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Do Men Deserve Birth Rights?

He Said / August 11, 2014

I’m not a father, but I feel the pain of so many of them who try to do the right thing.  Men have very few rights when it comes to a child’s birth.  Some would go as far as to say that they don’t have any rights whatsoever. It’s sad in a few cases and unfair in a lot of them.

Do Men Deserve Birth Rights?

Here are the options that a woman has after she finds out that she’s pregnant:

  1. She can have the baby.
  2. She can abort the baby.
  3. She can put the baby up for adoption.
  4. She can just leave the baby at a fire station or church.
  5. She can tell a man the child is his (even if it isn’t) and collect support (if not challenged in court by a certain period of time).

Here are the options that a man has when he finds he got someone pregnant:

  1. They can attempt to adopt the baby if she puts it up for adoption.
  2. They can opt not to pay child support and risk jail time.

Of course, I’m not an expert so I may have missed something, but that’s basically it.  Everything pretty much depends on what the mother decides.  He may want to marry her and be there for the child, but if she wants to abort then he can’t stop her.  He may not want to have anything to do with the child at all, but if she wants him to pay child support then he will or go to jail.


Men are at the mercy of women in all matters involving a child’s birth.  Even men who aren’t even the fathers.  #5 on my list for women alluded to that.  Case in point: let’s say that a man and woman are married and she gets pregnant in an affair.  DNA proves that he’s not the father, but he could still be forced to pay child support because they’re married.

Do Men Deserve Birth Rights?


If a woman tells a man he’s the father of a child and he finds out three years later that he isn’t, then he’s still on the hook for 15 more years if she chooses to stick it to him.  Although he may not have thought he had a reason to petition the courts he still has to “beat the clock” to possibly get out of support.  If not, he could wind up paying for another man’s child if she refuses to remove him from the birth certificate.

Do you think that it would work if men had the option to waive their rights to a child without the threat of forced child support? Would that make women think twice about unprotected sex?

I know that it sounds unfair to the women, but we’ve already gone over what’s unfair to the men and the list is lengthy.  Besides, women are normally the ones carry the child and who wind up being responsible for the child.  So, shouldn’t they be the ones who should think twice about birth control since they go through so much?  I know that sounds like the words of a chauvinist, but I think if you looked at that with an unbiased eye that you would at least consider where I’m coming from on it.

Do Men Deserve Birth Rights?

Or what about the default for custody disputes being joint custody?  Isn’t that what is best for the child anyway?  Why does it always seem that it has to be one parent or the other in these cases?  Why can’t it always default to 50/50 custody?

What do you think?  

Shouldn’t men have some sort of say so in regards to the birth of a child?

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Q is a barely 40-something sports fan who is full of opinions and observations when it comes to relationships. He was thrown back into the dating pool after breast cancer claimed the life of his wife of 10 years. He shares some of his life's stories and observations on his blog at and his talk radio show at You can follow him on Twitter: @Talk2Q or Friend him on Facebook: Thank Que.

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on August 11, 2014

Men have more rights than that.

1. “She can have the baby.” This is the norm and the burden of responsibility lay with both of them. He to wear protection in case of an unwanted pregnancy. She to be on birth control or ensure that he is wearing protection.

2. “She can abort the baby.” The abortion one is tricky, but there are at least 13 countries where a woman is legally required to inform and gain the biological father’s consent before going through with an abortion. They have tried on various occasions to pass similar legislation here, but it is always deemed to be unconstitutional.

3. “She can put the baby up for adoption.” Biological fathers do have legal measures that they can take to veto an abortion, even if they are not married to the mother.

4. “She can just leave the baby at a fire station or church.” And I don’t think it is fair to lump the women who abandon their babies on doorsteps in with people who exercise their rights. That is no more a right than the many men who abandon their children and pretend they don’t exist – not providing any kind of emotional or financial support. Those aren’t rights, those are irresponsible decisions.

5. “She can tell a man the child is his (even if it isn’t) and collect support (if not challenged in court by a certain period of time).” Some states have laws in place regarding paternity fraud, so if he finds out the child is actually not his, he can take legal actions (called disestablishment of paternity or something similar. And not all of them have a short window of time in which they can fight it. In some places, the “window” is always “open”.

So when it boils down to it, men do have rights and legal paths that they can take. If they want to. The same way women do. For example, child support is a right, but it is not automatic (at least not everywhere) — the woman has to file for it. Sometimes she has to fight for it if the man does not cooperate. Neither side has it easy. And, believe it or not, people are actually actively fighting for paternal rights. The same way women had to fight for the right to vote, work, receive equal pay, etc. If it’s something that people feel strongly about, they fight until they get it. This is one of those things.

    on August 11, 2014

    Thanks for the comment. In some instances, I think that you’re right, but in the end, the man can’t do anything without going through the mercy of the mother or the court. Although some states may make that easier than others, a lot of them make it extremely costly and difficult. There’s even a case where a man was extradited from AZ back to his home state of MO and jailed for a child that wasn’t even his. He was jailed because he and his wife were married at the time she cheated and got pregnant. He divorced her before he even knew she was pregnant, moved to AZ and got remarried years later before he was ripped from his family. There’s definitely nothing fair about that.

on August 11, 2014

Thanks, Jazmine. Men have enough rights in this country as it is, but rights as a dad are important to not just the dad, but the child. I think the best interest of the child should always be the priority. If that means a man getting custody or an opportunity to be a dad, then why should he at least get a fighting chance is all I’m asking. Thanks again!

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