Skip to main content

Cross-posted at Fathered Five

On its face, it's a good idea: maintain a database of fathers so that estranged fathers can be consulted in case of adoption. It helps protect the rights of fathers, right? Mothers can't just give the child up for adoption without the father's agreement.

But the devil is in the details, and these details are straight from the hellish imagination of a damn strange devil. Meet him below the fold.

[A Virginia law asks] unmarried men to fill out forms notifying the state when they have sex — multiple forms if they have multiple sexual "events."

If they don't, they risk their rights to any child that might be born as a result. Hence the advice: Since men may not know whether a pregnancy resulted from an encounter, especially if it takes place outside a continuing relationship, they should register just in case.

Oh, this is rich. Can't you just see men all over the state rushing to their computers the morning after to Log in with Ye Olde Commonwealth to register a "sexual event?" I can see the glitches now. If it's a threesome, do I have to register twice? What if I used a condom—do I still have to register? If I'm cheating on my wife; does that count as "unmarried?"  (On the other hand, that issue shouldn't be a sticking point because cheating bastards are usually eager to build a thorough audit trail.) Not to mention spam! This law screams, "Point your funny contest here!" And the abuse! You know someone's going to Log in as George W. Bush and register an "event" with a bevy of hookers. [Maybe it was me, and maybe it wasn't. I'm just sayin'] Only in America the South Virginia our Brave New World.

Don't get me wrong—I'm all for monogamy and fidelity. I'm just against stupidity in government. And you guessed it, the GOP controls both houses in VA.

The dark side
Yuk-yuks aside, there is a more serious problem with this law. It purports to protect the rights of fathers by making it easier to find them in the case of accidental pregnancy so he can be notified and opt in to his child's life. A noble goal. But the practical result is otherwise:

Until this new law, before a child could be adopted, an effort had to be made to determine the identity and whereabouts of the father. In many cases, that process was not truly cumbersome; many men denied fatherhood or consented to adoption. But occasionally it turned up fathers who wanted to be responsible for their newly discovered children, to make homes for them or have them raised by family members.

With the new law, if no man preregisters as a possible father, no effort will be made to find or inform the father of a child being placed for adoption, unless his identity is "reasonably ascertainable."

Yes, the old requirement to look for and consult fathers could slow down adoptions. But it also protected men's rights to their children — and children's right to their fathers. Once parental ties are terminated, that's it. Irrevocable acts must be undertaken carefully when children and parents are involved.

Call up Daddy Virginia and tell him what you did last night, and with whom, or forever lose any claim on the potential child. Government doesn't get any worse than when it meddles in families, in my opinion (though it's admittedly sometimes necessary). This is the worst kind of meddling.

Originally posted to captainahab on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 09:24 AM PDT.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  God damn the commonwealth (5+ / 0-)

    Never again will I live there (in DC now).  Glad to here they're now fucking with the rights of straight people just as much as they usually do with those of gay people.  Ugh.

    •  Thats just stupid , It should be automated ! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MarketTrustee

      RFID for Enterprise Asset Management

      "RFID ready" simply means that these products are engineered to integrate seamlessly Integrated RD7950 UHF RFID Reader into RFID installations in any environment .

      RFID tags: Big Brother in small packages .

      l'essentiel est invisible

      by indycam on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 09:30:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  when they came for the gays,.. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sean Robertson, Hannibal, esquimaux

      (and you know how the rest of that piece from WW2 goes...)

      Right.

      OK folks, it's time to spam the system until it creaks and groans and gives up the digital ghost in a puff of silicon smoke.  

      And it's also time to roll out the lawsuits.  

      These people are f---ing crazy.  Just simply f---ing crazy.  

      Y'all in VA need to get in their faces bigtime, and get downright rude:  

      "So, I see you're supporting the Registered Sexual Events law.  Can you tell me, when was the last time you had a good roll in the hay, and came so hard your toes curled?  Was it with your wife or with your secretary, or was it your daughter?  Or was it with yourself, and in that case, did you hit the ceiling?  And were there stalagtites to prove it?  What did your wife say when she found the semen stains all over the bedspread?  Or did you just spill your seed upon the ground, and in that case, did anything grow?"  
      You get the idea, the more obnoxious the better, but ideally lots of G-rated language that refers to exquisite physical pleasures.  Think of your favorite erotic prose, clean up the language slightly, and go for it.  

      Or take the angle fo referring to moral turpidute of the sort these people all too often indulge in behind the scenes.  "So, your wife is young enough to be your daughter, huh.  Would you have gone for her when you were in your thirties and she was still a teenager?  Like maybe 16, or how'bout 14?"  

      What we really need is a Constitutional privacy amendment.  

      And we also need to rub the puritans' noses in unrestrained liberated sex and all other forms of bodily pleasure until their heads explode.  Two birds and one stone, heh.  

  •  You've got to be kidding! (11+ / 0-)

    [A Virginia law asks] unmarried men to fill out forms notifying the state when they have sex — multiple forms if they have multiple sexual "events."

    Only a legislator who's never gotten laid would propose this as a law.

    "Some men see things as they are and say 'Why?' I dream things that never were and say, 'I need to quit drinking!'" - Greasy Grant

    by Greasy Grant on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 09:17:57 AM PDT

  •  That is unbelievably creepy (7+ / 0-)

    I'll put on my tinfoil hat for a second and ponder a possible "unauthorized sexual events" law

  •  Your link (4+ / 0-)

    only goes to an editorial piece, not to the text of the bill itself.  Most putative father registsry laws try to strike a balance between protecting the parental right of the father who wishes a role in the life of his child and preserving the right of the biological mother to make an adoption plan when the father cannot be located or has acted in a manner which indicates no desire to care for his child.

    If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

    by marykk on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 09:19:29 AM PDT

    •  The slippery slope I would worry about... (8+ / 0-)

      would be the "next step" in this process.  Which would be a law that required women seeking an abortion to notify any father who had "registered" their sex act. In other words, to seek permission from the father before an abortion is performed.

      Does that not worry you? Seems like a pretty straight line to me.

      Seeking understanding.

      The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it -- GB Shaw

      by kmiddle on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 09:44:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You might take a look (5+ / 0-)

        at my comments below.  This has been fairly standard adoption practice for the last dozen or so years in many states.  They aren't requiring anyone to register sex acts.  The requirement is that a man who wishes to be notified of a petition to adopt his child, and who has not been married to the mother, co-habited with her for a specified period, held himself out as the baby's father, etc. etc. register if he wishes to insure his right to be made a party to a proceeding to adopt his child.  If he disappears into the ether, not having given a means to locate him, he may find the child adopted.  The link gives a very distorted picture of these statutes indeed.

        If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

        by marykk on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 09:48:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  OK. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          marykk

          The whole 'registration' process seems to me to be the first step along a much-darker path. But you are so much more on top of this than me (not snark), so if you're not concerned, then I guess I'll worry about something else.

          Thanks for the info.

          The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it -- GB Shaw

          by kmiddle on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 09:56:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not concerned (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            homogenius, el dorado gal, kmiddle

            this is nothing unusual, and has been going on for years.  It has nothing to do with abortion, or controlling who has sex with who.  Its purpose is to make it possible to legally free children for adoption in cases where the father can't be identified or located.  That's all.

            If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

            by marykk on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 09:58:44 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  I was thinking (0+ / 0-)

        the same thing...I think there've already been cases of men suing to prevent women from getting an abortion, even if it wasn't clear that they were the father...

        "If impeachment is off the table, so is democracy." -- teacherken

        by Cali Scribe on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 10:16:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Holy crap. (7+ / 0-)

    That's insane. So, a man is out of luck if he failed to register their "event" before a woman goes to put a child up for adoption?

    By the way, where can I find a registry of women and their related events in my area? Penthouse Forum?

  •  A lot of thses "fathers " (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek, Lashe, norahc

    (I put the word in quotes, because they're really just sperm donors) could care less about the kid. Most of them don't even know the mother's name.  How much of an effort does VA actually make to find out who the father is if the girl doesn't name him?

    This is just an excuse to find out who's having sex.  And it won't change a thing. I'd call it the "Knocked Up Law" myself, after the stupid movie.

    The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

    by irishwitch on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 09:20:48 AM PDT

    •  Read some of the references, then decide. (0+ / 0-)

      This appears to be a case of someone writing a snarky diary based on a bad source, in this case a slanted editorial.

      Read marykk's comments and references, then decide.

      "I have not dealt with adversity graciously."

      by homogenius on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 11:04:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wow! and I thought (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek, norahc

    the FISA amendment was bad.  

    My faith in the Constitution is whole, it is complete, it is total. Barbara Jordan 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 09:22:13 AM PDT

  •  I thought (4+ / 0-)

    gentlemen don't kiss and tell.

  •  If this is serious (7+ / 0-)

    then whoever proposed it is seriously weird.

    Sounds so 1984-ish - logging in every sexual event!  That image is just hilarious!!  What an industry it could spawn (no pun intended) ... what kind of sexual event recorders could you install in people's bedrooms to record such happenings.  Ah well - these events might occur in unauthorized places...gotta have recorders there too...

    This is just too bizarre for words.  Talk about a "nanny state"!

  •  hmmm.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    homogenius, MarketTrustee, norahc

    i googled Putative Father Registry

    and followed to this,  National Directory of Putative Father Registries...

    wow - i had no idea.  

  •  I'm tempted to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    norahc

    go register sexual events I haven't even considered yet!

  •  I've had sex in Virginia plenty of times. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lashe, norahc, Greasy Grant, lenzy1000

    North Carolina is just a state line away.  
    Do I have to register if I'm from another state, or is it just if I'm a citizen of VA?

    Just in case, I'm saying right here and right now, birth control was in play.

    ;-)

    "A Chicken-hawk in every pot." notHerbert Hoover -6.00, -6.21

    by funluvn1 on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 09:30:23 AM PDT

  •  VA for lovers? (4+ / 0-)

    Maybe not so much....

    The perfect plan, Is not the man Who tells you, You are wrong

    by dss on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 09:32:42 AM PDT

  •  I'm sure the lawmakers just want (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    norahc

    read the details of the encounters.

  •  Who is entitled to Notice of an Adoption? (4+ / 0-)

    C. Notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of this or any other law, and in addition to the notice requirements of any law pertaining to persons other than those specified in this subsection, the persons entitled to notice that a petition has been filed under Section 5 of this Act shall include:
           (a) any person adjudicated by a court in this State  
        to be the father of the child;

           (b) any person adjudicated by a court of another  
        state or territory of the United States to be the father of the child, when a certified copy of the court order has been filed with the Putative Father Registry under Section 12.1 of this Act;

           (c) any person who at the time of the filing of the  
        petition is registered in the Putative Father Registry under Section 12.1 of this Act as the putative father of the child;

           (d) any person who is recorded on the child's birth  
        certificate as the child's father;

           (e) any person who is openly living with the child  
        or the child's mother at the time the proceeding is initiated and who is holding himself out to be the child's father;

           (f) any person who has been identified as the  
        child's father by the mother in a written, sworn statement, including an Affidavit of Identification as specified under Section 11 of this Act;

           (g) any person who was married to the child's mother  
        on the date of the child's birth or within 300 days prior to the child's birth.

       The sole purpose of notice under this Section shall be to enable the person receiving notice to appear in the adoption proceedings to present evidence to the court relevant to whether the consent or surrender of the person to the adoption is required pursuant to Section 8 of this Act. If the court determines that the consent or surrender of the person is not required pursuant to Section 8, then the person shall not be entitled to participate in the proceedings or to any further notice of the proceedings.
    (Source: P.A. 94‑530, eff. 1‑1‑06.)  

    Illinois 750 ILCS 50/7

    Whose consent is required?

       (750 ILCS 50/8) (from Ch. 40, par. 1510)
       Sec. 8. Consents to adoption and surrenders for purposes of adoption.
       (a) Except as hereinafter provided in this Section consents or surrenders shall be required in all cases, unless the person whose consent or surrender would otherwise be required shall be found by the court:
           (1) to be an unfit person as defined in Section 1 of  
        this Act, by clear and convincing evidence; or

           (2) not to be the biological or adoptive father of  
        the child; or

           (3) to have waived his parental rights to the child  
        under Section 12a or 12.1 of this Act; or

           (4) to be the parent of an adult sought to be  
        adopted; or

           (5) to be the father of the child as a result of  
        criminal sexual abuse or assault as defined under Article 12 of the Criminal Code of 1961; or

           (6) to be the father of a child who:
               (i) is a family member of the mother of the  
            child, and the mother is under the age of 18 at the time of the child's conception; for purposes of this subsection, a "family member" is a parent, step‑parent, grandparent, step‑grandparent, sibling, or cousin of the first degree, whether by whole blood, half‑blood, or adoption, as well as a person age 18 or over at the time of the child's conception who has resided in the household with the mother continuously for at least one year; or

               (ii) is at least 5 years older than the child's  
            mother, and the mother was under the age of 17 at the time of the child's conception, unless the mother and father voluntarily acknowledge the father's paternity of the child by marrying or by establishing the father's paternity by consent of the parties pursuant to the Illinois Parentage Act of 1984 or pursuant to a substantially similar statute in another state.

           A criminal conviction of any offense pursuant to  
        Article 12 of the Criminal Code of 1961 is not required.

       (b) Where consents are required in the case of an adoption of a minor child, the consents of the following persons shall be sufficient:
           (1) (A) The mother of the minor child; and
               (B) The father of the minor child, if the father:
                   (i) was married to the mother on the date of  
                birth of the child or within 300 days before the birth of the child, except for a husband or former husband who has been found by a court of competent jurisdiction not to be the biological father of the child; or

                   (ii) is the father of the child under a  
                judgment for adoption, an order of parentage, or an acknowledgment of parentage or paternity pursuant to subsection (a) of Section 5 of the Illinois Parentage Act of 1984; or

                   (iii) in the case of a child placed with the  
                adopting parents less than 6 months after birth, openly lived with the child, the child's biological mother, or both, and held himself out to be the child's biological father during the first 30 days following the birth of the child; or

                   (iv) in the case of a child placed with the  
                adopting parents less than 6 months after birth, made a good faith effort to pay a reasonable amount of the expenses related to the birth of the child and to provide a reasonable amount for the financial support of the child before the expiration of 30 days following the birth of the child, provided that the court may consider in its determination all relevant circumstances, including the financial condition of both biological parents; or

                   (v) in the case of a child placed with the  
                adopting parents more than 6 months after birth, has maintained substantial and continuous or repeated contact with the child as manifested by: (I) the payment by the father toward the support of the child of a fair and reasonable sum, according to the father's means, and either (II) the father's visiting the child at least monthly when physically and financially able to do so and not prevented from doing so by the person or authorized agency having lawful custody of the child, or (III) the father's regular communication with the child or with the person or agency having the care or custody of the child, when physically and financially unable to visit the child or prevented from doing so by the person or authorized agency having lawful custody of the child. The subjective intent of the father, whether expressed or otherwise unsupported by evidence of acts specified in this sub‑paragraph as manifesting such intent, shall not preclude a determination that the father failed to maintain substantial and continuous or repeated contact with the child; or

                   (vi) in the case of a child placed with the  
                adopting parents more than six months after birth, openly lived with the child for a period of six months within the one year period immediately preceding the placement of the child for adoption and openly held himself out to be the father of the child; or

                   (vii) has timely registered with Putative  
                Father Registry, as provided in Section 12.1 of this Act, and prior to the expiration of 30 days from the date of such registration, commenced legal proceedings to establish paternity under the Illinois Parentage Act of 1984 or under the law of the jurisdiction of the child's birth; or

           (2) The legal guardian of the person of the child,  
        if there is no surviving parent; or

           (3) An agency, if the child has been surrendered for  
        adoption to such agency; or

           (4) Any person or agency having legal custody of a  
        child by court order if the parental rights of the parents have been judicially terminated, and the court having jurisdiction of the guardianship of the child has authorized the consent to the adoption; or

           (5) The execution and verification of the petition  
        by any petitioner who is also a parent of the child sought to be adopted shall be sufficient evidence of such parent's consent to the adoption.

       (c) Where surrenders to an agency are required in the case of a placement for adoption of a minor child by an agency, the surrenders of the following persons shall be sufficient:
           (1) (A) The mother of the minor child; and
               (B) The father of the minor child, if the father:
                   (i) was married to the mother on the date of  
                birth of the child or within 300 days before the birth of the child, except for a husband or former husband who has been found by a court of competent jurisdiction not to be the biological father of the child; or

                   (ii) is the father of the child under a  
                judgment for adoption, an order of parentage, or an acknowledgment of parentage or paternity pursuant to subsection (a) of Section 5 of the Illinois Parentage Act of 1984; or

                   (iii) in the case of a child placed with the  
                adopting parents less than 6 months after birth, openly lived with the child, the child's biological mother, or both, and held himself out to be the child's biological father during the first 30 days following the birth of a child; or

                   (iv) in the case of a child placed with the  
                adopting parents less than 6 months after birth, made a good faith effort to pay a reasonable amount of the expenses related to the birth of the child and to provide a reasonable amount for the financial support of the child before the expiration of 30 days following the birth of the child, provided that the court may consider in its determination all relevant circumstances, including the financial condition of both biological parents; or

                   (v) in the case of a child placed with the  
                adopting parents more than six months after birth, has maintained substantial and continuous or repeated contact with the child as manifested by: (I) the payment by the father toward the support of the child of a fair and reasonable sum, according to the father's means, and either (II) the father's visiting the child at least monthly when physically and financially able to do so and not prevented from doing so by the person or authorized agency having lawful custody of the child or (III) the father's regular communication with the child or with the person or agency having the care or custody of the child, when physically and financially unable to visit the child or prevented from doing so by the person or authorized agency having lawful custody of the child. The subjective intent of the father, whether expressed or otherwise, unsupported by evidence of acts specified in this sub‑paragraph as manifesting such intent, shall not preclude a determination that the father failed to maintain substantial and continuous or repeated contact with the child; or

                   (vi) in the case of a child placed with the  
                adopting parents more than six months after birth, openly lived with the child for a period of six months within the one year period immediately preceding the placement of the child for adoption and openly held himself out to be the father of the child; or

                   (vii) has timely registered with the  
                Putative Father Registry, as provided in Section 12.1 of this Act, and prior to the expiration of 30 days from the date of such registration, commenced legal proceedings to establish paternity under the Illinois Parentage Act of 1984, or under the law of the jurisdiction of the child's birth.

       (d) In making a determination under subparagraphs (b)(1) and (c)(1), no showing shall be required of diligent efforts by a person or agency to encourage the father to perform the acts specified therein.
       (e) In the case of the adoption of an adult, only the consent of such adult shall be required.
    (Source: P.A. 93‑510, eff. 1‑1‑04; 94‑530, eff. 1‑1‑06.)

    If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

    by marykk on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 09:33:19 AM PDT

  •  What about gay sex? (0+ / 0-)

    Do I have to register every time I have sex with by boyfriend in Virginia?

    It's so CONFUSING!

    I can understand the reasoning behind it, but with DNA paternity testing it's pretty unnecessary.

    So many impeachable offenses, so little time... -6.0 -5.33

    by Cali Techie on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 09:42:39 AM PDT

    •  DNA testing (3+ / 0-)

      only works if you can find someone to test.  The problem here is women hoping to place their children for adoption, but unable to find the guy to get his consent.  It also includes the guy who won't consent but has no desire to care for the child, but wishes to punish the woman by withholding his consent to adoption.  

      If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

      by marykk on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 09:44:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  True (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Hannibal, MadMs, Greasy Grant

        But, registering would be claiming responsibility for the child so I can see where it could be useful, however without some form of validation like DNA registration, it could be used the other way around. What's to keep a woman from inputting every time she has sex with her boyfriend, or using the system to claim some other man is responsible for her children? It appears it can cut both ways, so it's still a stupid law.

        So many impeachable offenses, so little time... -6.0 -5.33

        by Cali Techie on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 09:57:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Women (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          homogenius

          cannot file a PFR.

          If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

          by marykk on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 10:00:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Women cannot (0+ / 0-)

            But they can impersonate other people. I don't know about the law, but I don't imagine it requires someone to do it in person.

            So many impeachable offenses, so little time... -6.0 -5.33

            by Cali Techie on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 10:23:35 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  odd isn't it? (0+ / 0-)

              and I don't see why a woman shouldn't be able to file, esp. in view of all the deadbeats. In other words, one wants it on record that someone else is irresponsible or committed a crime (incest/rape), and abortion/birth control wasn't an option.

              "I don't think the heavy stuff is coming down yet"

              by MadMs on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 10:28:57 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The point I'm getting at (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                MadMs

                Is without some form of positive ID that the system can be gamed by either side. I don't think it's going to be particularly effective. Men are not going to line up to register every sexual activity.

                I don't think it's going to work. Sure it may help a few women who want to give up their children for adoption do it a bit easier but it could also be gamed to rope men into paying child support on a children that aren't theirs, or to deny the legitimate father rights to his child by more or less naming another man as the father. It could also be used by men to keep their ex-girlfriends from giving up a child for adoption even though it's not their child.

                At the end of the day it's political feel-good theater that does nothing to help anyone and could cause more problems than it solves.

                So many impeachable offenses, so little time... -6.0 -5.33

                by Cali Techie on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 11:11:39 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  couldn't agree more n/t (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Cali Techie

                  "I don't think the heavy stuff is coming down yet"

                  by MadMs on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 11:21:00 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  I respectfully disagree (0+ / 0-)

                  this is a system which has worked very well in several states for several years.  If he's not the father, and shows up to contest the adoption, he can be DNA tested.  The possibility of another man being wrongly identified is why PFR searches are not limited to search by name.  There's a whole protocol intended to avoid fraud.

                  If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

                  by marykk on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 11:29:48 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Okay (0+ / 0-)

                    Admittedly I'm not an expert on this issue since I've never had heterosexual sex so I'm not really involved nor will it ever affect me unless I try to adopt a child (pretty unlikely at this stage).

                    That being said stuff like this scares me because it's another government information gathering scheme. Whenever data is collected there is always the temptation to misuse it. I can see it being used  to track abortions, the number of partners any given person has, etc. In that way it's a pretty dangerous law.

                    It also seems purely voluntary, so only men who would be responsible parents would register and would be the least likely to have to use it since they probably will marry their girlfriends or maintain some type of family relationship anyway.

                    I can certainly empathize with women who wish to give up their children for adoption but can't because the father is being a jerk, but I think there are better ways of addressing this, for instance laws can be written requiring in order for any parent to maintain parental rights, that parent must be actively involved in supporting their offspring and working to maintain a relationship, even if that is being thwarted by the other parent. If EITHER parent does not rise to that standard then their parental rights are diminished or nullified. I think there are precedents already in this area.

                    It's just another do-nothing feel-good attempt to slap an easy answer on a complex issue.

                    So many impeachable offenses, so little time... -6.0 -5.33

                    by Cali Techie on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 01:19:27 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  If you review the statutes (0+ / 0-)

                      in their entirety, they do provide that a father who is involved in supporting his offspring is protected.  This is the last-ditch, fail-safe way to make sure of a few things:

                      1.  That birthmother has not named some other guy and gotten a decree while a known father wishes to preserve his rights; and
                      1.  That the kid doesn't become a football in a protracted tug of war; and
                      1.  That a father who has done absolutely nothing vis-a-vis the kid cannot thwart the adoption plan just for spite.

                      It's worked pretty well for a long time in a number of states.  

                      If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

                      by marykk on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 01:28:23 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Which states? (0+ / 0-)

                        I still think there are better ways than nookie registries to help out with this problem.

                        So many impeachable offenses, so little time... -6.0 -5.33

                        by Cali Techie on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 01:32:33 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  They are not (0+ / 0-)

                          nookie registries.  Reframe and perhaps you'll have a different view.  (Think of yourself, for example, as a prospective adoptive parent, with an interest in certainty and finality)  These are child welfare laws, dealing with the question of who has the right to be notified of an adoption petition, and who has the right to object to one.  The legal issue is "standing."  

                          States which currently have registries, include, off the top of my head, Illinois, Indiana, Tennessee, New York, Massachussetts, North Carolina and a number of others.  This is nothing to get exorcised about.

                          If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

                          by marykk on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 01:37:05 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

              •  She can't file (0+ / 0-)

                because the purpose of the PFR is to preserve the father's rights.  The mother is generally known, after all, and she must consent to the adoption, unless she is found to be an unfit parent.  In most of these statutes, however, another part is a requirement that she file an affidavit either identifying the putative father or stating why she cannot or will not (which is usually in the case of abuse)

                If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

                by marykk on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 11:31:34 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'm talking about assuming a man's identity (0+ / 0-)

                  She can't file as herself, no. However without ID safeguards, what's to keep her from signing up as HIM?

                  So many impeachable offenses, so little time... -6.0 -5.33

                  by Cali Techie on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 01:34:23 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Notary (0+ / 0-)

                    If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

                    by marykk on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 01:43:24 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  PS (0+ / 0-)

                    What benefit to her?  It doesn't get her child support, all it does is get him the right to be heard in the adoptino proceeding.  

                    If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

                    by marykk on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 01:44:21 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  It requires a notary? (0+ / 0-)

                      Okay.. so that helps.

                      Benefit to her, she can use it in court to demand child support. She can use it to keep the real bio father from being able to see his own children.

                      Women are every bit as capable of being evil as men are.

                      I still think it's a bad law due to the information gathering because it will be used for unintended purposes.

                      So many impeachable offenses, so little time... -6.0 -5.33

                      by Cali Techie on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 03:36:41 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  If he registers (0+ / 0-)

                        what's the problem with her using it to seek child support?

                        But as I noted, there are limits on who can obtain copies, and under what circumstances.

                        If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

                        by marykk on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 03:37:56 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Noting wrong with using it to seek child support (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          marykk

                          You said it wasn't going to be used for that. It's an incentive for irresponsible men not to use it. What happens if a man has sex with his girlfriend and goes through the trouble of filling out the form then two days later another man has sex with her, does not "register" but she gets pregnant by man #2. Does it make man #1 legally responsible for the child? No, but I can see where it would lead to a lot of confusion only a DNA test could solve.

                          Again, dangerous information gathering by the government and the rules for how that data can be used can and probably will change. I doubt all but the most responsible of men who don't trust their girlfriends will refrain from participating.

                          So many impeachable offenses, so little time... -6.0 -5.33

                          by Cali Techie on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 05:40:30 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I have never known (0+ / 0-)

                            a case in which someone registered without knowing whether there was a pregnancy or birth.  It's possible, I suppose, but highly unlikely.  That was one of the ways in which the linked article "spun" the facts.

                            If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

                            by marykk on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 05:44:45 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

  •  Is it possible that men (6+ / 0-)

    could also stop an abortion if registered under one of these putative laws? If so, would they then be obligated to pay child support?

    I must admit that the premise for men to register when they had sex is damn f@#$% funny, and creepy at the same time. I'm still ROTFLMAO. Yeah, I see lines of men waiting to fill out the forms. UH-huh.

    I can actually think of 1 person in my life who would've seriously filed.

    "I don't think the heavy stuff is coming down yet"

    by MadMs on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 09:53:31 AM PDT

  •  It reminds me of Elaine Boozler's joke (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marykk, Greasy Grant

    Elaine Boozler:
    "I don't have any children... at least... <wink> ... none that I know about!"

    Bush will be impeached.

    by jgkojak on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 10:06:11 AM PDT

  •  Another disturbing law (0+ / 0-)

    When my son was born, I was asked to fill out a form for his birth certificate.  Information requested included the number of miscarriages and elective abortions.

    None of their damn business.

    How did I live without him?

    by Pumpkinlove on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 10:15:44 AM PDT

  •  So what's wrong with the traditional method? (0+ / 0-)

    That being the bathroom stall door.

  •  I nailed Paris Hilton (0+ / 0-)

    Don't believe me? Just check the database. It's registered! That's hot!

    45% of Americans for impeachment of George Bush, 54% for Dick Cheney. ARG Poll

    by dconrad on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 10:52:02 AM PDT

    •  Except that you can't check it (0+ / 0-)

      unless there's a pregnancy and a planned adoption.  The day Paris announces she's placing her child for adoption, and someone files a petition to adopt that child, the file can be checked for purposes of notifying the court, who will keep the registration  record in a sealed file.  Sorry.  You'll need Paris's publicist to issue a statement.

      If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

      by marykk on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 12:33:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Putative Father Laws (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marykk

    While it may appear at first blush that this law is the result of the neocon eggheads in the Virginia Legislative, "Putative Father Registry" laws have actually been around for decades and have been passed in many states by legislatures of all political persuasions.   It was initially  developed  as an attempt to bring closure for birth mothers desiring a stable placement for a child she couldn't raise (as well as closure for the adoptive parents) who do not want an alleged fathers coming out of the bushes years after an adoption back in the days when paternity disputes were "he said, she said" proceedings.  I think the thinking when the laws were developed was that if a man gave two hoots about a woman's life and well being, he would be around enough to know if she had gotten pregnant following an "encounter" and could run to the courthouse to report the "encounter" if he sensed she wasn't going to let the baby into his life or if she wanted to place the child for adoption.  Logic was that if he didn't stick around long enough to know an encounter resulted in the conception of a child, then the birth mother should be allowed to decide by herself what would be in the best interest of the child (e.g. an adoptive placement) without interference from the guy who hit the road after a one night stand.   I agree that this is an infringement on the rights of birth fathers and these laws need to be taken in historical perspective, as they were developed before the age of accurate DNA testing which can conclusively establish the paternity of a child, and were an attempt to protect the birth mother's wishes to place a child for adoption against false claims of paternity.  (not that this ever happened a lot).   The states that have given the matter serious thought in recent years since the advent of reliable DNA testing have gone to a system requiring that the birth mother name the birth father or possible birth fathers before placing a child for adoption, which isn't always possible if the name or the person's whereabouts aren't known, but these laws are a heck of a lot more logical than the putative father registries.  
    So don't blame Virginia....some well meaning person probably got this statue out of a uniform laws book somewhere....These laws were well meaning when developed but probably are not as needed or relevant thanks to modern science.

    •  Good analysis, Connie (0+ / 0-)

      but I respectfully disagree that it's an infringement on fathers' rights.  It's not just protecting birth mother against false claims of paternity, it protects birth father against not being notified, and most of all protects the child from becoming a football.  

      The most recent enactments of these statutes date back to 1994, right after the "Baby Jessica" case involving the Michigan couple who adopted the little girl from Iowa whose mother had named another man on the consent, and the "Baby Richard" case in Illinois.  These statutes work fairly well, actually, and still address a problem that exists. As I noted above, you can't DNA test a guy you can't find.

      If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

      by marykk on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 03:36:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Use These Putative Father Laws at your own Peril (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marykk

    I think I should add that although these laws are intended to take away rights from the guys who walk away after a one night stand who don't even know they've created a child, in my opinion any adoption attorney who advises a birth mother or adoptive parents that they can consider themselves totally protected against claims by unknown birth fathers by these laws is committing malpractice.   During the decades since the advent of DNA testing, these "thwarted fathers" have challenged these laws right and left, and since adoption laws are governed by state law, whether a particular Supreme Court in any particular state will uphold these laws is anyone's guess.  Lots of states have upheld these laws, but that can change at any time depending upon political winds and the composition of a state's Supreme Court.  I would never advise anyone to place a child for adoption or to adopt a child unless the birth father had been conclusively identified and had signed off on the dotted line.  Otherwise, someone may show up years later causing pain to everyone and disruption to the child.  Telling the father isn't just the right thing to do, it's legally the safest thing to do.

    •  The US Supremes (0+ / 0-)

      upheld a PFR in New York many years before most of these were promulgated.  In the states that follow the Illinois template, the PFR check must be presented to the court before a judgment is entered.  The birthmother must provide an affidavit either identifying the father or explaining her failure to do so.  The unlocatable father must be notified via publication is personal service cannot be had.  So if a petition is properly filed, and everyone who is entitled to notice under the statute is notified, the judgment should be good against all comers.  I wouldn't advise a family to walk away from a good situation because the father is unknown, but I would advise them to make sure their agency, if any, and their attorney crossed the "t"s and dotted the "i"s.

      If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

      by marykk on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 04:44:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Found the case (0+ / 0-)

      If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

      by marykk on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 04:46:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site