their bodies including pregnancies. It is just the biology that gives women more of a burden and therefore more rights.
SailBobo May 12, 2016, 11:32 am
You are right. No one can force them to abort. That’s not what’s at issue. The question at issue is one of financial support. It’s not that they have more rights, it’s that they have all of the rights, although not all of the burdens,
SailBobo May 12, 2016, 11:34 am
Actually, that’s not exactly true … fathers have rights after the child is born. They just don’t have any choices, from conception on.
Stonegypsy May 12, 2016, 12:14 pm
Yes, we should absolutely work toward that. In the meantime, might as well split up some of the unfairness.
SailBobo May 12, 2016, 1:04 pm
Well, that’s easy to say, but women have worked very long an hard to make sure that choice is not taken out of their hands from the moment of conception – a fact the Supreme Court considers a fundamental right. It would be hypocritical to discount it (or make light of it) when it happens to men.
muchachaenlaventana May 12, 2016, 1:50 pm
You are comparing financial choices to literally control of a person’s own body. These two things are just so different the argument doesn’t hold up.
Ron May 12, 2016, 2:16 pm
You are on really shaky ground here, in citing the courts to back your argument. The court’s decision in Roe v. Wade was not at all predicated upon financial considerations. The courts have consistently upheld the requirement of men to pay child support for the children that they father, even if they did not want or intend to father them. So… the legal argument is 100% against you. Child support is not a right that a woman can waive, because it is not her right, it is her child’s right and she is responsible for protecting that right. This “it’s not fair to men” argument leaves me totally cold. Today we hear so much ‘white Christian men are being discriminated against in America’ propaganda from a certain political party. As a white male, who is nominally Christian, I know that the scales of society still tilt in our favor. Having a 100% advantage over everyone else reduced to only a 20% advantage is not discrimination. I definitely saw that I was growing up in a world of white, Christian, male privilege. I would have had to be totally, willfully, blind and deaf not to notice that. It pervaded everything.
RedRoverRedRover May 12, 2016, 2:26 pm
My husband is a white, straight male. He grew up Christian and I guess is still technically Christian since he hasn’t formally left the church. He describes it as “playing life on easy mode”.
Ange May 12, 2016, 8:03 pm
That does ignore, however, that abortion/adoption/keeping the kid are all women taking responsibility for their actions. The man is only doing his share with precisely ONE of those decisions and the woman is also doing 18 to life with the kid. It doesn’t seem particularly unfair to me.
SLS May 12, 2016, 11:17 am
I do agree that both people should be responsible for raising the child, such that yes the man should have to pay child support.
BUT, why can’t a woman also take extra precaution if she doesn’t want to be pregnant, take care of a child, lacks financial stability, etc prior to participating in sex?? I didn’t want to have a child and made the extra effort with partners to ensure that wasn’t the case. Aside for taking the pill, I either had a condom or insisted the guy have a condom before we had sex. If we didn’t have one or he didn’t want to wear it – then that wasn’t happening. It wasn’t worth the risk and I didn’t want a baby. So I took the extra precautions I felt were sufficient to protect myself.
So much emphasis is placed on the man. Which I do think if I guy doesn’t want to be responsible for a child then he should carry around some condoms. But, if a woman also doesn’t want a child why not set your own personal ground rules – “I won’t have sex unless the guy has a condom”? Whether the man or woman brings the condom (or any additional bc method) – does it really matter if it prevents an unwanted pregnancy?
Skyblossom May 12, 2016, 11:29 am
Of course both men and women should be very cautious and make sure that multiple forms of birth control are used if they don’t want to become a parent. That’s the point. No one is forcing men to impregnate women.
Ale May 12, 2016, 12:29 pm
Of course, both involved need to take precautions. But even with all the precautions, sometimes shit happens. And it’s not fair that, even taking precautions, men would be able to opt out with no consequences and women just have to deal with it. Because even if a woman decides to abort, it is a procedure done that has its repercussions.
SLS May 12, 2016, 1:03 pm
I’m not saying men can “opt out”. I was stating, based off of many of the above comments pointing to men needing to bring condoms, get a vasectomy, etc if they don’t want to be a father, that as a woman we can also take extra measures to prevent pregnancy. Look, I didn’t want a child at the time so I made sure I took my pills correctly and that a condom was used because I did NOT want to be pregnant. I wasn’t going to rely on a man saying he has a vasectomy or a condom to be my second form of birth control. I’m just saying if I woman doesn’t want to be pregnant or care for a child, then she can also be responsible for taking the extra precautions (what ever she deems sufficient) to avoid prevent pregnancy.
A man should most certainly provide his own form of birth control for the exact same reason – if he doesn’t want a baby then he should protect himself. And similarly shouldn’t trust the ‘ole “I’m on the pill”. Just bring a condom and use it if you don’t want a baby!
Really, it’s all about responsibility and accountability. That is why I did say that I supported a man needing to provide child support for a child he helped conceive. People need to learn how to take more responsibility for their actions. Of course, accidents do happen. But, not taking your birth control regularly, using NO birth control… those aren’t accidents. That is just being reckless, especially with both parties know that they don’t want a child (irrespective of the woman decided to keep the baby).
ktfran May 12, 2016, 1:11 pm
No one here is saying a woman should also not take responsibility about getting pregnant. I think EVERYONE here would tell a woman to use birth control if she didn’t want a baby. This thread isn’t about women. It’s about men.
If men do not want even a chance at being on the hook for child support, they have a few of options:
1. Do not have sex.
2. Buy and use condoms and only have sex with someone you know who is on birth control.
3. Get a vasectomy
Those are the only surefire ways to avoid and unplanned pregnancy.
Next Thursday, I’m getting an IUD. My doctor told me that is the best possible form of birth control. IF I would have decided to go the pill route, I still would have made my boyfriend use condoms because we 100% don’t want a baby. Yes, it’s really that simple. I’m not sure why people don’t effing understand that.
Even after I receive the IUD, we’re using condoms the first few months because again, that is recommended by my doctor and we don’t want an oops.
ktfran May 12, 2016, 1:22 pm
With that being said, if I was irresponsible with birth control and didn’t ask someone to use a condom and I accidentally got pregnant, I would not ask for child support. If the dude wanted to, great. But I wouldn’t request it. However, I’m not irresponsible about birth control because I know I don’t want to make that choice.
SpaceySteph May 13, 2016, 8:39 am
I think this still sees things in a simplistic manner because it assumes that you would either a) be able to afford to raise the child alone or b) make the rational choice to abort or adopt.
A single mother who emotionally/mentally just couldn’t go through with the rational choice (which really, nothing about love is rational) and also found that she was struggling to make ends meet doesn’t really have a lot of time to occupy some moralistic high ground where she wouldn’t ask for child support because she needs to be able to feed her baby.
ktfran May 13, 2016, 9:16 am
I actually wasn’t saying *ALL* women should do this. I was saying what *I, as an autonomous person,* would do if I were ever in this situation. I do think women should receive child support from an accidental pregnancy if they seek to do so.
It’s not black and white and there are always varying circumstances. Just because something may feel right to me, doesn’t mean it’s right for someone else.
dinoceros May 12, 2016, 6:10 pm
I think a lot of the emphasis is on the man because the control he has over the situation occurs PRIOR to sex, whereas the post-sex situation is mostly in control by the woman. If a man doesn’t want a kid, he better be sure that precautions are taken beforehand. Otherwise, it’s going to eventually be mostly out of his hands. So, it makes sense to me that men would take advantage of being able to affect the outcome of having a baby or not having a baby before they lose control of the situation.
keyblade May 12, 2016, 11:40 am
Well aren’t you just the luckiest little snowflake. I’ll bet you can’t even imagine being raised by a poor, single parent. Or god-forbid being forced to live in any less-than-ideal circumstances. Lucky you… I hope life keeps working out for you. I hope your husband doesn’t change his mind three months into your next pregnancy, or start having an affair… You’d never want to bring a baby into that mess. Really you probably shouldn’t have any more kids at all. I mean imagine if something went wrong and ruined your perfect life. How would you even cope? Probably you’d need to give your daughter up. I mean doesn’t she deserve as perfect and a charmed a life as you? Wouldn’t you be a selfish monster to deny her that?
keyblade May 12, 2016, 11:44 am
This was meant as a reply to BG
BG May 12, 2016, 11:53 am
You’re right. I don’t know anything like that. I am privileged. I do hope my husband doesn’t cheat on me and I wouldn’t want to bring another child into that situation. Yes, something could happen tomorrow that shatters my life, BUT I wouldn’t have had a child I knew I couldn’t afford and care for.
keyblade May 12, 2016, 12:27 pm
And you think every woman who accepts and uses the state-mandated money of the father can’t afford to meet the basic needs of their children on their own? That’s good enough? You think them accepting financial support and bettering their kid’s life makes them morally repugnant people? You are claiming this makes you a more empathetic human being than the rest of us? What else do you think people should be able to opt out of?
BG May 12, 2016, 1:35 pm
I never claimed to be more empathetic.
keyblade May 12, 2016, 2:35 pm
You’re right. I inferred it from:
“Wow, all of you women are completely disgusting me right now. How can you not see this as an equality issue? If the 5 ables were turned would you want to be put in this situation?”
I wish you could empathize with the little “whoopsies” that have grown adults who resent them for having to pay for them to be alive. I guess your personal experience was powerful enough that you aren’t willing to reach and consider what it might have been like for you if you had deeply, in your bones and guts wanted your first pregnancy. Or if an abortion had felt like it would have been a violation of your conscience. Not every one is willing to give their child up, even their accidental child. There is no guarantee that all children who are adoptive go on to have charmed, blessed lives with wonderful parents. Most try to move with it the best way they know how. And often the way life plays out is far from perfect and fair. But most of the single moms who are just trying to do right by their kids don’t deserve your scorn.
Bittergaymark May 12, 2016, 11:53 am
Honestly? It astounds me that THIS still happens apparantly happens ALL the time. Is birth control REALLY that complicated? Or are so many straight people REALLY that fucking careless? What a needless and unecessary mess.
BG May 12, 2016, 12:04 pm
I guess it is and we really are.
BG May 12, 2016, 12:05 pm
Diablo May 12, 2016, 12:05 pm
OK, I was going to stay out of this, but I think I’ll challenge-slash-stir-up-the-shit a bit. The tendency among many commenters on this thread to generalize over the category of “men” is a bit hard of thinking. It’s all a bit too self-congratulatory, a bit too easy to be self-righteous. Try to remember that you are referring to a limited subset of “men” here – specifically, assholes. The men who are never represented in a debate like this? The strong majority (yes, majority) of men in our society of embrace their responsibilities. Many people here have said what I would say – preventing pregnancy in most cases is very simple, take responsibility for where your sperm ends up, make sure it don’t go where it ain’t asposed to. In my life, there has been one occasion only which could potentially have resulted in an unwanted pregnancy. One nighter – I never saw or heard from her again, so i have no idea, but if it had happened, i would have been a man about it in the good sense of that phrase. I have a good pal who found out in his fifties that he had a daughter. He found out after the mom had died and the daughter sought him out. He was overjoyed to find out he had a daughter – the mom never told him, and it had not been a long-term relationship. He was denied 20 plus years of his daughter’s life, and denied even the chance to take responsibility. I know this is more the exception than the rule, but let’s not be too monochromatic in our judgments. Humans are all kinds of good and bad, and most of us are a bit of both.
Diablo May 12, 2016, 12:06 pm
*who embrace their responsibilities
RedRoverRedRover May 12, 2016, 1:39 pm
I don’t think anyone here thinks most men are shirking their responsibilities as fathers. Most men do either stay with the mother of their children and help raise them, or they get partial custody and spend time with them while also providing child support. Thing is, this discussion doesn’t apply to those men. If child support didn’t exist, those are the men who would still make the choice to support their kids, just as most women do.
This discussion really only focuses on a subset of men – those who fathered a child but now don’t want to support it. Thanks for bringing up your point though, because I think sometimes men feel attacked by threads like this, as if women think all men are dirtbags, when that’s not the case except for a few misandrists.
dinoceros May 12, 2016, 6:00 pm
I hadn’t really gotten that vibe from the comments. I think this is like a lot of things, where if it doesn’t apply to a particular individual, then it’s not about them. Like if someone says that men should step up, they of course are not referring to men who are already stepping up because that wouldn’t make a lot of sense.
bittergaymark May 12, 2016, 6:38 pm
Yeah, the tone of much of this thread is entering off putting…
bittergaymark May 12, 2016, 6:39 pm
ENTIRELY off putting. Blasted autocorrect. PS — Wendy, I miss being able to edit our posts!! 🙂
keyblade May 12, 2016, 8:17 pm
It is hard to stomach a conversation that unilaterally focuses on the damage of a selfish father when we all know that are just as many damaging, clueless mothers running around. It is an exercise in restraint not to call it all out here. But one horrible fuck-up at a time…
Ale May 12, 2016, 12:43 pm
I live in a country where abortion is illegal. A woman has only one choice: have the child. Adoption is not possible either. However, we have universal healthcare, free for expectant mothers and babies under a year old, and paid 4 months maternity leave and 1 week paid for the father. Also, social security gives condoms and pills to people in need, for free.
There is a law that enables women to point to their babies father (if they don’t want to recognize them) and force them to take a paternity test. If the paternity test is positive or the guy doesn’t show up to the lab, child support is inmediately ordered. If the guy doesn’t pay for child support, he gets arrested. However, most of the mothers that have to come to this instances to get child support, have to bear with 100% of the burden of the child, getting only money but no help from their babies fathers.
So, yes, it is right to force a man to pay for child support for a child he didn’t want, in our country the government does. Especially in a country where condoms are given away for free, men have the tools to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Women do too, but since we can’t abort, we would have to deal with an unwanted baby and a dissappeared father for the rest of our lives if the guy had the “right” to opt out.
Just another perspective…
saneinca May 12, 2016, 1:05 pm
wobster109 May 12, 2016, 1:46 pm
Well, it’s morally right to give the child the best childhood, but all the same that’s not fair to the man. I mean, it’s morally right to save put two children in a lifeboat instead of one adult, even though it sure sucks for that adult.
I’m thinking of cases where the man used a condom, or the woman used birth control, and they did everything right, and something unexpected happened. That sucks for both of them, including the man! He did everything right. Maybe he’s going through school or a medical residency, busy, financially strained, knows he’s not ready to be a father. I feel for the hypothetical man. Someone else is making a choice that determines 18 years of his future, and he gets no legal say in it.
All the same, I still think child support is necessary, although imperfect. Without it then it would be too easy for someone to claim they never wanted the baby. So it’s a hard question. I think we can acknowledge what’s necessary while still being sympathetic to the men who are frustrated and angry.
SailBobo May 13, 2016, 7:13 am
I think you said that very well … I think the, “If you don’t want to be a father, don’t have sex”, argument is as unrealistic in this case as it is in the abortion argument. People will have sex, and they should also try their best to avoid unwanted pregnancies, but it doesn’t change that fact that they are faced with an 18 year future that they have no legal voice in.
dinoceros May 12, 2016, 4:07 pm
In the forum, I mentioned talking to your sexual partner about it beforehand. I definitely don’t think that it’s some sort of binding agreement. I think it’s a way to determine if this is someone you should be sleeping with and have some sort of a head’s up of how it might go if somebody gets pregnant. For example, if you are seeing someone who is very pro-life, you need to realize that if they get pregnant, they are most likely having the baby. Or if it’s the guy, your relationship might not survive if you choose to have an abortion. Etc, etc. Plenty of people change their minds, but that doesn’t mean that you SHOULDN’T talk about it. If the guy really doesn’t want kids, then the woman needs to consider that it’s likely the guy will not stick around if she gets pregnant. People can do whatever they want with that info.
In the end, if a guy doesn’t want the possibility of supporting a child, then he shouldn’t have sex with someone. He can minimize the risk by being vigilant about preventive methods, and if he doesn’t trust the partner to uphold her end of it, then he shouldn’t have sex with her. Someone said it in the forums, but this is just how it is biologically. We can debate the fairness of the woman getting to make the decision, but this is just how human bodies work and there’s not much you can do about this right now.
Baja777 May 12, 2016, 8:05 pm
In many cases it doesn’t matter what the woman wants, if she wants him to pay child support or not or whatever kind of ridiculous agreement they thought they had, if she applies for public assistance of any sort TANF, food stamps or medical, the state will open up a child support case and force him to pay for the child he conceived. Just because they had an”agreement” doesn’t mean the state (tax payers) will support his child when he does not. Lots of women don’t want child support but apply for benefits and are shocked that happens.
d2 May 13, 2016, 7:21 am
As a guy, this seems pretty clear cut to me. If a guy is man enough to have sex, he should be man enough to take responsibility for the consequences of having sex. Wouldn’t it be nice to go through life and not have to take responsibility for the consequences of any of our actions if we so chose? If only life were so easy.
If a woman gets pregnant, she has to deal with the consequences no matter what – whether having an abortion, placing for adoption, or parenting. None of those choices are easy. She doesn’t have the luxury of not taking responsibility.
As a guy, I figure that I get to offer my opinion, but I don’t get to make the final choice – her body, her choice. Is that fair? On the other hand, is it fair that women are the ones who have to bear the physical rigors of pregnancy?
It seems to me that the question of “is it fair” or “is it moral” is moot. Life is complicated. I go in with full understanding that life is messy and I will have to deal with the consequences of whatever actions I take – be it sex or otherwise.
Baja777 May 13, 2016, 8:06 am
ktfran May 13, 2016, 8:54 am
From this discussion yesterday, I asked my boyfriend what he thought. His first reaction was yes, of course I’d pay child support. And he’d most likely want to be involved somehow in the child’s life. Like you, he would take responsibility for his actions.
BTW, I really liked your comment. It’s nice to hear from a male perspective.
Addie Pray May 13, 2016, 8:37 am
Oh this was a good topic of the day! I’m sorry I missed it. As a single mother, I can’t tell you how many people ask me what the status is on child support, if my child’s absent father is paying any and if I’ve asked for support and then they proceed to tell me what I should do. (Something about being single and pregnant – and now single with a baby – really moved people to make a whole lot of comments and questions that they would never have asked if I had been married. For example, my married coworker was also pregnant at the same time as me; but no one asked her if it was planned or an accident, if they wanted it, if her husband wanted it, and why, or how she was going to afford it. Frankly, it was her 3rd kid, and the “who will you afford it” question was probably more appropriate for her! Lol.) Sorry, slight tangent. Anyway this question about child support is very near to me and truly the only strong opinion I have about it is each situation is unique and what you think you’d do is not necessary how you’ll feel when it’s an issue and so I don’t actually take a position one way or another about it (there, that’s my one “strong” position about it). Generally, I understand why it’s the law; it’s not about the mom or the dad or what they may have wanted or didn’t want. It’s about the baby. And public policy led to the creation of child support laws because – surprise, surprise – it was far too easy for fathers to ignore their parental responsibilities. So is it moral to ask for it when the father didn’t want the kid? Moot question. The relevant question is does the child need support?
Dear Wendy May 13, 2016, 8:52 am
I was hoping you’d chime in, AP. And not exactly related but kind of related, your baby is fucking CUTE!! He and Joanie need to meet and then maybe one day fall in love and have babies and we can be grandmas together. Wouldn’t that be fun?
Addie Pray May 13, 2016, 9:05 am
Thanks, Wendy! I know I’m a tad bit (slash, a lot) biased, but I think he’s the most handsome little dude in the whole wide world and beyond! 🙂 And I’d love to be grandmas with you! I assume we’ll go with traditional route where the bride’s parents pay for the wedding, right?
Addie Pray May 13, 2016, 9:13 am
Also, let’s convince them to start young because (i) I want to be a young grandma and (ii) I want lots and lots of grandchildren! Also, are you OK with them living with me or right next door? I mean, if they want to live in New York, that’s fine but I’m gonna have to get a home right next door. Or maybe I’ll just move in with you and Drew. Sound cool?
Dear Wendy May 13, 2016, 9:30 am
Let’s pool our resources and get a big townhouse here in NYC for all of us and also a lake house just north of Chicago where we can all summer, like it’s a verb.
Also we will go the modern route for the wedding where the bride and groom pay for it themselves and the parents give a gift that can be used for a downpayment. On the house that we all summer in. Cool?
Addie Pray May 13, 2016, 9:32 am
Perfect. Love it.
MaterialsGirl May 13, 2016, 9:50 am
Can I just live nearby and cook and squeeze the cheeks of the grandbabies?
Addie Pray May 13, 2016, 12:34 pm
Addie Pray May 13, 2016, 9:02 am
I also think all the discussion above about what was agreed upon before hand, who wanted the baby, who didn’t want the baby, who lied, who was honest, who used birth control, who didn’t, who could’ve used birth control, etc. etc. is all moot. There’s a baby. It doesn’t really matter to me how it got there. Does the baby need support from its mother and/or father? That’s it. Right? It seems overly simple me – yet complicated because each situation is truly different. And, yes, depending on all those things I just said were irrelevant, I may feel extra sorry for one party or another. But none of that would change my answer about child support – it’s for the child.
j2 May 13, 2016, 9:19 am
I would like to ask a related question.
If a man is required to provide child support, should the mother still be able to deny him significant access to the child?
Does this change if the man did not want the child (say they had agreed no child).
Addie Pray May 13, 2016, 9:36 am
Wanting the child doesn’t matter for child support. There’s a child. The child needs to be supported. The child is entitled to support from his or her mother and father if they are able to provide it.
Access to the child is different. A parent shouldn’t deny another parent from their child, unless there’s a reason for it. The court decides custody and visitation based on the best interests of the child. Money itself does not buy more visitation or custody.
Alexandra May 15, 2016, 8:59 pm
I do believe it’s kind of unfair when a woman makes a decision like this on her own, such important decision that in the end affects the life of 3 people – herself, the man, and the baby to come. It is unfair if they mutually agreed they would not keep any prospective unplanned pregnancy.