Republican lawmakers across the country want to use prenatal DNA testing to assign child support before a child is born. Introduced partly in response to the Democrat-backed Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act, which would give new moms and dads paid family leave, the Unborn Child Support Act, introduced by U.S. Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) would provide moms and babies with more money, but at what cost to men and their children?
‘Men Need to Take Care of Their Responsibilities,’ Say Senators
The bill was cosponsored by the following legislators:
Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)
Tom Cotton (R-AR)
Steve Daines (R-MT)
Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS)
Jim Inhofe (R-OK)
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The cosponsors released similar statements on the rights of the child and the mother, but focused solely on the responsibilities of the fathers involved:
“Fatherhood is an important responsibility,” said Senator Daines. “This bill supports new mothers and their unborn children throughout pregnancy by ensuring that expectant fathers take responsibility for the new life they helped create from the moment that life first begins.”
“Fathers have serious obligations to the mothers of their children that start well before birth,” said Senator Cotton. “Our bill will ensure men live up to their responsibilities as fathers by providing financial support to mothers throughout the course of pregnancy.”
Payments Retroactive Up To Point of Conception
In a major push toward recognizing the rights of the unborn while also stepping away from paid leave mandates that could hurt big business, the bill calls for courts to award child support to expectant mothers with the possibility of backdating payments up to the point of conception. Men could wind up thousands of dollars in arrears before they even know they’ve fathered a child!
Bill Would Allow Mothers to Control Fathers’ Involvement
The bill also allows a woman to control the extent to which fathers are involved in the lives of their children, which is then tied to the extent to which the men are responsible for providing assistance during the pregnancy. They would determine whether or not to test for DNA matching, whether child support payments should be retroactive and whether men should be informed of the baby at all.
But what will happen when expectant mothers apply for programs like food assistant, rental assistance, welfare or Medicaid? In nearly all states, mothers receiving state assistance are required to name a father so that the state can go after the named father for reimbursement. We can only assume the same will be true for assistance to expectant mothers.
What happens when fathers can’t pay? They get penalized by having their drivers or professional licenses suspended, and their tax returns intercepted. Or they end up overwhelmed, and just giving up and disappearing. Both situations interrupt their ability to support and see their children.
How Can You Fight the Unborn Child Support Act
Contact your state senators (from both parties) and let them know you oppose the Unborn Child Support Act and why. You don’t have to live in a state that is represented by one of the co-sponsors of the bill (because all senators will eventually have to weigh in on it), but if you are in one of the co-sponsors states, then be sure to get your thoughts to them sooner than later – if enough people in their states oppose it, it can die before it ever gets out.
Each state is represented by two U.S. Senators. Find yours here. Visit their websites and use the contact feature to reach out by phone, mail or email.
You can also write letters to the editor of your local paper and share articles like this one. Ask friends and family to tell legislators this is not the way to support the rights of the unborn child.
Instead of laws that circumvent a man’s involvement with his children, legislators should focus on programs that research has proven to be good investments for families and society, like improved training programs and paid leave.
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4 thoughts on “Dads Could Pay Support for Unborn Children Thanks to New Bill”
A little due process would go a long way
I am a father that is going through the hoops of court ordered support and forced submission to the state of my first born child. My experience is enormous, on-going for twenty one years without an end in sight of termination of court ordered support. I never intended to pay support past my child’s eighteenth birthday; however, I have been lied to by the lawyers I have hired to protect my rights, ignored by judges at the bench when I want something changed or terminated, and I have been legally defined as a non-custodial parent (minimizing my Rights to make decisions during my fatherhood). I do believe fathers should pay support for the child(ren) they helped bring into our World; I do not believe courts have any Constitutional authority to strip paying parents of their Rights to make decisions regarding their child(ren) in all of life’s decisions of challenges and Joys. Treating fathers that have been ordered to court because the other parent disagrees with the decision of the father, burdening him to appear against his consent (without having committed a crime by due process of the law) less then a father that is still married to his wife where they can argue and disagree without being obligated to go to court to have a judge and a biased legal team force by financial imprisonment and legal ramifications the opposing side’s way on the father/or paying parent. So my vote is against the government at any level to make decisions for any parent to pay support and financial obligation as the parent at any stage of the child’s life. It is a corrupt because judges at the benches are not held accountable for misbehaving and legislating; rather than, adjudicating law and stripping Rights away of law abiding Americans, lucrative business for lawyers and the courts themselves, deceptively named Family Law. There are tons more reasons that I against this corrupt system and it should be eliminated and not allowed to run rough-shod on the Rights’, Fundamental Liberties, and Equal Protection of the laws on Law abiding American citizens that chose to separate/divorce.
Well said I totally agree. The child support system is a scam.
A mother gets emotional due to fathers actions brings courts involved and can make a number up and the courts tag you for that amount. Secondly, CSS then adds interest on the amount in question. Interest!!! This is not a loan or a credit card. This is my child.
Thirdly, they say when your child turns 18 and graduates HS then support ends…LIE!!! I had to file a motion to end it but it was 6 months later I was “ Mr L did you file a motion, No, why the order says it ends. But they lie and I still had to pay retroactively for those months after he graduated and turned 18. So I had to pay over 3000 and interested was tacked on that total. Luckily I have a great family that helped me get out of arrears but this is rare.
Lastly, there is reform needed. suggestions, take jail time out of equation. (New Jim Crow) make time spent with kids a factor, kids don’t care about money they just want time. Also allow any child support expenditures to qualify as support ie haircuts, activities, clothes, food and school. Both parents should be responsible but to criminalize parenting is a travesty.
Talk about another form of spousal support we strive for equality yet there is no choice until birth. And putting unborn children at risk this is the worst idea yet. It’s like assigning custody before there is even a child. Let’s not give our rights away and our money it is a two way at and the child support system is the most outdated system in the country. Bearing in mind been very one sided since the deadbeat dad law. As we strive for equality let’s also make sure there is punishment for illegal actions and not double jeopardy. Men don’t pay pay fine don’t allow visitation well what’s a child’s life worth child support decides that so let’s decide what amount of fine and jail time should come with denying your natural parental rights. Before we try to go extending and adding to laws already out there let’s make sure the ones we have actually work. This is rediculous!!!!