Baby-Making Banned by Court Order?

Part of being a parent is being a responsible adult.  Part of being an adult is being able to make one’s own decisions.  Of course, part of being an adult is also determined by age.  Still, even taking all of this into account, I was surprised to come across an article that forbade further baby-making for a defendant.

The man in question came into court for failure to pay child support and jumping bail.  He was sentenced to probation.  Probation isn’t unusual, of course, but part of the terms of his probation are: he’s not allowed to have any further children until he proves that he can actually support them.

Wow.

Okay, on one hand, this makes perfect sense to me.  The guy has nine children by six women, and he’s not doing his part to support them.  At all.  Yes, the child support may be astronomical, but he managed to have children with six different women.  Great, the guy sees more tail than a public toilet seat.  That’s fine.  (Nevermind the morality aspect or the concern about diseases….  If he’s gotten six different women pregnant, something isn’t working.  How many women have there been that he didn’t get pregnant?)  But if you can’t afford to feed ‘em, you can’t afford to breed ‘em.

Considering he’s $90,000 in arrears on his child support, he certainly can’t afford to provide for them.

But then again, there’s also that concern about a slippery slope effect.  This guy has been banned from baby-making for three years unless he suddenly gets his act together and provides for the nine he’s already got.  Another judge barred a man from sexual intercourse for the period of his probation due to his dozen children with eleven women.  A woman was barred from having further children for the period of her probation due to failure to protect her daughter from abuse.

While I can definitely agree that the woman should absolutely not do any further baby-making, that’s still concerning to me.  I may have a very low opinion of her parenting skills, but I don’t know that I have the right to say “no more babies for you.”  I don’t know that I feel comfortable with judges making that decision, either, as I worry about these precedents setting a slippery slope.

The inability to support ban has me worrying about moving into “no babies while on welfare, even if birth control fails.”  This has me wondering about the potential for eugenics or even some sort of social Darwinism.  I’m just not entirely comfortable with any government agency restricting one’s reproductive rights.  I worry about where it may lead.

What do you think?

About Suzi

Suzi is an American ex-pat living in British Columbia. She's a cloth diaper addict, wife, mom of three, and President of the Prince George chapter of Cloth for a Cause.

Comments

  1. I think that if someone is on welfare, they shouldn’t be trying to have more children. And if they do, they shouldn’t get more money for each additional child. It encourages them to have more babies. It drives me nuts when people tell me they are trying for another baby when they can’t take care of the ones they have.

    • While I understand that “accidents happen” and some feel that a baby is a blessing no matter what, I agree that I have a hard time with the concept of deliberately trying to have a baby when one is in a… shall way say “precarious” financial position. But I also have a hard time with the idea of not increasing the aid. It’s not the other children’s fault, nor is it the baby’s fault, that the parents had another child while receiving assistance. It seems like there’s so many things to look at in this equation, and that’s where the hard part comes into play.

  2. Wow! My concern is how are they going to police that ban? And if he does procreate again, what will be the repercussions?

    • I’m guessing it would require him showing up on a birth certificate? I’m not sure how they’d police it. But if he does, then he’d be in violation of probation, and usually the penalty for probation violations is jail.

  3. How do you ban something like that? I guess it will just be self-applied discipline, with the threat of violating probation?

    I think it is a slippery slope… glad I’m not the one making the decision.

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