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(New York Times)   Man loses right to procreate.   ( divider line
    More: Weird  
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2828 clicks; posted to Main » on 12 Jul 2001 at 9:05 AM (16 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2001-07-12 08:51:24 AM  
Can someone who can access the site cut and paste it to this thread, so that everyone might partake of what sounds to be an interesting article, please?
2001-07-12 08:53:23 AM  
I'm not sure it's possible to do that. What's with all these "login to read stuff for free" sites anyway. You'd think N.Y. Times wouldn't have to collect user info like this...
2001-07-12 08:57:00 AM  
Text of article below. You're welcome.


In an unusual action against a "deadbeat dad," the Wisconsin Supreme Court has upheld a probation order that bars a man convicted of failure to pay child support from having more children unless he shows that he can support all his offspring.

The 34-year-old man, David Oakley, who has nine children by four women and owes $25,000 in support, faces eight years in prison if he violates the condition.

The case split the court, 4 to 3, along gender lines. All four male justices joined in the ruling, issued on Tuesday, finding the condition a reasonable mechanism to deal with a father who has consistently and intentionally failed to pay the child support he owes. The three female justices opposed it as an unconstitutional intrusion on a basic right to procreate.

Mr. Oakley's lawyer, Timothy T. Kay, said yesterday that he was still considering whether to appeal to the United States Supreme Court. In a statement, Mr. Kay said the case had broad implications for reproductive rights, "specifically that a class of individuals will be limited to the number of children based upon financial resources."

Julie Sternberg, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union, agreed that the ruling created a dangerous precedent.

"These conditions do pop up from time to time," Ms. Sternberg said. "Judges sentencing a defendant occasionally try to say they must use birth control or must be sterilized, but until now I don't know of any appeals court that has upheld that kind of condition. It's a very dangerous precedent. The U.S. Supreme Court has said that the right to decide to have a child is one of the most basic human rights. And in this case there were all kinds of less restrictive alternatives, like attaching his wages, to make sure child support would be paid."

On the other hand, a spokeswoman for the Association for Children for Enforcement of Support said the group approved of the decision as a useful tool for ensuring that children are taken care of.

Writing for the majority, Justice Jon P. Wilcox pointed out that child support collection was an enormous national problem, that one family in three with a child support order received no money at all and that parents who did not pay deprived children of about $11 billion a year.

The opinion defended the restriction on Mr. Oakley as "narrowly tailored to serve the state's compelling interest of having parents support their children." It noted that the condition would expire in five years, when probation ends, and said the alternative of sending Mr. Oakley to prison would further victimize his children, ages 4 to 16.

But the female justices said the order violated Mr. Oakley's fundamental right to procreate and, as Justice Diane S. Sykes put it, basically amounted to "a compulsory, state- sponsored, court-enforced financial test for future parenthood."

In her own dissent, Justice Ann Walsh Bradley wrote: "Today's decision makes this court the only court in the country to declare constitutional a condition that limits a probationer's right to procreate based on his financial ability to support his children. Ultimately, the majority's decision may affect the rights of every citizen of this state, man or woman, rich or poor."

Justice Bradley also saw implications for abortion. The order, she said, "creates a strong incentive for a man in Oakley's position to demand from the woman the termination of her pregnancy." And, she said, the condition is unworkable, since Mr. Oakley "realistically cannot be stopped from having intercourse - protected or otherwise."

Many more such cases may follow Mr. Oakley's, Justice Bradley said.

"The majority has essentially authorized a judicially imposed `credit check' on the right to bear and beget children," she said. "Thus begins our descent down the proverbial slippery slope. While the majority describes this case as `anomalous' and comprised of `atypical facts,' the cases in which such a principle might be applied are not uncommon. The majority's own statistical data regarding nonpayment of support belies its contention that this case is truly exceptional."
2001-07-12 09:04:08 AM  
call me a fascist, but i think this is a good idea, and there should be more of it. i'd say start with my dad, but he had his pipes cut after his 3rd son. won'y pay child support, won't help me pay for school... aw hell, jus shoot the bastard.
2001-07-12 09:05:27 AM  
Thanks, Sharv. That's pretty heavy, although I seriously doubt the decision will hold. It's not too far from state-enforced sterilization.
2001-07-12 09:07:14 AM  
They need to sterilize more people, darnit! People like those featured in previous FARK articles. Take your pick, all sorts of people who should not breed.
2001-07-12 09:07:23 AM  
Flux: on some level I agree with you, but I also see the slippery slope towards only rich and successful people allowed to have kids. Overpopulation is still the biggest problem in the world, but it shouldn't be fought with force. Look what's happening in China.
2001-07-12 09:08:42 AM  
British: Who's to decide you shouldn't be sterilized? This was done a lot in the beginning of the 20th century, before eugenics got a bad name thanks to the nazis.
2001-07-12 09:15:13 AM  
I kinda agree with you Flux, eventhough I don't know your dad. While it would be a little difficult to fairly decide who gets to spawn and who shouldn't, this guy is a perfect example of who shouldn't. NINE kids. And while they are at it, since we don't really have an agrarian culture anymore, who needs so many kids? Everyone involved in this case should have something tied shut, from their wanker to their legs... Too bad the decision won't stick even with Bush in office.
2001-07-12 09:15:58 AM  
They're not sterilizing him though, this is different. I think it's a fantastic idea. Do we really need more children living in squalor and poverty?
2001-07-12 09:16:32 AM  
Thanks Sharv, you rock.

Ok, time to commence ranting

"specifically that a class of individuals will be limited to the number of children based upon financial resources."

BULLshiat!! If you cannot support children, then you shouldn't have them. That's not limiting a class by financial resources, that's common farking sense. If you cannot adequately support the children, then there is a good chance that they will grow up as a 'bad seed'. (Can't really cite sources on this now, but I am aware of a decent number of studies that have proven that children who grow up in lower income households have an increased likelihood of being 'problem children' and that those traits usually stick through adulthood.)

This guy has 9 children. He cannot support them. Therefore, we should allow him to procreate more, not only polluting the gene pool, but in helping to further the overpopulation of the world.

If a person can support 9 children, and by support I mean, provide reasonably for the children (keep them clothed, fed, educated, you know the basics) then by all means, have 9 children. However, common sense says that if you can't provide, don't have.


Guy working behind the counter of McDonalds as a cashier (his only source of income and money) drives a top of the line Mercedes.

He's living beyond his means. I'm not equating children to cars, at least not with the same implications of ownership and property. However if having children would force someone to live beyond their means, then they don't need to have the children.
2001-07-12 09:19:00 AM  
What this suggests is that women are not really responsible for their own bodies. I have to agree. I know too many stupid women who have sex with losers and get pregnant. Obviously women are not capable of controling themselves and taking responsibility for their own reproductive organs so men must take responsibility and be punished for these women allowing themselves to get pregnant. Makes perfect sense.
2001-07-12 09:22:46 AM  
I'm not saying that people can't have children, but that they shouldn't have more than they can support.

I don't think it would be wholly unfair to say that people can only have 1 child for every X dollars they earn.

People who really want to have more children will be more motivated to get better jobs, further their education, etc.

Also, people who want to be parents should be forced (yes forced) to attend classes and be tested. Now in order to be fair, the classes must be free, but the people must pass their test to receive a parenting license. This is not wholly dissimilar to the daycare facility requirements here in Jersey. The owner of the daycare must be licensed. I'm not belittling parents by comparing them to daycare centers, but I'm saying that there are people who shoudlnt' breed, me being one of 'em.
2001-07-12 09:22:51 AM  
Assign Loreena Bobbitt as this loser's parole officer. Whackety-whack, no more kids.
2001-07-12 09:36:32 AM  
It's a stupid ruling which appeals to us emotionally, but is intellectually unsupportable. I won't bother to repeat the objections voiced so far - I agree with them. Especially this one "court-enforced financial test for future parenthood."

The guy should be thrown in jail for one year for each child he's neglected and his assets (if any) seized. Period. He's obviously demonstrated that he has no intention of paying child support, so the kids lose nothing. Being in jail will stop him from having more kids even more effectively than merely threatening him with jail. It also serves as a warning to other dead-beat parents.
As an alternative to jail, the parent could be required to serve, say, 120 hours of community service for each month that each child is neglected. This would essentially deprive him of any free time and make dead-beating very unattractive while not placing yet another burden on our prison system.
2001-07-12 10:05:54 AM  
When are people going to realise that children aren't
a commodity? It's easy to have kids. Most people don't
have to try hard to get pregnant. And it shows.

There was a case a few years back of a married couple
who decided their marriage wasn't working. They wanted
to start again and work at it. They put their children,
aged 6 and 7, up for adoption, so they could concentrate
on themselves more.

While I'm not with the theory of stopping people
throwing mud in the gene pool, I would be up for punishing
anybody who doesn't take the responsibility of children seriously. If money or actual desire to have a child were
to in any way determine whether people can have offspring
then I wouldn't be sat here writing this. As a "mistake"
born into a poor family, I'd have been axed already. But
my parents TOOK RESPONSIBILTY for what happenened and stuck
by the decision.

This guy has 9 kids and obviously wants more. Well dude,
thanks for wrecking nine lives already. We ain't about
to let you screw up any more innocent minds.

Even worse, I see people worried about their rights. Does
anybody consider the children?

People like this make me very angry!
2001-07-12 10:07:12 AM  
"Eugenics got a bad name thanks to the Nazis."

Well said Ephont.
2001-07-12 10:21:32 AM  
The guy can't support three wives and nine children. Although this will be very hard to truly see if he knocks up another wife/girlfriend, i think he shouldn't be allowed to.

It sucks to say, "because you don't earn $xxx,- you cannot have more kids", but like Blackvampyr already stated, chances are higher that these children will end up being the black sheep of society. People should think before they have kids. If you have a child you better support it.

Not to many peeps think about that these days. Ancient times were better, back when the world wasn't totally farked up.
2001-07-12 10:24:29 AM  
Forget all this "the children will grow up and be criminals" BS...WE'RE PAYING FOR HIS FARKING KIDS. The mom goes on welfare cause dad can't/won't support them...and the tax payers have to pick up the tab.
If we're paying for them, I say we get the right to tell them when to stop crapping out kids.
Anyone notice that you don't see very many very wealthy families with very many kids? Maybe it's cause the wealthy have got better things to do than pop kids left and right...or maybe it's cause they know what an incredible drain on the $ kids can be. Who knows?
I say:
1. You need a license to drive
2. You need a license to catch fish
3. You need a license to hunt
4. You need a license to marry
I think you need to have a license to have kids (and pass the farking test before you do it)!
2001-07-12 10:26:36 AM  
They need to issue this kind of order more often... Especially against all immediate relatives of those who've won a Darwin Award (oh, and the parents of that guy who got crushed by a marauding coke machine)
2001-07-12 10:31:30 AM  
Bailiff, cut off his pee-pee
2001-07-12 10:44:53 AM  
This is a Dangerous proposition here. On one hand there is no way at all that this guy (or anyone like him) disserves to have another kid ever again. Or even Sex for that matter.

But on the other hand there is no way in HELL that a government should be allowed to get there hands in the control of this basic human right! That is just WAY to scary and I would bet everything in the world that this would go no place good, REALLY FAST!

The question is this then. What Realistically could you do instead then??????????
2001-07-12 10:46:44 AM  
Ephont - I would have formulated that the other way around: "The Nazis got a bad name because the they actually implemented a system of eugenics." (Rather than just philosophising - if it weren't for the holocaust, WWII would just have been another war).

How about the one "It takes two to tango"? Is this man just running around impregnating passive-submissive women willy-nilly? At least leave the women some responsibility.
2001-07-12 10:50:08 AM  
Kgf has a few good ideas there.

A major problem in the US though is FINDING these people. Its not that there hard to find, its just there are so many of them! Once they are found though, Punishments like that are a good use!
2001-07-12 10:52:59 AM  
uh, I thought it said 'loses right to pour concrete', nevermind

-freeze gopher
2001-07-12 10:53:47 AM  
Un-Farking Real! You people who support this order amaze me. Are you actually suggesting that you would turn over to the government your right to pro-create?
The problem here is that women aren't picky enough and they will actually choose to have sex with this moron and bring forth more offspring for him. Women today have been spoon fed this fairy-tale concept that marriage is the beat-all end-all fantasy where everything is peachy keen and there is no work involved. They expect to find their soul-mate (and he is, amazingly enough, always located within a 50 mile radius of their home), and live the grand life. Alternatively, they believe that "He'll be different for me" - "I can change him." When that doesn't work out according to plan, they decide to divorce and make babies with another guy. Note: Most divorces are initiated by women.
These women (the second and third wives) actually looked at this guy and said, "Yea, a man with an ex-wife and kids that he fails to support is a good choice for a mate. I think I'll bed down with him and prove to his first wife that I can make him happy and make him love his new kids more."

Personal responsibility ring a bell? Accountability for your actions is all but gone in today's world and it makes me sick. Marriage is hard work. Not every day is as wonderful as we saw on The Cosby Show, Family Ties, The Brady Bunch etc. etc. etc.
2001-07-12 10:55:38 AM  

How about the one "It takes two to tango"? Is this man just running around impregnating passive-submissive women willy-nilly? At least leave the women some responsibility.

The SHE side of this is being held responsible in MENY ways here. Though she was just as responsible in the production of the kid. She is the one getting bent over bigger then life now that the kid is there. I feel sorry for the HER allot of the time. She is farked because she can't get a good job now because she has the kid, and she can't afford the kid because she has a crappy job!!!

If she is the one keeping the kid her responsibilities side of it is more then covered!!!
2001-07-12 10:57:32 AM  
Never mind my bad typing!
2001-07-12 11:09:29 AM  
OOOOh where to start?

We are not talking about turning over our right to procreate. Everyone here is assuming that because we are able to use a computer and have a modicum of intelligence that we would be on the list of those who may have children willy nilly.

We are dicussing regulating those individuals who do not have the sense to regulate themselves.

I say that when a woman goes on welfare they put in Norplant or some other form of control that takes absolutely no effort on the woman's part. That would solve a large chunk of this problem.
2001-07-12 11:11:33 AM  
Go down to the bottom of this thread.Read about the Kissimee,Fl. mom who is drunk,calls 911 to report her young daughter missing,the police get out the dogs and helicopters,then she remembers she left her at the baby sitters house.She needs a pummeling!
2001-07-12 11:12:28 AM  
How about this. When a girl reaches puberty put in the Norplant until she gets married. It is obvious society cannot depend on women to practice birth control themselves.
2001-07-12 11:13:14 AM  
Figure out a form a birth control for men and do the same for boys when they reach puberty.
2001-07-12 11:16:44 AM  
The story I was talking about is in the thread about the Florida vice cops getting naked(ABC NEWS).
I deserve a pummeling for that one,but not as severe as she deserves.
2001-07-12 11:30:56 AM  
I was born and raised in Manitowoc. This man is a prime example of the lovely gentlemen that come out of that great city. I think that the courts had every right to not allow Oakley to produce any more children until his probation is up. The sad thing is, as soon as that's over, he'll be knocking up more stupid chicks from my hometown and I'LL (as well as all of you) will be paying for this idiot's children.

Only stupid people are breeding. Sterilization!!!!
2001-07-12 11:40:14 AM  
Meliudaj - you're right. "Responsibility" is rather an offensive word in this context.
Just to cover the spectrum, though: on the one end there's the deadbeat dad; on the other there's the mantrap.
Somewhere in between there's the guy who can't take any pressure and is incapable of felling and following up on rational decisions, and the girl who's pretty carefree and negligent, because if she gets pregnant he, or someone else is going to pick up the tab.
2001-07-12 11:47:02 AM  
woah everyone. this guy is obviously a deadbeat loser, and the women not much better, but are those of you who support this ruling saying that you are willing to let the government control YOUR body and choices? Because if cases like this actually hold up in court, who's to say it wouldn't spiral out of control...suddenly there would be rules and regulations on our basic right of having children. But oh, wait, with G. Bush in charge, this would somehow only affect women- god forbid the government try to regulate or control anything concerning the rights of MEN. sigh.
2001-07-12 11:51:32 AM  
I understand how some of you are saying that if we stop kids from being born into poverty it will help the world out. But this is not the way to do it. The government cannot regulate who can have kids and how many. There is no law that says you should have "x" ammount of money to reproduce. Many great people have been able to rise above the poverty line and use that as inspiration. On the same token many rich people have grown to be utter scumbags. I lnow that if someone told me i could not have children I would be pissed and I'm pretty sure you would too. I just would not like to see this type of ruling to become common and extended to those who do not have nine kids.
2001-07-12 11:53:25 AM  
Of course, if the state courts start doing forced Norplant-implantings(or something equivical) to women who are in trouble with the law, the feminists will scream bloody murder saying they are oppressing womens' rights to procreate. Of course, they are the same ones that are for abortion rights.
2001-07-12 11:55:45 AM  
Family law is biased against males, as it's based on a puritanical belief system that promotes protection/support for the female.
To be fair, the women involved in this fiasco, and ones like it, are not innocent. They also have a large part in decision making, and legally have three months in which to determine whether or not to continue the pregnancy.
Legally, the woman determines the future of everyone involved. The embryo, the father and herself. Too much power for one person. Esp. if they're immature, hormonally imbalanced, vindictive or plain dumb. Don't get me wrong, but any woman who will lay down and procreate with a guy that has numerous kids he's not capable of supporting is dumb.
There's a case in Ohio where a guy is paying child support by court order, and the child is not his. DNA tests proved it, so he went to court to overturn the order to pay. He's still paying.
I had a point in there somewhere. Oh, yeah. This society is quick to punish the male, without implicating the female, holding her accountable or acknowledging her role. It's assumed women are the victim and naturally the more responsible parent.
My point is that family law concerning child support, divorce and spousal support can be added to the collection outdated and out of touch laws that need drastic overhaul.
OK. That's my $0.02. Anyone got change for a dollar?
2001-07-12 12:00:18 PM  
The woman are also to be blamed because they were stupid enough to get pregnant and then get pregnant again by this guy. I know someone who got a woman pregnant by not wearing a condom. Both of them were stupid for that. She gets pregnant and has a baby. They have sex again. Without a condom again. This time she wanted him to stay because she liked it. Stupid her. Pregant again. Then she blames it on him. He took care of their kids though so he is't a dead beat dad.
2001-07-12 12:05:58 PM  
*******************READ THIS********************************

I actually heard yesterday on the news that they have developed a male birth control pill that blocks production of sperm. Wont be available for another 3 or 4 years, but it is in productions. Why couldnt this have come out before I had 3 psycho biatches try to get me with the "Im Pregnate" trick! Sluts.

This is a hard topic actually. On one hand we have our rights under the constitution to not have a communist government tell us what to do. On the other hand, we have morons having children left and right. I say we leave everything up to me and a game I like to call "Spay/Neuter". Sit on a bench in, say, Wildwood, NJ, ( or any Six Flags theme park, a monster truck rally, a Juvenile or Snoop Dogg concert or the Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York) and watch everyone go buy. If I say "Spay" and point at a woman, take her away and cut her farking ovaries our. If I say "neuter" and point at a man, take him away and cut off his balls. Thats all it would take. Wow! I am a genius. Or shut shoot everyone.
2001-07-12 12:11:14 PM  
Pbtx: Echo. Good points. The guy in Ohio that you speak of is suffering because of an OLD Ohio law which states that if a woman gives birth during a marriage, the child is presumed to be the husband's child unless he can prove that he was at sea for more than one year prior to the child's birth (despite the fact that gestation is only 9 months). Because they were married when the child was born, he is responsible. The law is being challenged by several "fathers".
I almost suffered the same consequences as my now-ex-wife became pregnant by another man during our separation, prior to the divorce being finalized. Luckily for me, she lost the baby at week 12 of the pregnancy.
2001-07-12 12:14:57 PM  
i don't like the idea of the government controlling my ability to procreate. but, as grasshopper pointed out, the government already controls my right to do many things, and i don't even really notice or care, because i passed the test required. If i need to have a certain income or pass a certain test in order to have kids, i'd probably do fine.

we'd certainly see a dramatic drop in poverty - no children would be born into it. what would the world be like after a few generations of controlled breeding?

smarter, i'm thinking.
2001-07-12 12:21:54 PM  
It's not that this guy can't pay the court-ordered child support. He refuses to. He would rather go to jail than support his own children.

Quoting from the WI Supreme Court decision:
'...the central element in this crime: it punishes only _intentional_ refusal to pay child support. If an individual is _unable_ to pay child support, but did not intentionally refuse to do so, this element of the offense would not be met.'

The entire decision can be read online here:

And the link which I submitted yesterday, which doesn't require registration to read:
2001-07-12 12:24:08 PM  
[image from too old to be available]
2001-07-12 12:37:39 PM  
All I have to say is that I am a FATHER,and NOT a just a dad,I'm 24 years young and I know what the fark to do with my child,any thing I can for her.People like that make me pissed,gives fathers a bad name(and men in general(why do you think that women have a 80% better chance of getting custody rights to a child).I know a guy just like this(also from Wisconsin),he doesn't seem to care at all,I've talked to him about it before.To him,the children are something that just happened,"It sucks man,now they wanna take everything that I make and just give it away",how am I supposed to live."he said to me.(this is a guy who will only work for a few months at a time because he "doesnt wanna shell out the cash for the freakin child support").Just by talking to him,I'm guessing that there are many,many other people like him out there,and there should definately be laws about this,harsh laws for deadbeat dads,they dont deserve the respect that the rest of us get,they dont show any respect towards the children that they fathered eeerrr....I mean concepted.If something happens between me and my wife,I'm scared that I could lose custody of my child,because of the precedent that has been set by farks like this guy,I dont want this,would you?


Take responsibility for what you do,or what may happen if you do what you are hoping to do...
2001-07-12 12:45:28 PM  
"what would the world be like after a few generations of controlled breeding?"
cookie cutter christian conservative drones. Culturally deficient suburbanite uni-mind drones.
Traffic would improve, though. And I'm all for that.
2001-07-12 12:53:07 PM  
If I ever have a child, im going to name it "Travisty"

also, another word for a child could be...
"fark Trophy"!
2001-07-12 12:55:02 PM  
It isn't out of line for a deadbeat parent like this guy to be ordered not to have any more children; many sex offenders are chemically sterilized to help them gain control of themselves. I don't it entirely "Wrong" to say to people who neglect their children, no more until you get your act together. It is a fundamental right to have kids but isn't being free the most fundamental right and that can be taken away when you brake the law, and neglecting your kids is illegal and very wrong, it damages those kids for LIFE.
2001-07-12 12:57:51 PM  
If this goes to the supreme court, it has a snowballs chance in hell of holding up.

Make him wear a big sign saying "DEAD BEAT DAD", or throw him in jail for life if you want. But not allowing someone to have kids is against the most basic natural law we have. Slippery slopes people, you don't want this.
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