A New Jersey judge made a landmark decision in March, stating that a woman could prevent the biological father of a child from being in the delivery room at the time of that child’s birth.
The case in question relates to a couple, who became engaged after the woman became pregnant, but broke up later, prior the baby’s birth. The ex-fiancé sued to be present for the birth of his child.
In an unusual twist, the case was heard over the telephone as the woman in question was at the hospital about to give birth. The judge ruled that having the biological father present would cause “unwarranted strain” on the mother.
NPR’s Jennifer Ludden reported that Superior Court Judge Sohail Mohammed “cited a patient’s right to privacy and a pregnant woman’s right to control her body.” The judge based his decision on another landmark case: Roe V. Wade; and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which essentially established a woman’s right to have an abortion.
Father’s Rights Violation?
In fact, the Judge elaborated further, and said that women are not even obliged to tell the father when they go into labor. Father’s rights groups disagree, calling the ruling discriminatory. This ruling is in place only for biological fathers who are not married to the mother in New Jersey. More than 40% of all births are outside of marriage in the U.S.
Jeff Golden of Fathers & Children’s Equality said, “It’s a sad day for fathers, and for father’s and men’s rights.” Mr. Golden is concerned that this type of ruling will pave the way for some fathers to be nothing more than “visitors and pay checks” to their own children.
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Our founder and lead family law attorney Joanne Kleiner has more than 25 years of experience guiding men and women throughout southwestern Pennsylvania, including Montgomery, Bucks and Philadelphia Counties, through the family law courts and the divorce process. She has handled hundreds of cases, and the chances are excellent that she has handled a situation similar to your own.
Ms. Kleiner’s extensive background means she can provide you with accurate information and advice based on experience, so you can make informed decisions about matters that will affect your and your children’s future.
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