"Pay up or zip up:" Deadbeat dad told to avoid having more kids

From the Washington Post (You may have to register to read it): In Ohio, Supreme Court Considers Right to Procreate, Man Behind on Child Support Got Orders Not to Beget

Dumbass guy (with a really bad mullet fathers) 7 kids and can’t pay child support, and judge tells him to “take ‘reasonable efforts’ not to get anyone pregnant for five years – or go to jail.” WAY TO GO JUDGE! I really hope this is upheld by the court.

So it’s OK to legally enforce a means test on the right to have children? Because after all the handwaving is over that’s essentially what we’re talking about here.

How far down this slippery slope do you want to go?

All the way? I’m all for what the judge is doing.

I seem to remember a Pit thread about this a year or so ago. Alas, I’m too lazy to go look for it.

I think this is a great idea. The last thing we need is a guy like this fathering more children. Besides, it’s not like the judge forbid him from getting laid. He just has to take “reasonable precaution”.

I’d like to see this passed on a more widespread basis in cases of extremely deadbeat dads.

It’s hardly fair to call a man who wants to pay but is unable “deadbeat”. The mothers sound pretty deadbeat though. One should think they would have gotten a clue by child three or four that they wouldn’t get much financial help from him. Does the conviction also prohibit the deadbeat moms from squeezing out any more deadbeat children?

All in all it’s pretty sick the way the article flippantly use the word criminal about a man who’s only sin seem to be having kids. By all accounts he seem a likely fellow who probably love his children and would like to take care them financially too if he could. How could any judge sentence him to pay more in child support that he could possible earn in the first place. That seems to be the only criminal thing happening here.

This isn’t about a means test, it’s about the fact this guy is violating the law, he is not paying his child support, and each additional child he fathers will be another child for which he is not paying child support. This is a condition of his probation, which he wouldn’t be on if he didn’t violate the law in the first place. I say the judge went easy on him; he could have been sent to jail, and that certainly would have stopped him from fathering any more children.

As the article said:

This is a condition of his probation. Probation often prevents you from doing things you might normally do, such as leaving your house, associating with known criminals, etc. Also, you lose your right to vote if you are a felon. So how is this case different?

And, astro, please tell me, why on Earth do people reproduce if they don’t have the means to care for their offspring? Why, for god’s sake, why?!?!? Now, perhaps this should be a crime.

I think you should have to take some type of test before you can become a parent. Give them a written exam or something.


“A man should not take on what he cannot afford.” — Dr. Sandy Faille, Sarah’s Gold

Yes definitely! Because it’s always a good idea to outlaw things we don’t understand!

Are you serious?

Whenever I read stories about these super-deadbeats I can’t help but wonder what the fuck these women were thinking. I mean, here’s a guy with four, five, or six kids with as many different woman and you’re going to choose to breed with him? And then go running after him with your hand out expecting even a shred of personal responsiblity in the form of CS payments? Are they insane?

If these women want to have his kid, whatever–as long as they’re willing and able to care for them on their own. Because expecting that a man like this is going to suddenly reverse his ways and provide adequately for your child because its somehow special–that strikes me as just as irresponsible as fathering children you can’t support. Child support laws are a good thing, they’re necessary. But when you’re armed with the preemptive knowledge that a man is a bad father, and a bad provider, I think you’re a fool to depend on him. All the child support laws in the world aren’t going to feed your children when daddy’s gone missing.

They had an article about a couple ordered to not reproduce in today’s NY Times (link below, free reg req)

Her last 3 babies tested positive for cocaine. The article does not hint the father is also an addict, he may just be irreponsible.

(one day someone is liable to have an unofficial Doper reg for those unwilling to register themselves, but the Times isn’t a big spammer…)


Can you really be sent to jail in America for failing to pay a child support which realistically is quite beyond your means? This really sound so fucked up that I can hardly believe it!

For Mises sake Libertarian! You sound about as libertarian as Brezhnev. And couldn’t you have found a more cheesy cite to come up with? BTW. there are more ways than financial to take care of children. And I sure most have glossed over the part of the article where it mentioned the children were starving…

Mises would hold that a man ponder the consequences of his praxes. The fact that his children are starving is a consequence of his ethical crime. And cheesy cite? I’m sorry that you don’t like my short stories.

You just barely beat me to it, lurkernomore! I just saw that NYT article:

Awesome decision, Judge O’Connor!!

It’s all about common sense.

Would he now. Would he also have thought it was the states responsibility to determine and control what is proper and approved childrearing? Or instate laws limiting human rights to reproduce based on arbitrary financial competences? Somehow I doubt it. And you will of couse notice that the children were in fact not starving. Ethical Crime! Jesus! It sound like something straight out of 1984. You have lost your roots

Apparently your common sense is of a somewhat totalitarian strain. Since you think it right that you smoother everybody else with it. But as they say, nothing in this world as uncommon as common sense.

Yes, he would.

He did in fact think that the state should enforce an economic context of noncoercion. What could possibly be more coercive than abandonment and neglect of defenseless children?

I took your word for it: “And I sure most have glossed over the part of the article where it mentioned the children were starving…”. I won’t make that mistake again.

Apparently, you do not know what my roots are.

I hope you’re joking because such a idea, while I agree with it in theory, would most likely prove to be totally unworkable IRL. There’s just too many competing concepts on child rearing for there to be any right answers .
As for the OP, it seems to me that he was given a choice; agree with the judge’s orders and walk out of the courtroom or refuse them and serve the time he was supposed to. My main problem is the “reasonable means” phrasing, simply because of the vagueness of it. If he uses a condom and it breaks, was that a reasonable attempt? If he only has sex with with women unable to have children and one lies to him, was that reasonable means?

Peace - DESK

So, help me out here. The Supremes recently ruled that what goes on in a bedroom between two people is none of the state’s damn business(Lawrence v Texas). So now we’re saying it is fine for the state to order people to use birth control?

That’s a fine idea. How bout we add those kinds of restrictions to all kinds of things that really should only be undertaken by responsible adults. A written exam before going into the voting booth should go over well.

Here’s how it breaks down according to my understanding of constitutional law(a layman, but more educated on the issue than most). The process is “consenting adults in bedroom” -> “pregnancy” -> “birth”.

Substantitive Due Process protects what goes on in the bedroom from everything but a compelling state interest. Lawrence v Texas

It is a matter of personal choice as to weather a pregnancy will be carried to term or not. Roe v Wade

Once a baby is born it has all the rights and entitlements of any other citizen of the United States and is eligible for welfare or other assistance programs. The mother/caregiver is able to collect these on behalf of the helpless new citizen. If the parent’s can’t provide, then society accepts this cost. This is the status quo as enacted by dozens, perhaps hundreds, of legislative acts based on the will of the people. These acts created food stamps, low-cost housing, medicaid, etc.

Now you want to argue that higher costs of entitlement programs creates a “compelling state interest” and justifies the state intervening in what happens in a bedroom between two consenting adults then you’ve got a seriously uphill battle. I personally wish anyone who wants to fight this battle the absolute worst of luck. The last thing I want is more government intervention in my bedroom. Bastards legislating the number of dildos people can own have gone more than far enough already in my not-so-humble opinion.


Yes Lord, byter started this humorous thread awhile back when the story first broke.