I am compelled to respond to the letter in the Readers' Forum from Alan Millard titled "Biological dad has rights." As the House sponsor of legislation dealing with this very issue, I ask that men who indulge in illicit sex consider the following.
It takes a lot more to be a "real dad" than contributing 23 chromosomes in a moment of passion to a biological process called fertilization. Does the "real dad" have morning sickness? Does he have stretch marks? Does he have the backache and muscle cramps associated with pregnancy? Does he gain weight and have his hips widen? Does he go through labor and have stitches and pains with swollen and often painful mammary glands? Does he have to make heart-wrenching decisions such as whether to have an abortion or give the child life and "a life" by placing it for adoption?In most instances the men aren't even around to experience any of the above vicariously. If a child results, some men suddenly want a say in the process, ignoring totally what is in the best interest of the child and the birth mother.
Perhaps Mr. Millard knows one of those truly rare, if not extinct, individuals who, before having intimate relations outside of wedlock, would say to the female partner, "Please, before this goes any further, let me say, as an honorable person, that if a pregnancy results from our relationship I am prepared to take full responsibility. Here are my home and business addresses with telephone numbers (you can always reach me on my cell phone), my e-mail address and my fax number. I will pay for your food, clothing, rent, pre- and postnatal care, and don't worry about medical bills; I have maternity coverage with my health insurance.
I will be there for you throughout your pregnancy and especially during your labor and recovery. I will care for our child. I will be there every hour of the day or night when I am not at the office, and I will foot all of the bills our child may incur throughout his or her whole life. I will educate our child through college, take him to little league, cry with him, laugh with him, put up with his teen years and be available after he gets married to bail him out of financial and other difficulties."
This and much, much more is what a "real dad" does, and often these great "fathers" are adoptive dads. Why not ask adopted children who their "real dad" is; you may be surprised at the answer.
All that Utah adoption law requires is that the man take full responsibility for his acts. He must come forth in a timely manner, declare his paternity, provide for the mother and child both pre- and postnatally and provide support for the child. It is up to him to assume that a pregnancy could occur from his behavior.
The woman has enough problems of her own, and if the man does not come forth and accept paternity, she can relinquish her rights and provide the child with a stable adoptive home with loving parents who will provide every thing the child needs, with special emphasis on love and security. Utah's adoption laws are considered some of the best in the nation. The interests of the child are to be paramount in the adoption process.
By the way, you obviously know nothing about the Hitler era of German history. He supported people with views like yours. He encouraged men who were tall, blue eyed and blond to father as many children as possible to build a "master race." He failed. After 12 terrible years, all that was left were the rubble mounds of once magnificent cities and thousands of maimed children.
Children without strong family support systems will only add to our human services costs and fill our prisons. "Father" is an earned and respected title. It does not automatically occur as a result of a biological accident.