It’s time to get back to the basics here. We are not gods and it’s time to stop acting like it. Science and technology has done many great things for human society. We can better keep in contact with our loved ones, we have cell phones if we are stuck somewhere and have an emergency and we are no longer dying from crippling diseases such as Polio or Smallpox epidemics. However, there is a dark side to all of this technology that is fundamentally altering human life and relationships. There are simply some things in this life that we were never meant to know or mess with. In the last 40 years we have tried to obliterate all legal sex distinctions and make all of society politically correct. Nowhere is this better seen than in the case of unwed fathers. Now that science has advanced, we are attempting to define fatherhood and the rights and responsibilities that come along with it based upon biology. This is a major shift from what has been done all throughout human history. Nobody gives a mother rights or responsibilities for her children, they are simply an inherent part of her basic biology. The role of a father, however, has always been determined by society and the linking of men to specific children generally through marriage or other social ties. Now, we have companies ready and willing to exploit the inherent insecurities of fatherhood by promising to link them to specific children based upon the genetic relationship alone, and society has shifted to determining paternal rights based solely upon the genetic relationship, instead of marriage and the father’s relationship with the mother.
A man today can break up a stable home life where a child is being raised by adopted parents or by the biological mother and her husband simply by petitioning the court for rights based upon his genetic relationship with the child, no matter of the role he has played in the child’s or the mother’s life. The ever increasing welfare state now coerces unwed mothers to identify the biological father at the child’s birth in an attempt to generate child support payments from what are generally no more than recreational sperm donors and repay the state for the assistance the mother has received. There is simply no end to the problems that are occurring as a result of this. Like most all technological and scientific advancements, there has been an obvious need to limit its use for the welfare of all of society and human dignity. Places such as France, Germany and New York have criminalized the use of at-home or secret paternity testing, and for a good reason. In France, psychologists rightly state that fatherhood is determined by society, not biology. The only way paternity testing can be done is legitimately through the courts.
But the rest of the world isn’t catching on yet. We have unwed fathers constantly causing instability in a child’s life and married men who, years after the birth of “their” children, all of a sudden are bothered by the fact that their children have never resembled them in the slightest. Now that paternity testing is cheep and easy we have fathers swiping their child’s cheek and then going MIA a few weeks later never to be seen or heard from again, causing severe psychological and behavioral problems in the children they leave behind solely based on the realization that they share no genetic relationship. Most men generally turn a blind eye to these things until the relationship is falling apart then they all of a sudden they question their wife’s or partner’s fidelity. Some of these men petition to end their obligations for the child yet still want to have a relationship with the child. After many years they sit down to tell the children they have raised that they share no genetic relationship. Naturally this rips apart a child’s life, not to mention the emotional damage it actually does to many men. And worse, we have those today who were raised by two parents who can’t help but try to find their biological parents (in some cases this can be either the mother or father) when they are grown. Never once have I ever seen this end well. Generally they find their biological parents are either deceased or have no concern about their well being in the slightest. And, of course, many parents are more than happy to have a relationship with their biological child once the child is grown and someone else has done all the work of supporting and raising them. This problem is particularly critical with many unwed fathers, who enjoy the rights that once belonged solely to married fathers without any of the obligations to the mother and child that have always come with it. Someone else may have done all the work, yet society is determined to give them rights equal to the mother’s or the married father’s solely based upon their genetic contribution.
These issues are of critical concern to men’s groups who are obsessed with “paternity fraud” (statistically speaking, in the vast majority of cases it is the father who has lied about the child’s paternity, not the mother) and getting out of responsibility even for the children they have indeed fathered. Their proposals generally go along with harassing and violating every woman who gives birth by forcing her to test the child. This proposal, however, is not only a gross violation of human and personal rights and disrespectful to good women everywhere, but it is also impossible. In some cases there is a good reason why the mother will not identify the biological father and there are many men who choose to raise children as their own despite the genetic relationship. Of course, many unwed fathers purposely go MIA when they discover they have impregnated a woman in order to purposely evade and deny all responsibility. Since there is absolutely no biological need for a father at any time during the birth or nurturing of a child, fathers are not always readily identifiable and it would be absurd to go tracking down every Tom, Dick and Harry that the mother has ever known just to see if one of these men might be the donor.
What ultimately needs to happen is that we need to get back to basics. There are some things that are not meant to be and some things we are not meant to know or mess around with. Just the same as ultrasound technology that has been sent to developing countries and subsequently used to abort large amounts of female babies (causing more males to be born than females, to the ultimate detriment of society when those males grow up to be young men who will not be socialized into marriage due to the absence of available young women and who will thus turn to crime and the primal male instincts causing chaos in society), a more accurate understanding of genetics and the human genome system has ultimately caused a similar kind of chaos.
Plain and simple, paternity should only be acknowledged when the father is legally married to the mother. The system is broken and needs to be completely overhauled and redone. We need to go back to the standards that no unwed parent can petition the court for any kind of rights or support from the other parent and the welfare system needs to be completely redone (if not entirely eliminated). The only paternity testing that should be legally allowed is by a married father who has good reason to believe that his wife has been unfaithful and he wants to divorce because of her infidelity. Such a claim, however, should only be allowed within a strict time frame after the child is born. No woman should be allowed to be divorced while pregnant, but only after the child is born and both mother and child are safe and stable. If the husband is wrong, however, and the child is truly his (and there is no other evidence that she has been unfaithful, such as her running around and bring AIDS or Gonorrhea home to him) then it should be treated as slander and he should be forced to continue to provide for her and the child’s needs and all evidence of his denial of fatherhood forever buried for the sake of the child. If he is right, then he should be cut off from any responsibilities to support the mother or child and his paternal rights legally ended.
There are some things we are simply not meant to play around with. Attempting to define fatherhood based upon biology is causing chaos and upheaval in society similar to what divorce causes. As much as we may talk about “personal freedoms,” these types of “personal freedoms” infringe on the well-being and rights of others as well and the stability of society as a whole. More problems are also created when we hold an unwed father responsible for support as most unwed fathers will fight back in any way possible to get out of responsibility and most unwed fathers do not have a real investment in the outcome of the pregnancy (the most critical time in any person’s life that determines their health and well being for the rest of their lives) in the first place. The ones most hurt by this are mothers and their children.
I know men have suffered confusion and losses in the last 40 years right along with women. MRAs, however, are not working to make things better in society but instead make them worse and causing more enmity between the sexes than what there already is. You would be pleased to know I don’t think a man should have to support an illegitimate child nor do I think he should have rights to an illegitimate child. Many of you have certainly given me the thumbs up on that one, but I do not say this solely for your benefit and certainly not for your approval (I could care less about your approval or anyone’s for that matter).
Only a married father who is a provider for his family should be granted all the rights and responsibilities of fatherhood. Ultimately this is to the best interest of women and children and it keeps society and human relationships stable. Life is often terribly unfair and there’s nothing we can do about it. No matter a woman’s sexual history, her children remain her’s no matter what. She does not have to worry about that, but on the same token neither are men burdened with the physical consequences of sex. A woman is immediately responsible for her children despite the role the father does or doesn’t play in her or the child’s life. This is only a bad thing in societies that make it that way, however. As I’ve said before, I am in favor of the nuclear family and socializing men into their children’s lives through marriage but I am not against other family arrangements such as matrilineal clans if such a thing should become the best option sometime in the future. Determining fatherhood based upon biology, however, is a recipe for disaster. Supreme Court Justices Burger and Blackmun warned us forty years ago in a dissenting opinion that going by the “natural law” regarding fatherhood “…ascribes to that statutory system a presumption that is simply not there and embarks on a novel concept of the natural law for unwed fathers that could well have strange boundaries as yet undiscernible.”