Nerdfighters

Imagine the scenario: a mother giving birth in hospital while the father of their child speeds across town on his motorbike to see their first child enter the world. But in his excitement he loses control of his bike and is fatally wounded. The midwives are informed and draw straws on who will tell mum the good news – that her baby is healthy – the bad news that the baby’s father is dead – and the even worse news that:

BECAUSE THE DAD IS DEAD, MUM IS NOW CONSIDERED TO BE A POTENTIAL THREAT TO HER CHILD, IS NOT LEGALLY A MOTHER AND CANNOT TAKE HER BABY HOME WITH HER!


Can you imagine this happening to a parent in the UK in 2012? You can’t? Well it does.

It happened in the past month to a parent in Wales whose partner died shortly after the birth of their child. The grieving parent was treated like a stranger to the baby, not allowed to take their baby home and the child protection system was invoked.

The reason the parent was considered a threat to their new born baby and not allowed to take the baby was simple – HE IS A MAN!

The hospital did nothing wrong – and by all accounts handled the issue with great professionalism and speed – ensuring the case was brought to court and a temporary order granted allowing him to take the baby home.

They were simply acting in line with UK law which considers unmarried fathers to be a potential threat to their children until vetted – as opposed to mothers who are assumed to be fit parents unless there is evidence to the contrary.




This is the kind of thing that makes men angry that "feminists" do not represent more. This is a serious case of gender inequality. My question is, why do "feminists" not seem to be caring?


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Unless you can prove it wrong, I'm not impressed. It's no more of a strech than a guy turning up to a hospital to claim a child which isn't his maliciously, who knows the name of the woman and knows that she's gone into labour and isn't the father.

Well, surrogacy is a strange thing, and legal maternity can be hard to determine in those cases.  Because, legal maternity/paternity isn't simply about genetics.  If a couple is married, the father is automatically granted paternity, even if he is not the biological father of the child.  That's the default that will stand unless legally challenged.

So, a woman who gives birth to a baby is legally the mother, unless other legal documents have been filed.  Your scenario doesn't hold up.  If a woman goes into a hospital and delivers a baby, she is the legal mother, unless there have been legal filings to the contrary.

This isn't about males being discriminated against; it simply isn't.  It's about the biological reality of maternity being relatively easy to prove and paternity being much more difficult to prove.  To even try to frame this as some sort of anti-man legislation that feminists are responsible for, or as a sign that women have too many rights (I mean, what?), lays bare what many feminists have long known, which is that the "men's rights"/"father's rights" movement is, for the most part, a bunch of anti-feminist, anti-woman nonsense.  It is, in fact, an attempt to strip women of the *equal* rights they have finally been granted and to return to a time when men had unfettered authority over their wives, female partners, and children.  

http://shakespearessister.blogspot.com/2007/10/explainer-whats-mra....

http://www.mothersmovement.org/features/05/dads_rights/wounds_p1.htm

http://www.publiceye.org/magazine/v27n1/fatherhood_movement.html

http://www.now.org/organization/conference/1996/resoluti.html#alert

It has been well-documented that, when men actually WANT custody, they are awarded it *more often* than women.  It is simply wrong--and not just wrong, but dangerous and disingenuous--to claim that men and/or fathers are being denied equal rights because women/mothers now have "too many" rights.  In fact, what these activists object to is women being given something just approaching equal rights.  They want to return to a time of unchecked patriarchy, in which women and children are systematically denied rights and are subject to the whims of husbands/fathers.  It is a dangerous, regressive movement that feminists are completely right to reject and challenge.

A couple more links about the "father's rights" movement.  I do think it's important to expose this, because the rhetoric sounds good on the surface, but belies the fact that men ALREADY have at-least equal rights when it comes to custody and other legal issues regarding their children, and that the real agenda of this movement is to roll back social change that has provided justice for women and children.

http://www.stopfamilyviolence.org/info/custody-abuse/fathers-rights

http://www.now.org/nnt/summer-2000/family.html

http://www.nafcj.net/openletter.HTM

http://www.thelizlibrary.org/site-index/site-index-frame.html#soulh...

http://www.unisa.edu.au/hawkeinstitute/documents/SeparatedFathers.pdf

So, a woman who gives birth to a baby is legally the mother, unless other legal documents have been filed.  Your scenario doesn't hold up.  If a woman goes into a hospital and delivers a baby, she is the legal mother, unless there have been legal filings to the contrary.


Yes, legally. But as you pointed out, non-biological parents are more of a danger to the child than biological ones. Just because the law has said that this is the child's mother, does not make it so. If you are willing to test the father's paternity if there is not a marriage, to be sure that it is the biological father, and thus protect the baby, surely you should test the woman's as well. Its not as if the woman comes in always carrying all the documents nessecary to prove it is hers.

This isn't about males being discriminated against; it simply isn't.  It's about the biological reality of maternity being relatively easy to prove and paternity being much more difficult to prove.



That just ISN'T the case. There is no biological reason why the fact that the baby is inside the mother proves that the baby is hers. There is the possibility of it being a surrogate. Therefore, if you are saying that men should be tested, because paternity is uncertain, so should women.

To even try to frame this as some sort of anti-man legislation that feminists are responsible for, or as a sign that women have too many rights (I mean, what?), lays bare what many feminists have long known, which is that the "men's rights"/"father's rights" movement is, for the most part, a bunch of anti-feminist, anti-woman nonsense.



I am framing this as an issue of hypocracy on the part of feminists, IE that they have let this happen, when it is clearly an issue of gender discrimination. Men are forced to jump through hoops that women are not. They are assumed not to be the parent, where as women are assumed to be. Men are presumed guilty of potential lying and need to prove themselves, where as women are presumed innocent.

It has been well-documented that, when men actually WANT custody, they are awarded it *more often* than women.


Erm... No. I'm sorry, no no no. That is just NOT the case.

Full Fact found the latest Child Support Agency National Statistics to confirm this figure. It recorded that “In 95.1% of assessed cases, the non-resident parent is male”. It would seem that the claim that 95% of resident parents are female is the corollary of this claim, however, this isn't specifically mentioned in the document. Full Fact found an earlier report, though (June 2009, table 24) which did specifically record that 95 per cent of “parents/persons with care” were female.


http://fullfact.org/factchecks/custody_battles_won_by_mothers-3096



I'm sorry, but the family justice situation in the UK is woefully sexist in favour of women. That is common knowledge supported by the stats.

Re: your assertion that, because women have primary custody in 95% of cases, there is bias against men.

The problem is that it's well documented that men rarely seek primary custody in joint custody situations, much less full custody.  So the question isn't who usually gets custody--of course it's the mother, because the father rarely wants it in a divorce situation--but who gets custody when the issue is contested.

In 70% of cases where men petition for full or primary custody, they are awarded it.  

Now, I personally don't think that's evidence of bias against women.  To some extent it might be, but I think the main explanation for that would be that, since it's unusual for men to petition for full custody, in cases where they do, it's probably often because there is some significant issue with the mother, like addiction or serious mental illness.  

However, given those numbers, it just can't be argued that there is a bias against men.  Men would get custody much more often if they sought it more often.

The problem is that it's well documented that men rarely seek primary custody in joint custody situations, much less full custody.  So the question isn't who usually gets custody--of course it's the mother, because the father rarely wants it in a divorce situation--but who gets custody when the issue is contested.



I'm sorry, until you provide evidence for that, I'm not buying it. Fathers4Justice weren't founded around a statistical misunderstanding. They were founded by a group of angry fathers who were denied custody, based primarily on gender.

In 70% of cases where men petition for full or primary custody, they are awarded it. 


Proof?

Bottom line. If you accept that man's paternity must be checked, because of a possibility that he is not the biological father, so as to protect the baby in cases of lack of marriage etc, you must accept that the woman's maternity must be checked. Either that, or you accept that neither of them must be checked.

Yes, and what if the surrogate runs off? What if they leave and they are not checked? Sounds unlikly? Well no more unlikly than a man randomly turning up at a hopital and claiming a child that is not his own, despite the knowing of the name of the woman, the fact she's gone into labour... etc.

I think it does. The bottom line is that if you make no assumptions at all, you don't know if the baby coming out of the body of that woman is biologically hers, any more than you know if it's biologically any given man's. There are ways and means of it not being hers, and the point is that if you are prepared to make a negative assumption in the case of the man (IE the baby is not yours until we prove it is) then you should do so in the case of the woman too. In both cases, the situation where they would not, in fact, be the father/mother is very unlikely, but still possible, so you can't really make a negative assumption for one and not the other. 

so sorry to jump in at this point........are you actually suggesting in all rational practicality in the modern NHS that all women giving birth should undergo a timely and expensive DNA test for the small minority of surrogacy cases for the sake of a balance to mens rights?

Really?....I think its safe to say that 99% of the time if the baby is coming out of a woman its hers....Im sure there are cases when surrogates have run off with babies which are not biologically theirs however the logistics of checking every mother are so complex that it is deemed unnecessary 

Really?....I think its safe to say that 99% of the time if the baby is coming out of a woman its hers....Im sure there are cases when surrogates have run off with babies which are not biologically theirs however the logistics of checking every mother are so complex that it is deemed unnecessary

 


My logic is that given they are prepared to do the same to a man, despite the massive unlikelihood, then they should do the same to a woman. Given the obvious absrudity, it makes sense that the government drops this attitude towards men.

There are approximately 50 to 70 surrogate births annually in the UK* compared to around 700,000 births in England and Wales alone**. If we take the upper estimate (70) then we can see that surrogacy accounts for approximately 0.0001% of UK births annually. Given these figures, it is highly improbable that a woman who has just given birth is not the biological parent of that infant. It is therefore entirely appropriate to assume that she is.


Yes, but the possibility remains. Also, I have different figures which suggest it's more of the order of 150 (http://www.fertilityexpert.co.uk/uk-infertility-facts-figures.html). And given that, as you point out, the probability of a man arriving to the hospital who is not the father, yet who knows all the relevant details, is equally exceptionally unlikely, the comparison is not unreasonable. As far as I can see, the only time when a paternity test should be required is when the parenity is in dispute (IE when you have more than one person claiming).

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