Is Forced Fatherhood Fair?

6/13/2013

This weekend millions of Americans will happily celebrate the role that fathers play in their families. For some families, though — specifically those in which dad’s role was not freely assumed, but legally mandated — Father’s Day can be an emotionally complicated occasion. And that somewhat messy reality raises a question that is worth examining today as the very definition of parents and families continues to undergo legal and social transformation.

Women’s rights advocates have long struggled for motherhood to be a voluntary condition, and not one imposed by nature or culture. In places where women and girls have access to affordable and safe contraception and abortion services, and where there are programs to assist mothers in distress find foster or adoptive parents, voluntary motherhood is basically a reality. In many states, infant safe haven laws allow a birth mother to walk away from her newborn baby if she leaves it unharmed at a designated facility.

Read more: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/06/12/is-forced-fatherhood-fair/


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