Here’s someone else who thinks it’s her place to lecture men on how to be fathers, and to lecture us on wanting mandatory DNA testing to establish paternity. Same old tired BS. She even uses the same tired old tropes to defend her misandry. And it is misandry, since this is an issue that discriminates solely based on sex.
Bari Zell Weinberger practices law and has written an article in the Huffington Post about a bill in New jersey that would mandate paternity testing at birth. Ms. Weinberg drags out all the same invalid objections, but first she starts out:
“First, let’s talk about women…..”
No, Ms. Weinberg, let’s NOT first talk about women. Let’s not center women in this issue because they are not at the center of it, men are. The issue is a human right of parenting. It is about the right to choose when and whom to parent, basically the same right women claim in abortion, only in this case no one dies. It is about the right of man to recourse when he is defrauded by his wife, if only to be relieved of a baseless obligation to support someone else’s child. A woman’s interest in this matter is at best tertiary – after the father, then after the child, then finally she is in line for consideration.
She moves on to centering women’s feelings over men’s rights.
“Yes, we know that sometimes women have multiple partners, even when they are married. However, assuming that you can’t trust any New Jersey mom to be honest about (or worse, to know!) who fathered her child seems like a giant step backwards, not to mention insulting.”
Well they’ll just have to roll with the insults, because there is a rather larger issue of someone’s rights here, and the part those insulted people may have in denying them.
Also – so it will “set women back” to hold them accountable, Ms. Weinberg? Misogynist much?
She continues with some very selective accountability:
“Is it now the state’s responsibility to let men know their wives have been unfaithful?”
Well yes it is, since the state will see itself as responsible to twist child support out of them if these wives decide to leave. That seems pretty obvious, obvious to the point of doubting the good faith of the question really. That should after all be pretty obvious to someone who practices family law.
Then she’s onto telling men how to father, with a not-so-subtle attempt at shaming.
“As for fathers, it’s a psychological fact that men do bond with their children, sometimes even before they are born. And that bond doesn’t require shared DNA. Even when they have suspicions that Mom isn’t being absolutely honest, many men won’t insist on a paternity test for one simple reason: because they want to be Dads.”
She however is quite shameless herself, when she presumes to shame some fathers into allowing themselves to be duped the way some others do. According to her apparently a real man mans up and just sucks it up and parents someone else’s child – and his consent or lack of it is irrelevant – and rewards the woman who cheated and continues to lie to him. And Ms. Weinberg does mean duped:
“Blissful ignorance guarantees the ability to raise a child they may have loved from the very first ultrasound picture. “
And then she veers off into illogic:
“And contrary to what the bill’s sponsor may believe, men raising children fathered by someone else often do not feel any differently about the child once they learn that child isn’t their genetic offspring.”
Well yes, Ms. Weinberg, some do. And some rape victims fall in love with their rapists. So what are you saying, Ms. Weinberg, that the state should mandate that rape victims marry their rapists, just as you seem to think the state should mandate victims of fraud reward those who defraud them?
She is not above proposing all sorts of completely absurd hypotheticals, not absurd as situations, but absurd as relevant to this issue, because as someone who practices family law she knows perfectly well that there is law to cover every one of these situations. Here goes:
“The ramifications of this bill don’t even stop there. If it’s encoded into law that fatherhood equals shared DNA, where does that leave non-biologically based fathers — and more importantly, where does it leave their children?”
It’s called adoption. The market in private adoptions can be very lucrative, so feigning ignorance is not going to work.
“What does this bill mean for adoptive fathers and gay fathers?”
Where is there anything in that law that overturns adoptions? And please, spare us your crocodile tears and appropriation when it to comes to gay fathers.
“This legislation flies in the face of adoptive parents and same-sex couples when one of the “parents” is clearly not biological.”
How so? See above.
“What about fathers (and mothers) who don’t want testing done for any number of reasons, including religion or inability to make payment for the mandatory lab test?”
Why should these lab tests not be covered by the government the same way contraception supplies for women are? The tests won’t covered in New Jersey? Is there some kind of a War on Men in New Jersey?
“It’s hard to see who wins with this bill, except for perhaps the lab testing companies. “
Only if you insist on looking the wrong direction. It’s plain who wins with this bill. And it’s plain who stands to lose… but nothing they ever had any right to in the first place.
“As for the non-biological father, he gets the dubious pleasure of knowing he’s been cheated twice over — cheated financially out of money he paid to raise a child for whom he’s not responsible, and cheated emotionally of his status as a loving father.”
False. He can adopt. or if he is married to the mother, he can simply not contest paternity. since the writer did not bother to link to the text of the bill, we cannot tell what is actually in it, but it seems a stretch to expect it to forbid husabnds to assume paternity of whatever children their wives bear.
“As for the child, I can’t imagine that it’s anything but painful to learn that “Dad” isn’t your father — especially once you’re old enough to realize that Mom may have been hiding his “real” identity. And Mom herself? “
Here the cynical lawyer part of the writer drops the mask – for her it’s preferable to lie to the child. Exactly how long does a child have to go before he learns his father should never have trusted her, that she’s a fraud and a liar? When’s the best time to spill those beans?
“She gets to have her character called into question because she either didn’t know or didn’t say who her baby-daddy was.”
Not a too high price to pay to protect a person’s rights, is it?
“Basically, this law would be a lose-lose-lose-lose proposition for everyone involved.”
No. See above. Repeating a lie doesn’t make it true.
“This law brings into question several interesting problems to consider. Is fatherhood really established at the moment of conception? Or is it a bigger and more complex role than DNA can determine? And are decisions about who gets to be part of a family — and who doesn’t — really the province of our political and legal system to determine?”
So many deflections and strawmen….where to start. Working backwards – the law definitely does say who cannot and cannot be parts of a family. I suppose polygamy is illegal in New Jersey? And as someone who cannot get my partner on my medical insurance, I know this, and a family practice lawyer has no excuse for not knowing it. Then there is the false choice in her questions about when fatherhood begins and how it is defined. That’s a pretty dishonest distortion of the question.
The article she links to does in fact deal with legislation concerning paternity testing, but it doesn’t cite any part of the legislation that would deny anyone the right to raise a child he chooses to raise and call his child. So that was false too. The issue not defining who is not a father, just ensuring that no one is forced to parent someone else’s child through fraud.
And by the way, the measure she links to has nothing whatever to do with paternity testing of any kind. The bill she links to deals with rates for medical charges, at least in its text. So we can’t really tell what she is talking about, and it’s not. Oopsee. Oh, well; the article she linked to made the same mistake.
So this whole article is a hot mess of red herrings, deflections, mischaracterizations and shaming. Whoever else gets hurt in this, what is paramount for the writer is to minimize as much as possible any inconvenience to the one person in the situation who is committing a wrong. And it seems her commenters saw all this too.
What it all comes down to is quite simple. Only the man himself should decide whether he is going to take on the joyful burden of raising someone else’s child. It is his choice. And choice requires informed consent, and this law ensures that. It’s hard to see how there is any real basis for controversy with that.