Most of the time, when we write about father’s rights, the focus is on challenges fathers can face related to visitation or custody issues. Typically the goal in such cases is to either fight for greater parenting rights and foster a deeper parent-child relationship or to refute paternity claims altogether so as to avoid support obligations.
The issue of a father’s reproductive rights doesn’t often come up before the court, but it is one that could now be headed to the Ohio Supreme Court. At issue is a Lorain County judge’s order banning a man from having any more children until he begins paying some $100,000 in back child support that he owes for four children he already has. A state appeals court recently upheld the order.
Based on reports of the case it would seem that the courts and the appellant are approaching the issue from opposite perspectives. An attorney for the man says that the basis of the appeal is that the order violates his client’s rights by effectively forcing him to be celibate during a five-year term of probation. If he breaches the order, the man could go to prison for a year.
The appeals court decision lets the original order stand, but offers no opinion about whether the ban on more children is appropriate. What two of the three judges did say was that they really had no choice but to uphold the probate judge’s order because they didn’t have an official report about the appellant’s background.
The man’s attorney says such a report wasn’t needed because the issue is about his client’s rights, not his record. He says he plans to appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court.
Resolving disputes over rights and obligations in family law situations is not an easy process, as this case reflects. Navigating such choppy legal waters requires the hand of a skilled attorney.
Source: The Chronicle-Telegram, “Appeals court: Asim Taylor can’t have more children until he pays child support,” Brad Dicken, May 13, 2014