Monday, March 20, 2006

Father Wants To Divorce his Little Daughter

From the Sydney Morning Herald, here:

Father wants to divorce his seven-month-old daughter

SEVEN-MONTH-OLD Elizabeth Wells has never been held in her father's arms, and if he has his way she never will be.

In what could be a landmark case in the US, Matt Dubay, a computer programmer, is asking the courts to absolve him of all the responsibilities of fatherhood.

Mr Dubay's lawsuit has the backing of the National Centre for Men, activists who say that equal opportunities have swung too far in favour of women.

For Mr Dubay, 25, news that he was about to become a father was an unwelcome shock. It followed a night spent with a student, Lauren Wells, who he claims told him that she was infertile and using contraception. The apparent contradiction of those remarks did not fully hit Mr Dubay until several weeks later, when Ms Wells, 20, told him she was pregnant.

While the relationship soon foundered, his former girlfriend said she was keeping the child and, when the baby was born last August, she began legal proceedings to ensure that her former boyfriend paid his way in bringing up their daughter.

Faced with a court order for $US500 ($690) a month in child support, Mr Dubay said not paying was his constitutional right.

"I don't believe men have any say … [they are] simply ignored," he said from his home in Saginaw, Michigan. After learning that Ms Wells was pregnant, Mr Dubay said he talked to her about an abortion or having the baby adopted, but she ruled out both. "I painted a very clear picture at that point that I was not ready to be a father," he said. "I was not ready to be a part of the child's life."

His lawsuit, filed in a federal court, says that men who face fatherhood without their consent should be able to opt out of their responsibilities. While it does not seek to force women to have an abortion or give up their babies for adoption, it claims that women have the right to pursue either option if they do not want to bring up a child on their own.

The founder of the National Centre for Men, Mel Feit, said: "Men are routinely forced to give up control, forced to be financially responsible for choices only women are permitted to make, forced to relinquish reproductive choice as the price of intimacy.

"A man must choose to be a father in the same way that a woman chooses to be a mother," Mr Feit said.

Ms Wells said in a statement through her lawyer on Saturday that "my focus is on providing a nurturing home for our baby".

Saying that she was disappointed in Mr Dubay's decision, she added: "I believe that life begins at conception and blossoms. I take responsibility for my acts and will do my best as an adult and mother to protect and provide for our daughter."

Mr Dubay has met his daughter just once, when both attended a clinic for blood tests that proved he was her father. He admitted it was "difficult to look away" when the baby was in the room, but he believes it would disrupt her life if he assumed any other duties of parenthood. "I still, to this point, believe that it isn't right to be part of the child's life. An unwilling parent is not good for a child."

I agree that an unwilling parent is not good for a child, so he may as well just stay out of the little girl's life. I see no reason why he shouldn't foot his part of the bill, however, for this unintended pregnancy. He didn't have to carry the child to term, placing his own life at risk, nor, apparently, will he be doing any of the rest of the work of child-rearing. His initial participation was certainly equal.

Presumably Mr. Dubay understands in general the law of cause and effect?


Neil Shakespeare said...

Hmmm. Contraceptives for the Infertile is definitely a new one on me. And if she is indeed infertile, and was using contraceptives to boot, you might want to look into whether or not this child is the second coming of christ. In which case some 'faith-based' group really ought to pick up the tab, don't you think?

No Blood for Hubris said...


Puma said...

Has anyone asked this fellow if, since he so did NOT want to be a father, why he was having sex with someone he couldn't trust with the decision? If you really don't want to be a father, you better stop thinking with your little head and start getting to know your partner.
That having been said, we need male contraception and we need it yesterday. This way both people have the opportunity to protect themselves to the best of their ability. If a pregnancy should still result, then hopefully you have already discussed what you should do about it.
This man has no one but himself to blame, and needs to grow up.

No Blood for Hubris said...


Joe Hill said...

You folks above are definitely indoctrinated by the "social worker" mentality. What the reluctant father "should" do morally is an interesting topic of discussion, but not what this story is really about.

Instead, it's as just another example of government coercion in the name of doing good. The question really is not what should the father do, rather it is "should the father be thrown in jail if he doesn't take the honorable path. Two different questions.

Then there is the classist nature of the social service mentality. Many father's are in jail because they do not have the resources to support their separated children and maintain a life. The woman can throw the man out for nearly any reason and still legally demand that he support her and the kids. If you're well off then you can do this. If youre working class, your life is now destroyed by the "social service" tyrants guided by a misplaced feminism.

I'm a leftist, but personally I hate professional do-gooders who wish to force there ideals upon the working class, and feel it's ok to ignore the suffering they impose on working class men.

No Blood for Hubris said...

You're a leftist? How so?

Fathers need to act like men, pay their taxes and support their kids.

Women need to to pay their taxes and support their kids.

What's the problem, buddy?

Why do you hate social workers? They try to stop you from beating your kids or something? What do social workers have to do with collecting child support payments? Or are you just mad at your ex?

How do you feel about government-forced maternity?

No Blood for Hubris said...

(Sexist comments above for illustrative purposes only).