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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » florida adoption laws

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Author Topic: florida adoption laws
Angel07
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i just read in the paper about it being a law in florida that if you have a child you are giving up for adoption and you dont know who the father is, you have to put an ad in the paper with your name and stuff and all the people you have had sex with that could be the father. it was so they could avoid custody battles later on if the father came and wanted his child but people had legally adopted it already..i cant remember if it was just private adoptions or not, but my sister, mom and i were talking about it that it was terrible, no one would want to do that,etc. i couldnt believe that they would pass this law~has anyone heard about this?i dont know how long it has been in place, but i wanted to know if yall had heard about this & what you all thought about it.
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Dzuunmod
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Hey Angel, that sounds like an interesting topic, but maybe you could try and dig up the newspaper article you read on the net, and give us a link, so that the other users have some context here?

I'll try and take a look for it myself.

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"Impress yourself!"
-Braid, Milwaukee Sky Rocket


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Dzuunmod
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Found some stuff.

First, there's something from the Fatherhood Educational Institute which, not surprisingly, likes the law.

Next, we've something from Women's eNews which, not surprisingly, is against the law. In fact, they went so far as to classify it their "Outrage of the Week".

Seems like the law is pretty new - both of those press releases are from the past week.

Finally, here's a straight news story about the law.

Wow, I have a lot of conflicting feelings about this. First, I think it's ridiculous that the state is obliging mothers to go to the expense of conducting an all out search, basically, for the potential fathers. If the state wants to make a law like this, then it can damn well pay for the newspaper ads and any other expenses, as well.

Second, I don't think anyone should be forced to divulge his/her sexual history in the newspaper. Smells to me like some kind of crime, that.

Third, despite the repulsion to certain parts of the law that I feel, I do think that some sort of attempt should be made by mothers to contact the father when a baby is to be put up for adoption. I just don't know how you can possibly legislate something like that fairly.

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"Impress yourself!"
-Braid, Milwaukee Sky Rocket


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Unnamed
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I've been looking at some politics discussion forums, and almost everyone seems to be against the law. I think the law is really unfair. The woman, (or girl, in many cases,) already has to find the adoptive family and give birth. If a guy thinks he might have gotten a woman pregnant and wants to prevent the child from being adopted, he should take responsibility and run an ad (or contact the mother in a different way.)

Also, there doesn't seem to be a similar law like this for abortions. I think this law will cause people who might have put their babies up for adoption to have an abortion instead.


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Aria51
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When I was working with a lawyer to get my son's biological father to sign his parental rights over to my mother, I was told that if I couldn't contact him via phone or post, I had to run an ad in his town's newspaper for a certain number of days (30, maybe) before his signature could be waived. This happened over 2 years ago. So yeah, it happens.
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duckling
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The whole thing is ridiculous. So...if a mother knows that she can't provide a good life for her kid but can't identify the father, she should, what, be forced to brand herself a slut - and in our sexually disfunctional society, she will be - by posting her personal sexual history in a newspaper? Options for teen mothers are woefully lacking in this nation.
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Kajego
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Someone's sexual past is much, much to personal to put in a newspaper ad. I doubt the ones who passed this law thought of that.

I read about this in another forum, and it seems the law might be...stopped? Well...won't be enforced anymore. I hope it happens... I'm just glad none of the other states decided to pass a cruel law like that... Yes, the father should be notified, but that's between the mother and him. It's not the entire town/city's business...


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Touchstone
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This is so incredibly wrong, and should not happen i heard about this on NPR today, and I was sickened =/

totally agree, kajego


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KandyKorn17
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This is definitely not the best approach to finding the child's father and making sure he's ok with the adoption, but the idea behind it makes a lot of sense. It probably gets messy when a father pops in at the wrong time and wants custody of a baby when it has just been adopted. I think maybe a more private way could handle this situation-- like check ups and evidence to prove the woman at least tried to get in touch with the possible fathers. Her whole sexual history should not be made public just because she is trying to give her baby a better life.

I believe that fathers have rights. But if he's not in the picture, shouldn't the child still get a chance at a good family life?


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Heather
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You know though, if someone is interested in being a father, they shouldn't need to be hiunted down. Someone interested in fathering gnerally isn't just sleeping with strangers without, or using unreliable, birth control, or removing himself from a pregnancy entire only to come back and say, "Hey, now that you're done with all that work by yourself, I think I'd like to have that baby, please." Women aren't personal baby factories.

The tough spot nature puts us in is this: fathers do not carry babies to term, and are not -- even if they want to be -- responsible for the choices the woman carrying a child makes. I understand many want to be, but nature does dictate otherwise. And it is, in my mind, a very serious affornt to women's rights to require a pregnant woman to have to search for her child's father if she does not want to, or have to come to an agreement about adoption with a missing father -- if a man was that interested, would he not have stuck around to begin with? I mean, really. If you can't even manage a few months of a relationship with another adult, managing parenting is going to be nigh unto impossible. And again, the woman is who has to carry and birth a child and, if a father does not claim responsibility, be responsible for the child's life by default.

And this law was pretty clearly made as a smokescreen, with the bit about custody battles post-adoption being...well, a bunch of hooey. So, should father have rights? Absolutely. Should those rightts infringe upon the rights of a mother or make her job -- which she has to do alone, and cannot force on a father save in the from of child support in some cases, yet some are saying the father should be able to force his wants on the mother -- even more difficult? No way.

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Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

My epitaph should read: "She worked herself into this ground."
-- Kay Bailey Hutchinson


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Dzuunmod
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But, Miz S, what about one-night-stands, say? If I made a baby with a woman unknowingly in a one-night-stand, and then I wandered off into the sunset, thinking that this was just a one-time thing, nothing more, and I'm unaware that we've just conceived, does that mean I'm unfit to be a father? Certainly not. I agree, this law is ridiculous, but I stand by my original feelings that fathers should be consulted, where possible.

Really, trying to get in touch with someone who may well have a real interest in a child that they've created isn't a great hardship. And in cases where it is a hardship to get in touch with the father (that's to say cases where formalities like the exchange of phone numbers, addresses or even names were forgone), it's safe to say that neither parent is probably responsible enough to be making decisions on the child's future.

Responsible adults can have flings, and can make mistakes, I think. That someone wasn't interested in propping up a dead relationship for extra months does not mean that they aren't ready for parenthood.

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"Isn't it amazing what you can accomplish/when the little sensation gets in your way/no ambition whisperin' over your shoulder/oh, isn't it amazing you can do anything"
-The Tragically Hip, Fireworks


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Heather
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I'm not arguing that one shouldn't give it a shot if the situation is such that one can be called and contacted easily by the mother. On the other hand, beyond what I'm saying below, I can picture plenty of scenarios in which that isn't fitting, and I question greatly the idea that something like that in terms of law would be a VERY quick route to requiring a mother to do such if she wants to abort, and given how small that window is, often making that impossible. This whole business again, strikes me as a smokescreen, like the "fetal rights" bills, to try and curb women's reproductive choice.

Making a law which puts yet MORE responsbility on a mother, and in fact, says she MUST do so just seems beyond iffy, our administrations want to eradicate choice notwithstanding. Again, mothers bear the brunt and the "default" of childbreaing and childrearing as it is. To boot, laws like this would put women who, for instance, know full well who the father is but do not want him contacted or aware of her whereabouts because he is abusive, at a high risk. In addition, any thing that makes the adoption process less apealing or slows is is a bad idea. Not only is adoption hard enough as it is, we have babies found in dumpsters often enough that making it harder strikes me as in the worst interest of the child. In addition, the clock ticks awfully fast for babies -- even within a few short months of birth, a child has aa DRASTICALLY reduced chance of being adopted than if it were available from the day of birth or before (not that I think that's great, I think it's depressing, but it is the reality). If one ends up with a father being searched for or a custody battle in which the father loses and the child is put up for adoption anyway, that could take YEARS, which basically guarantees a child will likely spend their lifetime not in a permanent home, but in an orphanage or foster care.

I agree, if one can be contacted, I think one should be, and that's a good idea and fair. But requitring such, especially with public announcements seems like a serious violation and infrigement of the mother's rights, and seems to me not to be in a child's best interest.

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Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

My epitaph should read: "She worked herself into this ground."
-- Kay Bailey Hutchinson


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Dzuunmod
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I'd say basically that nothing here could be satisfactory to me. You're right, Miz S, in that I can't think of a law that wouldn't potentially hurt some women, but at the same time, having no law puts some men in an undesirable situation, too.

Without a law, sad as it may be, there will be women who won't call perfectly good fathers out of spite, for example. It may not happen often, but it'll happen, and usually that's enough to force a law on an issue. Vague guidelines like "where possible, mothers should contact the fathers" aren't going to do a thing to change the minds of such women.

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"Isn't it amazing what you can accomplish/when the little sensation gets in your way/no ambition whisperin' over your shoulder/oh, isn't it amazing you can do anything"
-The Tragically Hip, Fireworks


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Heather
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I agree with you, Dzuun, that that could happen, and I've no doubt that now and then it does happen.

But I guess where I'm left with this is that those situations happening or rare occasions seems like a much smaller thing than creating laws which govern women's -- and ONLY women's -- bodies. Especially given what it could very easily, and logically, lead to, and what I think the real intent of the thing was to begin with.

Too, given that adoptive parents are just as likely (and in some cases, perhaps more so) to be quality parents, I don't see how laws like these are really in the best interest of the child, given what delays in the adoption process and custody battles can do.

Without sounding like a complete jer or being dismissive, I honestly think some of this just involves men realizing that they can't childbear (as of yet -- would that they could) and that because women do, women are entitled to, and naturally have, more rights and power during that process because it is in our bodies. I've been trying in the last day to think of an analogy that would place similar co-ownership, of a fashion, of male bodies and of course, I really can't, because by its nature, it's simply incomprable.

I think that after childbearing and birth, yes, we could stand to make some real changes in terms of father's rights. But after, not during.

As an additional note, Dzuun, how would you feel about something like the alternative explained at the bottom of this page: http://writ.news.findlaw.com/commentary/20020829_hodes.html

"One alternative is a confidential registry of names of men who believe they may have fathered a child - a proposal that the Act's opponents have already suggested. Lawyers, after consultation with their clients as to possible fathers, would need to check the registry list before proceeding with adoptions. More than 30 states already have this system. Its advantage is that it does not unduly burden or shame women, and it puts some burden on men to assert they have a true interest or concern in acting as father to the child. "

To me, that is fairly sound and doesn't impede upon anyone's rights nor carry the same connotations. In addition, it is a small way to seem to work with fathers who clearly do have an interest in fathering.

(That link also brings up the case that brought forth this law, in which the father fighting for custody was a convicted rapist.)
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Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

My epitaph should read: "She worked herself into this ground."
-- Kay Bailey Hutchinson

[This message has been edited by Miz Scarlet (edited 09-22-2002).]


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Dzuunmod
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Something that I meant to post in here sometime ago, Miz S., that I just didn't remember to is that I suspect our different outlooks on this law stem from our locations.

I live in a country where there are anti-abortion groups and protests, yes, but they don't have much sway at all. Thus, a woman's right to choose is never under any sort of threat, here. In fact, in most provinces, all abortions are covered by medicare.

Where you're at, you've got to be constantly concerned with whether or not the laws are going to change. The groups that you have to deal with in the U.S. have much more political clout - and have the ears of the people who hold most of the highest offices in the country.

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"Love is blind, and I don't blame her/'cause lately I ain't been too much to see/I'd ask a girl home, but I'd have to pay her..."
-Old '97s Ray Charles


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Heather
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I can certainly see where that would bring about a difference in perspective, Dzuun.

Were this proposed in Canada or Europe, I'd certainly be looking at it in a different way.

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Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

My epitaph should read: "She worked herself into this ground."
-- Kay Bailey Hutchinson


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Gumdrop Girl
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Jeb Bush signs repeal!
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Summertime, and the living's easy...

[This message has been edited by Gumdrop Girl (edited 05-31-2003).]


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