Last week a legal decision was made to that will further relegate fathers to the role of second class citizen in the court system. New Jersey became the first U.S. state to allow pregnant women to bar the fathers of their children from the delivery room while giving birth, under a court ruling, and it is only a matter of time before other states will follow suit.
Citing a patient's right to privacy as well as a pregnant woman's right to control her body, the ruling said a father's desire to be present during birth does not outweigh the choice of the mother.
This case has absolutely nothing to do with a woman's right to privacy or the right to control of her body. But it has everything to do with a women's desire to control this situation, period. Any women who is honest with herself will agree that there are some women out there who will abuse this right. Excluding those who risk eminent danger from the fathers presence.
"A father's interest in the child pre-birth is not equal to the mother's interest," the judge wrote. "The court further finds that it would be an undue burden on the mother to require her to notify the father when she is in labor or require his presence during labor. It would invade her sphere of privacy and provide unwarranted strain on the mother."
Mohammed's ruling pertains specifically to "putative fathers," or biological fathers not wed to the mother. It does not address the rights of married fathers to be present at the birth of their children.
"According to the court's research, the issues of whether a putative father has a right to be notified when a woman enters labor, and whether a father has a right to be present at the child's birth over the mother's objection, have never been litigated in New Jersey or the United States," the judge wrote.
The ruling followed a dispute between a couple who had been engaged but were separated during the pregnancy. Steven Plotnick contended he had a right to be present during the birth of his child, while mother Rebecca DeLuccia said she neither wanted him in the delivery room nor would she notify him when she went into labor.
The case was argued over the telephone in November after DeLuccia went into the hospital to give birth.
Advocates for fathers' rights said the ruling, which took effect last Monday, was discriminatory and backpedaled on gains for parents to share certain responsibilities equitably.
"It's 50 years behind the times," said Bruce Eden of Dads Against Discrimination. "It's another example of anti-male bias and discrimination in the New Jersey family courts and in U.S. courts."
The legal system is complex, damaging, and self defeating at the same time because justice is purely discretionary. Courts do everything and anything to discourage fathers from being a physical presence in their child's lives by allowing bitter women to use the court system as a weapon. The father often gets little more than an order for child support even if he has faithfully lived up to his responsibility. Many of these children grow up at a disadvantage because their fathers are not in their lives. Facing a world without this missing peace of the puzzle increases the likelihood of incarceration by 70%. In essence the same court system, (although on a different level), that played in role in destroying their relationship's with their father's will swiftly punish them as a result. Laws like this create a ripple or domino effect. Contrary to popular belief, there are many men who have the desire to be a part of their children's lives.
There is however, another side of this issue. Relationships in which children are born out of wed lock are rarely if ever sustainable. The old expression about minutes of pleasure resulting in a life time of pain is the truth. Children will either inhance a relationship or destroy it, and although marriage isn't always the answer, it provides a basis, a foundation, and the incentive to make a family unit work. Simply because a man and a woman see each other as more than their child's mother or father.
Each and every time a man and woman have intercourse, conception is a possibility, and while conception may not always be a choice. The person you choose to lay down with always is.