Man Wonders If He Is Wrong For Refusing To Adopt Child His Wife Conceived During Affair

Discussion in 'Women's Rights' started by kazenatsu, May 13, 2022.

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Does this man have responsibility to adopt the child his wife had?

  1. Yes, it is the right thing to do, he has a moral obligation to do it

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. The government should assign a legal responsibility to him, if he stays in the relationship

    1 vote(s)
    9.1%
  3. No, he should not be under any obligation, even if he stays in that marriage

    10 vote(s)
    90.9%
  1. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Man Refuses To Adopt Child That His Wife Had During An Affair | YourTango

    A man wonders if he is wrong for refusing to adopt a child his wife conceived during an affair.

    The 27-year-old husband and his 26-year-old wife used to have a great relationship until one night, the wife got drunk, had a one night stand, and got pregnant from it.

    The affair occurred five years ago, and although they almost went through a divorce, couples therapy convinced them to stay together and try again. The man made it clear he was willing to take on a step-parent role but wasn't willing to accept legal responsibility as the child's father.

    What do you think?
     
  2. GrayMan

    GrayMan Well-Known Member

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    If he stays he should parent the child as his own but the government should stay out of it except to make sure the biological father is notified and given an opportunity to meet his obligations to the child.
     
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  3. Lil Mike

    Lil Mike Well-Known Member

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    He should have left 5 years ago. You can't be half in and half out in the parenting biz. Legally he's responsible no matter how he feels, and since he didn't leave the marriage when he should, he will be stuck as the child's legal "father" no matter if he wants to bail on the marriage later (which he no doubt will).
     
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  4. Maquiscat

    Maquiscat Well-Known Member

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    In some states, he would legally be the father whether he wanted to be or not, simply by being the legal husband of the woman when she gave birth. This stands even if he, his wife and the biological father all state that the other man is the biological father.

    With that said, I would first question whether or not he is sure the ONS is the father. That would imply that he did not have sex with his wife for several weeks before and after the ONS. The after I could see. Unless he was deployed in the military, or some similar job related separation, then that says that the marriage was on the rocks to begin with.

    If the child is in his household, he does have a moral obligation to raise the child, but is already claiming that responsibility as a step parent. And there are precedents out there, IIRC, where step parents who have been part of a child's life for a significant amount of time have legal obligations to the child, as of they were the parent, but I think that is a county level issue, not necessarily a state level one. The biological father, at this point at least, should be made to provide child support.

    I don't feel that he is necessarily in the wrong here, although not necessarily in the right either. There is no single right or wrong here. It's a question of what is best for both him and the child. Forcing him to be the legal father might not be best for the child, because then the child might grow up resented as they would not as being the step child instead.
     
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  5. Jarlaxle

    Jarlaxle Well-Known Member

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    He should leave her and probably move out of the area.
     
  6. gorfias

    gorfias Well-Known Member

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    I recall a case from the 1980s in which the legal husband would have to prove he was away at Sea in order to not be found the legal father. He's married to the mom when she had her baby. Some laws need to be updated! As it was, he was in a new relationship with a new wife and would want his resources to have his own kids with her, but lost resources to ex-wife to help her raise not his kid. The heart breaking part of that story is that he had acted as the kid's bio dad w/o knowing for 3 years. Now a little boy has to wonder what he did wrong to lose his "father's" affections.

    Agreed, though under many state's laws, he will likely have ongoing financial responsibilities to help his ex wife raise not his kid.
     
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  7. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Maybe it should work like some of those cumulative pension plans - the ones where the amount that the pension pays you in retirement is entirely dependent upon how many years you have worked at the company.
    If the man stays with the woman longer than 3 years, he will be on the hook for the child. Thereafter, he will be financially on the hook for the child in proportion to how many years he has stayed with the mother, what fraction out of 18 years. For example, if he stays with her for 9 years, then he will be under a 50% obligation.
    Lots of women keep switching around boyfriends these days, so this type of child support flexibility would make sense.

    If they can find the biological dad, and get him to pay, then the obligations of the other man should be less (but still not be zero).

    I know this would make it more complicated, but it should not be "all or nothing".
     
  8. LiveUninhibited

    LiveUninhibited Well-Known Member

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    Once ego is set aside, it's basically the same situation as if the wife had a child from a prior relationship/marriage. If he chooses to stay with her, he's the step parent. If the biological father doesn't want or loses his parental rights, he can adopt the child. Is he obligated to? No. But it's kind of a slap in the face to an innocent child because of, presumably, his ego. The broken home dynamics are a cost of the situation, but if he really loves his wife it could be worth it for him. But in terms of being fair to the child, part of the deal is to assume the step parent role. He's not the uncle, he's the step parent. He's not some friend, he's the step parent. From the story, it sounds like they need some better therapy.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2022
  9. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I agree with you, but I also disagree. If a woman already has a child, it is your decision whether you want to start dating her or not. If it is your wife who suddenly has a child who is not yours, that is a little bit of a different situation. You are already married to her. There is implied commitment, and emotional attachment, connection, even moral obligation to stay. It is not so easy to just leave her. (Although adultery is traditionally considered possible grounds for divorce)
     
  10. LiveUninhibited

    LiveUninhibited Well-Known Member

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    To the extent that it changes things, it lowers his obligation. But practically speaking, he can't be less than a step parent if he stays with her. I don't know how hard it is to leave her for him, but the child is a part of her and needs the adults around to be adults. Divorce doesn't require grounds. But if he can't be reasonable about being a step parent, or if their relationship can't otherwise be salvaged, divorce is reasonable, particularly if they don't have kids together. Having kids together could change things in terms of responsibility. Then the relationship is about more than some romantic love thing - it's about the best thing for their kids. But this kid isn't his.
     
  11. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I see that you user name is "LiveUninhibited", which suggests to me a lot about your views of marriage.

    I said this before in another thread: Maybe in modern times, we need two different categories of marriage, a "conservative marriage" and a "liberal marriage". Because "marriage" obviously seems to mean something a little different to one faction of society.

    Ayn Rand's view of marriage was considered radical for its time, but now it seems society has "progressed" so far the majority of people can scarcely imagine it ever being any other way.

    Your view that the man should just dump the woman he married if he feels the situation is no longer suitable to him is very much the Ayn Rand view.

    It's not the same situation if this child comes along during the marriage rather than before the marriage.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2022
  12. Lil Mike

    Lil Mike Well-Known Member

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    Uh no, it's not at all like having a wife who had a kid from a previous relationship. In this case she cheated on him while they were married. I'm curious as to how you view that as the same as a woman who comes into a relationship with a child.
     
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  13. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    There are both additional reasons for him to stay, and to leave, in that situation.
     
  14. LiveUninhibited

    LiveUninhibited Well-Known Member

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    No not really - or I should say it's much broader than that. It's more related to how I was a libertarian on social issues when I joined. I have religion in mind when I think of inhibition. Though much of the inhibition prescribed by religion was much more logical in a historical context before things like birth control and public health. No-fault divorce is a very positive modern development, much like recognizing spousal rape. ;)

    It's a contract like any other. Breaking it has consequences, and you should try to repair it if you can, but it's not something you should insist on honoring if it chronically makes everybody miserable. People change and circumstance change. Things should be handled to maximize the happiness of all involved while also being fair to all involved. I suppose the liberal flaw is to abandon it too easily, and the conservative flaw is to stay together even if it hurts everybody. For me personally it's more about a home for my kids, so I'd try to work it out for them if things got really bad. Or I should say that's what I did do and would do again.

    Because they are two separate things. The woman has a child who isn't biologically his in either case. The child lacks any guilt in this situation, and should be treated the same as any step child. The cheating is between the man and woman and would be an issue whether or not it resulted in a child. The additional issue here is having a stepchild when one didn't exist at the beginning of the marriage.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2022
  15. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    A big part of the reason why it's an issue is that this type of behavior could result in a child.

    (Oops, I guess social progressives see this as entirely irrelevant because they could just abort the child at any stage of the pregnancy. Still can be very emotionally damaging to relationships though if the woman gets an abortion)
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2022
  16. LiveUninhibited

    LiveUninhibited Well-Known Member

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    Only if they don't understand personhood ;)... Early abortion being emotionally damaging would seem to inherently come from a misunderstanding of the biology. But earlier is better because it really does get ethically problematic late in pregnancy, and most abortions are early. No I would say most of the emotional damage would be the disregard/disrespect for feelings, followed by risk of STDs, and a very distant, almost non-existent concern about pregnancy, though sure that would be more important if I was pro-life or was with somebody who would carry such a pregnancy.
     
  17. modernpaladin

    modernpaladin Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Which option for 'its the right thing to do, but its understandable if he can't and it shouldn't be an obligation'?

    I guess the third.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2022
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  18. FreshAir

    FreshAir Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I think he is doing the right thing, he should raise the child, but he should not adopt as he would then owe child support if she left him

    now he can voluntarily help support the child, but he should not be forced by the government
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2022
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  19. HonestJoe

    HonestJoe Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Nobody appears to be questioning that but this is a classic example of the fact that, however much we defined things as bad, wrong or even illegal, some people will still do them. Simply repeating the "That was wrong!" position doesn't help address the practical realities of the consequences and just piling on the guilt is only likely to be counter-productive.
     
  20. Lil Mike

    Lil Mike Well-Known Member

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    OK we clearly have wildly differing ideas about marriage, fidelity, and relationships in general.
     
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  21. LiveUninhibited

    LiveUninhibited Well-Known Member

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    I have no idea what you think or what you think I think. Infidelity is bad, and the presence of the child might be a factor in deciding whether to continue the relationship, but it's not the child's fault. The status of the child if the relationship is continued should be the same as any step child.
     
  22. Lil Mike

    Lil Mike Well-Known Member

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    Um no.
     
  23. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    It seems someone who believes that holds an opinion somewhere between option #1 and option #3.
    So long as you do not pick option #2, you do not believe the government should make it a legal obligation.

    It seems you believe it's "kind of" the right thing to do, but there are situations where that option is really difficult and in those situations it is still bad but much less bad.
    I suppose using the word "moral obligation" is kind of a black and white concept, and doesn't leave much room for grey zones.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2022
  24. Lil Mike

    Lil Mike Well-Known Member

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    Well that's what I mean. This isn't a stepchild. It's nothing like a step child. From the legal sense, it's the man's child. I'd guess it's the man's name on the birth certificate, not the wife's lover, who is the actual father. The problem is this guy wants to have things both ways. He doesn't want to end his marriage, which he should have already done, but he also doesn't really want to be a father to the child.

    The fact that he wants to have the child considered as a stepchild is absurd, but apparently many on this thread agree with him.
     
  25. modernpaladin

    modernpaladin Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    My bottom line- govt has no place in personal moral issues.
     

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