Brickbat: Fathers' Rights


Artificial insemination
Markara77 /

The Arizona Court of Appeals voted 2-1 to allow a woman to use embryos fertilized by her ex-husband to become pregnant. The ex-husband objects to her plans. The two were dating in 2014 when the woman was diagnosed with cancer and told by her doctor she likely would not be able to bear children after chemotherapy. The man agreed to fertilize her eggs, and they signed a contract agreeing not to use the embryos without mutual consent. They later married and divorced. The man could become liable for child support if she has a child with the embryos.

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  1. Hey, it’s the women’s ‘right; to choose. You can’t expect her to pay for her choice too.

    1. That’s the part they forget. Every. Single. Time.

  2. Hopefully she gives birth to a healthy little breach of contract.

    1. Lawsuit. Here’s hoping he gets a settlement 10x child support.

    2. “Breach births” are actually a common problem, as I understand…

      The kid may possibly then grow up and warn others, “Now you’re messin’ with a son-of-a-breach”!!!!

  3. don’t do the crime, if you can’t…something, something, something

  4. So is this an example of the results of leaving the matriarchy unchallenged, or is it just a case of toxic femininity?

    1. Yes.

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  6. I’m waiting for some gold-digger to tag-team with some brilliant young freckle-faced biochem-geek in his garage. They snatch some dropped hairs (with skin cells attached), as wantonly dropped by Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, The Donald, name your fave rich dude…

    Then the biochem-geek clones the skin cells, reverts them to plenipotentiary stem cells, derives a few sperm cells, and impregnates gold-digger egg cells with them. Next thing you know, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, or The Donald are “on the hook”!!!!

    “It’s for the children”, you see!!!!

  7. “…and they signed a contract agreeing not to use the embryos without mutual consent.”

    So contracts aren’t valid in Arizona?

    1. The unwritten, undocumented co-contractors of ours include ANY branch of Government Almighty that might decide that they disagree with ANY of the terms of our contract… This also includes the nosey old shrew down the street, who wants to butt in, so long as she can get ANY branch of Government Almighty to agree with her!

  8. So in the case of a pregnancy not only without consent, but with documented, contractual non-consent, it is still fairness that the woman, and only the woman, makes the decisions.
    Good to know.
    I think I will make my millions by building monasteries; demand will soon spike.
    Note to husbands; in the case of divorce, get custody of any frozen DNA, regardless of the container thereof.

    1. It’s well understood legal principle: a person can’t legally enter into a binding contract with someone else if they have a complete lack of agency.

    2. The government is working to ban monasteries on Title IX grounds.

  9. I’m confused by how any judicial body could come to such a conclusion. What is the point of signing a contract if the body charged with enforcing contracts annuls the terms unilaterally in favor of one party?
    If usage of the fertilized embryos requires joint consent then his lack of consent should be either the end of the issue or they should enter new negotiations to allow for their release. Is she unable to have a child without these embryos? I sympathize if that’s the case. In that case is there some compromise where he agrees to let her use them on the condition that he has no legal connection or responsibility for the child?

  10. That’s definitely messed-the-fuck-up.

    On the good side, the dissenting justice was very Fuck That and insisted that disregarding the contract was wrong, but on the bad side this was seen by the other justices as a “right to procreate” rather than a contractual agreement, and they looked instead at the reasons behind the fertilization.

    The court acknowledged that the plaintiff might have to pay child support, but “that was the case before the separation, too”, essentially, so this was disregarded by the justices.

    Um, yeah, but he did this assuming he would have the ability to consent or put a stop to it BECAUSE THERE WAS A FUCKING CONTRACT*.

    *Or a not-fucking contract, considering this was in-vitro fertilization.

    1. Part of the problem is that the courts consider child support as owed to the child, not the mother. The state can get a child support order even though the mother does not want it. However, it is paid to the mother (often with about 10% taken out by the government agency), with no conditions on how she spends it.

      If they aren’t going to require whatever facility is holding those embryos to honor the contract, here is how to achieve equity in this case: the mother must pay for the breach of contract by reimbursing the father for all child support payments. Or give the child to the father and pay child support to him!

  11. I hope this case gets reversed and quick. The contract was for mutual consent and the guy refuses to agree.

    She will move to get the sperm quick too, so hopefully he has a good attorney to get an injunction.

  12. If she sues for child support, he can counter sue for breach of contract. She might end up paying him.

  13. Arizona Court of Appeals doesn’t follow basic contract law?

    1. it is more of a guideline, actually

      1. factor feelz into consideration now

  14. This is the trouble w marriage: family law. It’s a set of legal understandings that supersede contracts.

    1. It’s more specifically related to no-fault divorce. Once we decided that you don’t have to abide by the marriage contract it was inevitable to spread. It will continue to do so.

    2. You beat me to it. Yes, his fatal mistake was marrying her. That put their parental rights under Arizona marriage law. The previous contract became irrelevant.

  15. If I took a sample of your cells, ran your DNA, built your chromosomes, implanted those into in an egg cell to make a zygote, then I planted it in a surrogate mother who gave birth to the kid, would that be illegal?
    If that is legal, would you have to pay child support? It is an interesting question.
    This case is different, and not crazy, though I get the controversy in the comments. The judges are saying with the egg, which was fertilized with sperm, nothing complicated, that the mom could use those eggs. Those eggs are hers. I would argue there the Dad’s too, but even if they split the fertilized eggs, and she gets 1/2, that is still enough. She has a right to reproduce. As for child support, they just are saying TBD. If she has the kid, and she sues for child support, the courts will decide on that issue then, and if he is required to pay child support, she has to allow visits, etc… wacked I know, but that is a separate issue.
    Child support is a tricky issue.

    1. It doesn’t need to be that complicated. The woman could take a used condom out of the trash and apply the contents – and doesn’t even have to be the one having sex with the guy if she can get access otherwise. There was an episode of CSI about that once.

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