Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Cry Me A River, Version 1.0

I knew when I started blogging I would come upon a news story that would entice me to use the "Cry Me A River" title plus I'm sure there will be more.

The headline in this Detroit News report reads "Some Fathers Say Michigan Paternity Law Shuts Them Out"

Fair enough, I think, since I'm sure there are some ancient laws on the books that need updating.  However, upon reading the article I discover the main focus of the story is guy who is being denied "because the girl was born while the woman was married to another man -- who is still her husband -- meaning [he] can't demand visitation or even pay child support".

"I'm a good dad," [he says]. "Why should I not have rights to my child? Everything I do is for her."

I don't know but somewhere I think there's a definition of "being a good dad" that excludes being a man who fathers a child with woman who is married to someone else.

I do understand that the guy featured in the story is emotionally torn knowing he has a child that he can't see and help raise.  However, I believe he should suck it up and realize that what's best for the child is to leave her alone and not disrupt the family that she is being raised in.

Besides, I think he should consider himself lucky that the husband of the married woman is not coming after him looking to kick his butt. (or worse.)

Perhaps when he chose to have an affair with a married woman he should have realized the following: (from a reader comment on the article)

If you sleep with married women, expect your heart to be broken on many levels. The cold hand of the law will not be there to comfort you. You are an interloper with no rights. Man up and get over it. If mommy really loves you, she will divorce her husband and marry you.


Anonymous said...

I disagree. The current law was written prior to the advent of DNA evidence when you couldn't really be sure of the answer to the age old question "who's your daddy?"

Shouldn't the law reflect the current ability of DNA evidence to show the "truth?" We pin the responsibility on the "biological" father whenever it's convenient for the State. Why should he have less standing to assert his right? It's just another example of how the state ignores individual's rights unless it's convenient for them.

DNA (which was first accurately described in 1953) evidence has been admitted in court cases since the 80s, shouldn't our legislators be required to have some continuing education so that the law they write, re-write or ignore are based on science that is relevant in this new centry? (perhaps another topic for your blog)

As for the affair with a married woman - it takes two to tango. The mother gets her rights no matter what she does, doesn't this fly in the face of equal protection?

Not to mention, why negate a potential loving, supportive relationship a child could have simply because your "biological" parents filled their dance cards with each other? The child wasn't at fault, why should the child suffer?

MisterRogers said...

I appreciate your comment. It is very well thought out and makes a logical argument.

I think we both agree that whatever the outcome, it should be in the best interest of the child.

However, I have a few questions for you.

1. Should sperm donors have any legal rights to children born as a result of their "donation"?

2. At what point should a man be able to require the DNA testing of a child? For example, if a man has a "one night stand" with a married woman, should he be able to request a DNA test later?

Thanks again for your opinion.