Long ago, when a girl became pregnant out of wedlock, she often did not really have much 'choice' in what was going to be done. Parents often sent her out of town, or to an unwed mother's home and told her not to return with the baby, or she would not have a home to return to, etc. Often, it was the 'embarrassment' that the family would have because of an 'illegitimate child'.
Back then, sometimes the father was told about the pregnancy and chose to 'desert' the mother. Sometimes, the father was told and wanted to marry the mother (and at times, they did), but the mother refused, or the parents said no to underage children getting married. Boy continued school, girl was sent away.
Sometimes, too, the birth father was never told about the baby, for reasons that I never understood.
When adoption was 'chosen' for the baby by the mother (OR by her parents--"don't come back with the kid, because you won't have a home to come back to if you do" ... one of the many scenarios back then...) the father was not involved in any way. His name did not appear on birth certificates even when the baby was kept, much less when placed for adoption. Those who WANTED to help raise or to keep their child quickly learned that the State said nope, a father is not capable of raising a child, and refused to allow it.
Enter a few men who fought the battle in court. Some lost. But then, some began to win.
The rules began to change slowly. First, child support began to be court-ordered for unwed mothers who chose to KEEP their babies in the early seventies. A very close friend of mine got a whopping $25 per month (told that if they had been married and divorced, she would have been getting MUCH more than that, in 1971, closer to $100 per month... we realized she was being 'punished' for his having left her the night she told him she was pregnant...)
The father's rights began to get a little bit of respect when they had to have their own rights terminated before a child could be placed for adoption. Some refused to sign the termination papers, and fought the Judges who wanted to simply terminate them regardless. Some won, and raised their child. Many lost for awhile.
As more began to win, some birth mothers, at first seriously thinking of placing the child for adoption then began to refuse to let the birthfather have the child by also refusing to terminate parental rights. "He is NOT going to have the baby!"
About the same time, Roe v Wade was going through the court system. Then Doe and others. And abortion became legal across the country. The argument was that women had a 'right' to do whatever they wanted to do with 'their bodies', and the man had no right to tell them what to do about it. This became a very clear message to everyone with ensuing court challenges over the years.
Some men 'forced' their girl friends/wives to get an abortion with threats, etc (much as some had been 'forced' by parental threats of no home to return to if they kept the baby...). Some told the woman that they would support any decision made... Some did not want any abortion and begged the mother not to have one, begged to be allowed to raise their child.
Seldom did they get the choice to do so. They had no choice.
So, we had the woman making the decision to have sex, finding herself pregnant, making the decision about going through with the pregnancy or not. If she chose abortion, the father had no rights. If she chose to go through with it, she then had the choice of keeping the child or placing it for adoption...
If she chose adoption, the birthfather also finally had a choice to allow that adoption or to raise the child. So we ended up with cases like Baby Richard in some instances, where birth mother lied about the baby to the birthfather... The adoptive parents never stood a chance to keep their son, because the birth father had never been told, and had never terminated his rights to his son. They fought a fight that could not be won. Both sides hurt that little boy tremendously.
If she chose to keep the child, the father was taken to court voluntarily or involuntarily to be court-ordered to pay child support until the child was 18/out of high school.
Again, he had no choice in the matter, even if he was willing to place the child for adoption.
(I want to be clear here... a child needs to be supported by both parents financially and in all ways, whether raised by birth parents or adoptive parents... )
Women may have, with all the arguments used over the years... technically 'screwed' themselves.
One main argument that has been used, including to help get Roe through the court system was her 'right' to her body, her 'right' to decide to parent or not to parent the child... to have the child or not have the child....
Enter Matt DuBay from Saginaw MI, who claims that he TOLD the mother of his child before they had sex that he did NOT want a child. He says she told HIM that she could not get pregnant. She did. She kept the baby. He is court-ordered now to pay $500/month child support.
Enter the National Center for Men who prepared and filed a lawsuit in Michigan's US District Court on his behalf.
These articles on Fox News and on CNN go into more detail about the arguments that are part of the lawsuit that has been filed. On the O'Reilly Factor last night, the attorney explained the case and his views. Go here, click on the link to view more videos on the right of the page, then find the O'Reilly Factor on the left side of that screen, and click on the picture below:
And if he does.... again a child will lose.
I also have found a man, Rob B of FileItUnder.Com, who says it better than I can.
Better than O'Reilly did last night.
Everything I thought when I heard about this.
It is also my thought when I hear a woman say SHE does not want to be a mother right now, and it is her right to choose to do with her body (forgetting the body of the baby who is the only one not given any choice in the matter...).
Basically he says, If you can't raise a child, if you cannot afford a child at this time, make the wise CHOICE to not do what it takes to MAKE the child. But he says it better, minus the language. (Warning, language here)
Related Tags: Matt DuBay, National Center for Men, Unwanted Babies, Fathers, Child Support, "Roe v Wade" for Men, Saginaw, Michigan, Lawsuit, US District Court