My client told me he absolutely positively never had sexual intercourse with the nurse, but the genetic DNA test said he absolutely positively was the father. My research informed me that it is possible to father a child without intercourse, such as by artificial insemination, but the nurse was insisting it happened by intercourse. I was willing to concede that if there had been intercourse, then a man loses his right to choose. Even if it was a leaky rubber, sex partners take on a known risk by having intercourse and need to accept the unintended consequences. However, in a case like this, assuming the jury believed my guy’s version, a man retains the right to choose to be a parent or not up to the time he parts with his semen, and if he parts with his semen without intercourse (or without consent to artificial insemination) then he has chosen not to be a father.
I thought we had a good chance of winning because this conception was clearly by trickery. If necessary, we would argue all the way to the United States Supreme Court that a stranger who scoops up sperm and artificially inseminates herself violates this constitutional right to choose to be a parent. Sounds like a reasonable argument, right boys? But where would you draw the line? What if the woman tricked the man by saying she was on the pill? Or that her ovaries had been removed? Or what if you donated your sperm to a lesbian gay couple and they made an agreement to not come after you for child support?
These are questions I actually asked Jack & Nick (and their friends), and you know what Jack said?!: “What about a child’s right to have two parents? After all, there is an innocent child here who had nothing to say about how she came into the world.” After some discussion (one time on the school bus carrying the junior high football team), most of the kids understood the balancing test the U.S. Supreme Court would have to apply in deciding this case: Does a parent’s right to choose outweigh a child’s right to two parents who support him/her?
Every kid who weighed in on the question decided the child’s right was superior. And when I told my client the bad news that the junior high kids were unanimously predicting defeat for us, even if the Jury believed his version of how conception occurred (not a sure thing either), we decided to settle the case with a one-time payment of a considerable sum in return for Mom’s dropping the paternity case.
Of course there’s a moral to this story. Boys, Be Very Careful about parting with your sperm. Even if the girl you’re with says she can’t get pregnant, you don’t have the right to choose if it turns out she was wrong.
P.S. Some things never change. Later on I learned from Nick that some of the boys on the bus got ribbed because they didn’t get it: “Dad, some of the kids didn’t know what you were talking about.” On the one hand I am so glad that 7th Graders can still be innocent about sex, even in today’s modern morality. On the other hand, pretty quick now would be the time to learn.
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