A great example of why men need a birth control pill. An article in yesterday’s Toronto Star, Man must pay support though twins not his, is, in the words of one online commentator, proof that the pendulum, a metaphor I enjoy using, “has swung so far one way.” The family courts are horribly biased against fathers. Fathers are second parents when it comes to choosing custody solutions, but equal parents for the sake of their wallets. If you think the courts rule in the best interests of the child, consider the following excerpts from the article:

But after Anciolina asked for an increase in payments and a reduction in the time he spent with the children, Pasqualino demanded a DNA test.

Indeed, we’ll see how the courts side by default with mothers who want to keep every part of the father except his wallet as far away as possible. Best interest of the child?

When the results showed Pasqualino was not the father, he asked to be excused from paying child support and demanded he be reimbursed for tens of thousands of dollars that he had paid in the past.

This was not only ruled against, but Pasqualino is being forced to continue paying child support. How ironic that fathers can not get out of paying child support when the child is not theirs, while mothers in many jurisdictions in North America can fail to inform the father that he is a father, wait 18 years, then sue him for back custody payments. Fathers have no legal right to be with their children when they desperately want to even when the child is theirs if the mother claims it isn’t, while they can be forced to pay for a child that has been proven to not be theirs. Best interest of the child?

But according to van Rensburg [the judge], it should not be a question of whether he is the biological parent, but rather whether he was considered a parent by definition.

That’s one flexible definition! A mother can give a child away for adoption without informing the father and if he wants to claim the child he must not only show it is his biologically but that he had made every attempt to provide a physical home for the child (you can see how poorer fathers are unwanted). When a mother wishes to keep a child away from his biological father the courts create a stringent definition of “parent” that asks him to do everything up to building a house, but when a non-biological father wishes to be relieved of duty suddenly the definition required to keep him paying support is rather loose, after all for 4 years leading to the dispute the father in this article wasn’t even a joint parent, never mind in the same house. Is making it harder for a committed father to be a father while making it harder for an uninterested father to leave in the best interes of the child?

Because Anciolina can’t remember the affair, she claims she has no idea who the twins’ father is.

Precisely why we should – along with the other barrage of tests – conducted on newborn babies, also have a mandatory paternity test. If done at the time of birth, there is increased chance of identifying the actual father, rather then having a child pinned on the richest man the mother happened to have slept with around the right time period. The paternity test could be subsidized by the government using the money currently spent on genitally mutilating (or, if you’d prefer a euphemism, circumcising) half our baby boys. Then mothers would be required to inform the biological father within a certain legal time period. Fascist? Not anymore then a court forcing a father to change jobs to one that is more stressful and hence conducive to illness so that he can pay child support, then throwing him in jail if he defaults. Is a stressed out and sick father in the best interests of the child?

The judge concluded that the children should not suffer because of the parents’ wrongdoings.

It always comes down to the old “best interests of the child” protocol. At this point though, I must ask, what has any of this got to do with the best interests of the child? Whose interests would the courts be looking into if a father had been fraudulently tricking a woman into paying for a child for 16 years, potentially forcing her to switch to a more grueling job in the process, needlessly increasing the stress on her body. But then I suppose “my body, my choice” doesn’t quite count when we’re talking about a male body.