Michael Eriksson
A Swede in Germany
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Parental liability

A problem in the US is the principle of strict liability for what happens to a man’s sperm being put upon the man—including such idiocies that a 12 y.o. victim of statutory rape must pay child support for the resulting child, or that a woman who steals sperm from a condom can receive child support after impregnating herself with that sperm. (Cf. e.g. discussions on how a statutory rape leads to child supporte and on some injustices resulting from “sperm liability”e).

This is the worse, because there are no reasonably safe and fail-safe preventative methods for men (condoms can break; vasectomies are only an option for those who never want to father children), and because the decision of whether to abort is entirely in the hands of the mother.

The only reasonable way to handle this is to reverse the system by making a woman strictly liable for what goes into her vagina: If a man has not explicitly agreed to father a child, or agrees after the fact, then any resulting child should be exclusively the woman’s responsibility. This including that she has no right to demand any kind of child support from, or impose any other obligations onto, the man. As a special case, there may be situations where an agreement should be considered implied, e.g. within a marriage, unless explicitly declined.

Failing this, at an absolute minimum, the man must be given the right to demand an abortion, which a woman can only decline by simultaneously releasing the man from all obligations. In particular, if the child is born or carried beyond the medically safe limits for an abortion, before the man is informed and given the opportunity to make an informed decision, then the obligations are implicitly lifted.

To address similar problems, mandatory paternity (DNA) tests should be enforced whenever a man is implied as the father (be it by direct claim by the woman, or by an ostensibly exclusive relationship). Consider this story (with a happy ending) of a particularly perfidious woman getting pay-backe instead of child-pay—more often than not, unfortunately, she would have been successful.


But should not the well-being of the child be more important than the father’s wallet?

Probably; however, this argument is fundamentally flawed in that it assumes that the father is the only source of money:

Firstly, most women will be able to get along without the help of the father, if they are willing to make compromises with regard to their own life-style and comfort. If a woman forces fatherhood on an unwilling man, then she certainly has no moral right to have him support her ease of living—and support should be reserved to those cases where even tightening the belt two notches is not enough.

Secondly, why should the innocent father be forced to pay? Why not the government? This is one of the rare cases where governmental intervention with money truly makes sense, by protecting two innocent parties (the child and the father) from the actions of a third party (the woman). However, because child support is expensive and the government so much more powerful than the father, the easy way is chosen—rather than the just way.

If this is not enough, the option of a pregnancy insurance should be considered, were any woman has the ability to gain financial protection from an insurance company, provided that she can prove that sufficient preventative measures have been taken (e.g. through a hospital confirmation that she has had a IUDw or sub-dermal implantw installed).