Social Question

JLeslie's avatar

Do you think if a man asked a women to get an abortion when she became pregnant that it should affect his rights to see his child once born?

Asked by JLeslie (60532points) December 2nd, 2013

The situation is an unmarried couple, but I guess it could even apply to a married couple getting divorced, where the father wants rights to see and spend time with his child either for visitation or partial custody. The mother is saying he wanted her to get an abortion when she found out she was pregnant, and she feels that should sway the judge against granting the father rights to be with the child.

Do you think a father having voiced he wanted her to get an abortion sway a judges opinion on the matter?

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48 Answers

ibstubro's avatar

No. For the sake of the child, if the natural father of the child wants to spend time with his child, he should be allowed.

Becoming a parent is, and should be considered a huge step. We don’t always think clearly when confronted with a life changing event. That the father now wants to be a part of the child’s life implies that he was considering more than himself at the time he suggested abortion.

If the mother had wanted an abortion and the father talked her out of it, would that negate her parental rights? Of course not. Nor should it.

syz's avatar

Nope. Many (if not most) people find that their opinions change over time; one event in a past timeline doesn’t bear as much weight as the situation in the here and now.

livelaughlove21's avatar

Absolutely not. I’m not sure why it should.

blueiiznh's avatar

no no no no

elbanditoroso's avatar

No, it shouldn’t.

But if your scenario came to be, and he wanted the right to see his kid and the mother said no, then he is excused from all future child support requirements. Fair is fair.

JLeslie's avatar

For some background, I was watching The View and they were talking about an unmarried couple (I guess maybe at least one of the parents is famous since it made a discussion on The View, but I don’t remember who they were discussing) where there is a custody battle and one of the things being talked about is the mother saying the father had asked her to get an abortion. Whoopi defended him by simply saying it is a he said she said right now and we don’t really know what he really said, we shouldn’t listen to what is in the media. My reaction was; who cares if he did ask her to consider an abortion? To me that is not relevant in any way. I just wondered what other people thought, so I asked a Q.

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

I agree with nthe majority here for certain.
I wonder if the mum didn’t consider the same thing early in the pregtnancy, so why would she point her finger at the father and get so judgemental? His fear, confusion, helplessness is no less parental than hers. Also, there is a big issue of he said she said.

Seelix's avatar

I don’t think so. I know a woman who seriously considered abortion before ultimately deciding to keep her baby. Does this make her a less-than-fit mother? No; it just means that she considered all of her options when faced with a life-changing event.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

No. The father asked the mother to terminate her pregnancy; he didn’t tie her down and force her to have an abortion. A pregnancy is among the most profound and life-changing situations that anyone can experience. If the pregnancy hadn’t been planned, and if the parents found themselves in difficult circumstances, every option should have been seriously discussed.

Emotions and relationships evolve over time, and his man could become a loving, devoted father. The mother has no legal or ethical right to deny him access to his child. Any court would agree.

Also, this child should never know that his/her father suggested an abortion. Such information serves no purpose except to cause pain.

KNOWITALL's avatar

This one is hard for me as this was the situation I was born into partly, my bio-father wanted me aborted and my mother refused so it was a huge horrible ordeal.

I can imagine anyone being scared when they first find out about an unplanned pregnancy, so having those thoughts about ‘what will I do’ is normal. And the person who wanted an abortion may change their mind later as we’re all (hopefully) always growing and evolving.

In the situation you’re posing, I’d say that the mother may have been traumatized by the father’s request, and perhaps negative feelings remain, but if he is indeed the birth father that choice is really between him and the child.

Personally, my mother and I were both disappointed that my father didn’t want visitation, and even if he had turned out to be a jerk, I would have liked the opportunity to discover that for myself so I had some kind of closure. So I think the mother in your situation should allow it so the child doesn’t resent her or the birth father later in life. Daddy issues are a beeyotch, trust me.

Judi's avatar

I think to that a judge MIGHT consider this if there is other evidence that the man has no real desire for a relationship with the child but is just trying to scare and punish the woman because he now has to pay child support.
I know most men are not this way but some are. That’s why there are judges instead of robots, to look at ALL the evidence and weigh it accordingly.
I don’t think it should be a determining factor but it might be a consideration depending on the situation.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

It’s worth mentioning that the father can sign-away his right to have a relationship with his child, provided that the mother agrees to relinquish child support. It’s similar to a biological parent voluntarily making a child eligible for adoption. In @JLeslie‘s original question, it seems as if Mom wanted to collect support checks while keeping the father away. Unless it can be demonstrated that the father might endanger the child, that arrangement doesn’t happen.

snowberry's avatar

If the father tried to force the mom to have an abortion and she could prove it, he would be abusive and a criminal. So no, he doesn’t get visitation or if he does, it would ONLY be under supervision.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@SadieMartinPaul In my experience, a lot of women out there wish that were the case.

@snowberry I’m very surprised at your response on this.

Cupcake's avatar

I agree with @Judi. I wasn’t sure how to word it, but my gut reaction was to be on the lookout for a guy who was trying to manipulate/punish the mother.

If he has changed his mind about the child (i.e. wants a relationship with the kid now) and is not unfit, it shouldn’t matter that he wanted the mother to abort at some point during her pregnancy.

Cupcake's avatar

@snowberry I didn’t see that the father tried to force the mother in the details. Forcing a mother against her will to have an abortion would certainly be a crime. I don’t know if there is a legal precedent for an attempted forced abortion. I think that most people here are saying that people can change… it seems like you are viewing the dad as a sociopath.

snowberry's avatar

@Cupcake I didn’t say the father did. But I work with people who help escaped sex slaves. It happens all the time with their pimps. They have their girls so cowed, they’re scared to pieces to say anything to the doctor.

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t even think it is changing ones mind about the child. I would absolutely consider abortion if I became pregnant by accident, especially if I were young, but in no way would I ever not want to be a mother to my baby. I have said on other Q’s giving up a baby was never in my mindset ever, the two choices would have been abort or keep it. Once my baby is here, it is here. So, I kind of projected that onto this man’s situation.

However, I agree that we would need to know all the other factors in the situation and how they may all add up to a certain picture of the dad’s mindset.

They didn’t discuss child support. Indeed sometimes a parent wants custody to get out of paying child support. When I heard about this case it appeared to me the father really does want time with his child, and I am not sure how much money plays into the picture for the mother or the father.

I don’t think the father tried to force an abortion, nothing like that was ever mentioned in the report. It was more a matter of the father wanting her to get an abortion, because the pregnancy was unplanned. For all I know he just suggested it, as many unmarried couples in that situation might.

jca's avatar

I think this story was in the news recently in the case of a professional athlete who got his girlfriend pregnant. I think it was Bode Miller and his girlfriend. Girlfriend is saying that Bode Miller wanted her to get an abortion but now he wants custody of the toddler.

JLeslie's avatar

@jca Maybe that’s who it is? Is he all of a sudden popping up when the kid is already a toddler?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@JLeslie Even if they tried to force an abortion, like my bio-dad did, it doesn’t make them evil people or unworthy for life, so I’m with you on that. People panic and do thing’s they regret all the time, especially when young or in shock.

One of my ex-boyfriends signed over rights for two reasons, one because his baby’s mama was remarried and they wanted the daughter to have the step-dad’s name, and two because it did eliminate his child support duties, which is quite significant in most cases. I greatly admired my ex for doing it, and he cried and debated it with me for a long time before he could do it.

Cupcake's avatar

@snowberry I see where you are coming from. That is terrible.

JLeslie's avatar

@KNOWITALL Definitely some dad’s give up rights because they truly care about the best for their child. They may see a step dad who is now married to the mom as a great role model for their child and it is still incredibly selfless, even though they get out of the child support obligation. If we admire mothers for giving up their baby when they feel they cannot provide the best life for their baby, we need to do give the same consideration to fathers I think. Men are in a precarious position, basically having very little legal protection if the baby is born out of wedlock, but still have financial obligation.

In the case I am referring to I have no idea if the mother wanted child support or had been receiving any or if she just wants the dad to disappear.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@JLeslie Unfortunately when it comes to situations like these, men really are at a disadvantage in our area, maybe in the entire US. It’s basically up to the woman if she keeps the baby or has the baby, then whether she lists the birth father on the certificate or someone else, or anyone at all.

If a man’s name is not on the birth certificate, then he has no rights unless he hires an attorney and forces the issue. To me, it is a very female-biased situation and I think many men have just given up. I’ve heard a few say that they are just waiting for the kids to grow up and contact them, because they are over fighting with the mothers and lawyers. It’s really very sad.

JLeslie's avatar

@KNOWITALL In many states men have no rights to the child at all in terms of seeing the baby if born out of wedlock, even if they are on the birth certificate. The state will go after them to pay child support, but the dads get zero automatic rights to be with the baby. The state’s main concern is the money.

I only feel so sorry for the men, because more times than not it is the woman who is left with the responsibility of caring for her child, and she is obviously the one who goes through pregnancy, labor, delivery. It’s impossible to generalize, because each situation is different and we can’t assume anything about a particular man.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@JLeslie Right BUT it is also unnecessary for a woman to notify a man that there is a child born, or to do so before receiving assistance from the state. In some cases, a huge bill is due and the man has no idea a child even exists. Then he is often labelled a dead-beat by everyone involved and the mother has total input with the child, sometimes even brain-washing the child into thinking the father is a monster when he is not.

I am so thankful that my mother never lied to me, even as a child, and never painted my bio-father as a monster. Although I don’t know the man, based on discussions with my half-sibs, he is a perfectly normal, emotionally shuttered alcoholic – lol

JLeslie's avatar

@KNOWITALL I know in TN the state makes the woman name the father, well, I am not sure how they can force her, but she is supposed to name the father and then he is obligated to take a genetic test. If he is the father he has to pay the court for the expense of the test, if it is negative I think the state absorbs the cost.

Cupcake's avatar

@JLeslie You are forced into naming the father by not being eligible for benefits unless you do so. That was why I could never receive public assistance – I would not name my rapist so that paternity would not be established (would have been a different story if he fought for paternity/visitation in court, but he never did).

JLeslie's avatar

@Cupcake Right, if you want public assistance they “force” it. Or, I guess that is when the state bothers to ask for the father’s name. Then and also if you want to give up the baby they want the father to sign off. Your situation is really awful since it was a rape. I guess you never tried to have him prosecuted? You don’t have to discuss it if you prefer not to, I completely understand.

Cupcake's avatar

@JLeslie I did. It’s hard to get the case past the grand jury. He said she said, you know? I’m not sure why it didn’t matter to anyone that I was 15 (which is statutory rape in NYS). Oh well. He moved on to a 14 year-old before I had given birth. They are married now.

I just want to add that I think it is a total douchebag move to fight for custody to “get out of” paying child support. No idea if that’s the case here or not.

JLeslie's avatar

@Cupcake So, if you did accuse him of the crime then why not go ahead and name him as the father? Just asking, I am not making any statement of what I think you should have done.

I do have some empathy for men who never get to see their kids, and still have to pay. It’s a tricky subject for me with many different scenerios.

Cupcake's avatar

@JLeslie Because the charges were dropped by the grand jury so he had no record. It would have been at the judge’s discretion whether he received visitation and that was a risk I was not willing to take. It felt like blood money. I’ve got debt and times have been tough, but I’ve been better off without it. Plus, he’s a frighteningly manipulative bastard who tries to take a mile out of every inch. I can’t even imagine the damage that would have been done by him having any more “control” over our lives than he already has.

How often does it really happen that men pay child support and are denied visitation (barring any reasonable reason for visitation denial)? I can’t even imagine this being a frequent occurrence. Am I that wrong??

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Cupcake Yes, ever hear of a woman scorned? A lot of men will pay to keep from being garnished at work, or being made to appear as ‘dead beats’ but unless they come up with the money for an attorney to force the issue, taking the mother into court, a lot are denied contact with the children. In my area it’s very common, and often the father just gives up because of the emotional stress, money, etc…

I’ve seen both sides and I feel for everyone involved, but most of all the children who are so often used as pawns in adult head games.

JLeslie's avatar

@Cupcake That makes sense. I think you made the best decision.

I don’t know how often it happens, but it happens quite a bit if I go by personal experience. Although, men not paying when they are never denied time with their kids also happens a lot too. There are so many scenerios. My girlfriend’s ex fought for full custody for sure because of the money. But, there is a back story. At first they had agreed she would have custody the majority of the time and he agreed to pay child support. They did it with one lawyer and mutually agreed to everything. Her alcoholism got really out of control, and he sued for total custody. He got and the court imposed only supervised visitation. As soon as supervised visitation was lifted he let the kids be with her 95% of the time, but he still has custody and still doesn’t pay any child support. Well, he does pay for things for his kids, he is not a total deadbeat, but there is no order for him to pay money to his ex.

I know a man who allowed his ex to move out of state with his child, but he wants to be with his child, and the exwife is not very cooperative. He pays child support, a lot because she has custody, and resents paying so much and not having more time with his child.

My SIL moved back to America when she left her husband and brought her kids with her. Her exhusband was understandably angry and upset. He does get to see his kids on holidays and during the summer he wasn’t always great at keeping up with his child support, but he does spend money on them.

Those situations where the children do not live close to their father I think are especially difficult for dads. Sometimes they moved away for work, sometimes their exwives moved.

In the case of unmarried couples it is a little different I think. Probably more likely the men are deadbeats, but it happens in marriages also, and there are plenty of men who weren’t married at the time of the birth who want to be involved, but if the child doesn’t live with him from the getgo I think it makes a difference on how the situation progresses.

snowberry's avatar

@Cupcake Wait, you know who your rapist was, you know you got pregnant by him, so why didn’t you make him take a paternity test? At least you’d have proven to everyone who the dad was, and you’d have gotten child support. Am I missing something?

Cupcake's avatar

I don’t know any dads who don’t have visitation. I know one guy who had supervised visitation for awhile, but that was warranted. I guess perspective is all in who you know.

@knowitall I don’t have any sympathy for dads who don’t get a lawyer and go to court if the mom is keeping them from their kids. I would move heaven and earth to have my kids with me. Parents who use their kids as pawns disgust me. I hear you… I feel for the kids.

@snowberry Why would I need to prove to everyone who the dad was? I knew, he knew. I didn’t want him to get visitation – what’s so hard to understand? I was protecting my son and myself from him. Also, I was 15 when this happened. I gave birth at 16. I had PTSD. I was terrified of him and his family. It’s taken me 17 years (and a kid who is almost an adult) to feel powerful. Perhaps you’d have to put yourself in my terrified and abused 15–16 year old head to understand. The charges didn’t stick. I had no guarantee that if I named him and the DNA proved him to be the dad that he wouldn’t request and receive visitation from the court. Plus, if he paid child support, I would have had constant contact from him, which is retraumatizing. It would have been more of his control over me. “I’ll give you child support if you…” or “I’m not paying you because you…” and constantly going back to court. No thanks. I made the right decision, hands down.

If he was honorable, he would have provided financial support for the kid without a court order. He’s not. He has to face God for what he’s done.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Cupcake Wow…..I totally don’t blame you for what you did. You’re right…naming the father would have kept him in your life for the rest of your life.

Cupcake's avatar

@Dutchess_III He has been in our lives. He shows up every few years. I’ve been in the psych ward from seeing him. My kid has been suicidal after he sent the kid a friend request on facebook. He prevented my husband from adopting my son.

Tying our family to him through money would have destroyed my family.

Thanks for your support. It hasn’t always been this clear to me. And we certainly could have used the money.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Cupcake I know, and to a point, I agree, but lawyers are expensive and times are tough. Not seeing your child due to financial issues seems pretty harsh. Many times in my life I’d have welcomed a poor dad as opposed to no dad though.

I also think you did what you had to do to protect yourself and your child from a person you couldn’t trust. Bless your heart.

Cupcake's avatar

@KNOWITALL I know, easier said than done. I just really wonder how many dads who don’t have visitation (a) tried to get visitation through the court and (b) have no reason for visitation to be denied. I mean hard numbers, not anecdotes.

My kid has met the guy and knows he has my blessing to pursue a relationship if he desires once he is an adult. I think that his experience has been very different from yours. Seeing and hearing and smelling the guy does something. It creates a box in your mind into which you can put your feelings and questions. Otherwise you’re just floating and wondering.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oh, @Cupcake~My heart goes out to you.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Cupcake That would be interesting, unfortunately men are not always open about emotional thing’s like that, so it would be difficult to obtain that data I’d think.

Oh, I’ve met my dad, and I’ve lived ten minutes from him all my life and still now, we talked on the phone, he’s just not interested in a relationship with me. His own kids told me they didn’t grow up hearing ‘I love you’ from their parents and all he does is drink and go to Masonic meetings or something, so I know in my heart that I’m the lucky one to be with a mom who thinks I’m terrific…lol And of course my little mama had my undying devotion for all time!!

Blackberry's avatar

No, there are already parents that regret having their kids. Simply being vocal about not wanting a kid isn’t different.

People can change their minds, and it’s not uncommon for some men and women to not develop an attachment to the child right away.

snowberry's avatar

@Cupcake When you put it that way, of course not, but you didn’t mention that in your question. You also have to remember this is a question and answer site on the Internet, Nobody reads every past question, or all the comments, especially when it tends toward length such as this one is getting. I meant no harm. Peace!

I also don’t have the emotional energy to deal with people who take offense where none is intended. I’m out

drhat77's avatar

If the woman initially wanted to have an abortion, but then changed her mind, should she be forced to leave the child for adoption? Of course not. People react in a way they may regret later when finding out they’re going to be a parent. I think a moment of senselessness is to be expected with these things. I think if the father wants to be part of the child’s life that should be encouraged.

Patton's avatar

No. The guy’s top choice was to not have a kid. But his second choice was to spend time with his kid if he winds up with one anyway, which he did. Why should he be punished just because his order of preferences is not the same as the mother’s?

@snowberry “I also don’t have the emotional energy to deal with people who take offense where none is intended.” Then how do you deal with yourself?

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

NOPE! That baby is part his.

Dutchess_III's avatar

No. The idea, the concept, of having a baby is much, much different than actually holding a warm little baby in your arms!

Where did that attack on @snowberry come from @Patton?

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