More evidence that as women are given full rights in the world of work, men continue to be hung out to dry in the world of children.
Barbara Kay | National Post | January 23, 2014
In 2009 lesbian Jennifer Schreiner bore a baby girl with the aid of sperm from a certain William Marotta. In 2012 the Kansas Department for Children and Families sought to have Marotta declared the father of the child. Not, you understand, for reasons having to do with actual fatherhood – I mean, fatherhood in the sense of acting as a parent – but fatherhood in the “ATM” sense of the word, which is the way social service agencies and, all too often, courts view men when issues of child support come up.
Marotta feels that since his arrangement with Schreiner never envisaged him being involved in the child’s life, and since he had signed a contract waiving his parental rights at the time of donorship, he should not have to pay child support. And so say all reasonable people. But, according to the court, since a licensed physician was not involved in the artificial insemination process, Marotta is more than a sperm donor. Perhaps legally. But to call him a “father” is surely a stretch for any fair-minded observer.
This was a bad decision. The court has hooked their fish on a technicality. The judge has shown his disdain for the spirit of the arrangement between the two parties, which is what courts should be adjudicating. Schreiner exploited Marotta in order to have a child for whom no real father was ever intended. That was their contract, and that was the contract that should have been assessed.
The state will exploit any angle to ensure that somebody else – almost invariably the father if they can get hold of him – pays the child support.
Perhaps the judge is ideologically opposed to sperm donorship. I certainly am, because I believe it is a denial of children’s natural rights and deliberately offers them half a biological inheritance. But I would have recused myself before delivering such an unjust decision, where the victim has been so wildly and disproportionately punished financially, with – unless he wins an appeal – perhaps half or more of his income now tied up for the next 18 years or more.
But what the decision does serve to illustrate is how cynically and mercilessly social and legal institutions view men. The state encourages single motherhood in all kinds of ways, because the state (see under Obama’s campaign gyndroid, Julia) believes a woman can bring up a child as effectively alone as with a father in the picture, and that – in the teeth of overwhelming evidence to the contrary – children suffer no special harm growing up fatherless.
So the state has no problem with lesbians having children via a syringe. What it does have a problem with is paying for that child to be raised if she can’t or won’t. The state will exploit any angle to ensure that somebody else – almost invariably the father if they can get hold of him – pays the child support. The state does not care if the man never intended to be a father, as in this case, or if he was tricked into being a father (“of course I took my pill today”), or if he has been denied the right to actually father his own child (about 90% of litigated custody battles end with children in the sole custody of the mother), or if he is denied court-ordered access to his children (mothers who deny access are virtually never punished). He must still pay for that child to be raised by someone other than himself.
As for Ms Schreiner, here is an illustration of a sense of entitlement writ breathtakingly large. Where did she get the idea that she had the right to a child, but not the responsibility to raise it herself or with a partner? Why, from the cultural air she breathes, that’s where.