Consenting Parents

Will Steeves goid at io.org
Mon Sep 6 19:54:43 EST 1993

Newsgroups: alt.dads-rights,alt.abortion.inequity,soc.men,soc.women,talk.abortio
Subject: Re: Consenting Parents
Note: This thread originated in a.d-r.

bret.underberg-davis at satalink.com (Bret Underberg-Davis) writes...
>And: goid at io.org (Will Steeves) said:

>GG>Still, IMHO, a child only has the 'right' to be supported by CONSENTING
>GG>parents.  Anything less would possibly subject the child to the bitterness
>GG>of an unwilling father.

>      I take it then you'd be willing to advocate any reasonable
>medical treatment that might result in the father's consent?

I am not sure that I understand what you mean.  A man's decision to become
a parent is probably as personal and complex as a woman's decision.  Medical
treatment probably will not change his mind, unless you are talking about
hypnotism or other forms of mind control as 'treatment' :-)

>I fully appreciate that this is a subject that almost can't help
>becoming contentious, considering that we presently have no common
>set of values, and that much of the legal precedent is based on
>assumptions and value judgements that in many cases no longer hold

Indeed.  I'd really like to know the *real* reasons behind the repeal of
'bastardy' laws and the institution of more stringent paternity laws.
Also, I'd very much like to know if, as I claim, the birth rate was
lower while bastardy laws were in place.  Then again, given the illegality
of abortion and the general lack of effective birth control, any such
information would most likely be inaccurate.

>      I agree with you that it's potential injurious to a child to
>be faced with the fact that at least one parent sees his/her very
>existence as a burden, or as an unfair imposition on his freedom.
>In an ideal world all parents would be consenting.  But we don't
>live in that world.  Every society I can think of enforces some
>set of rules that favor the support and nurturing of children.
>Whether those rules can ever be completely fair is a question I
>can't begin to answer, and certainly not in a few paragraphs.

That's an understatement, for sure.

>      For the sake of discussion, let's say that we accept your
>construct.  How, then, do you suggest that unwanted children be
>supported?  More taxes?  More entitlement programs?

I have claimed on many occasions that if paternity child support laws are
changed to recognise a man's intent to parent, and make involuntary parenthood
a thing of the past, the birth rate will fall, as will the number of unwanted
children.  Indeed, the birth rate of unwanted children will fall drastically,
if not fall right to zero.

>Why should
>those who take their reproductive potential and consequences
>seriously be compelled to take the responsibility for the children
>of people of either gender who seem to regard the "facts of life"
>as a personal inconvenience or a limit on freedom.  I'm beginning
>to appreciate the merits of the Victorian family model.

Well, that's *exactly* why Male Choice works.  It *will* make people more
responsible, and do so, without penalising people who are already very

>      It *does* strike me, FWIW, that there are some inequities
>here.  I'm not sure that I ydon'ty support the right of a
>potential father to have some say in the reproductive choices of
>his partner.  All of this raises some serious questions about
>rights and responsibilities.  But I'd have to say that, as long as
>a more-or-less capitalistic economic system exists in this
>country, then those who have the children should have a primary
>responsibility for (at least) their economic support.

Consider this approach - those who initiate and desire parenthood, should
have the primary responsibility for the children's economic support.

>      Putting that into a framework that is as fair as possible to
>all the parties is the big question, and I'm afraid I don't have
>an easy answer to it today, though I'd look forward to any
>discussion that leads to some constructive overview of the issues,
>where the fate of the child is the primary concern.  That, I
>realize, is itself a value judgement, and if you disagree with me
>on that, I'll be glad to hear from you.

Well, yes, I DO disagree with the notion that the child's welfare should have
priority.  I believe that all parties should be respected *equally*.

>Please Note:  At present I am reading this thread in
>alt.dads.rights only.  If I can persuade my site to take some of
>the other groups listed, I'll join there as well, but if you want
>an answer from me be sure to post to dads-rights or e-mail me
>directly.  Thanks.

Done.  Mind you, this may just sent the purists of alt.dads-rights into
even more endless headaches.  After working, for the millionth time, to
clear this subject off of a.d-r, I'm going to end up bringing it back.

Will Steeves, B.Sc. (Toronto, 1991), goid at io.org         "Neil Hull is GOiD"
Internex Online (formerly ZOOiD BBS), Toronto, Ontario   "GOiDS Rule"
(416) 363-3783/3784

"Vidi, Vici, Veni".
    - Will Steeves, President, GOiDS "R" We, Inc.
    (Or, more likely: Cleopatra To Julius Caesar, 'next morning' :-) )

 * SLMR 2.1a * &+b|? NO CARRIER Gee, Wally! I didn't mean to break it!

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