Agenda for the 21st Century
Child Support Agenda for the 21st Century
Parents should have equal status by default
Partners should know about paternity
All children should have been accepted children
Eliminate sex discrimination from child support
There should be no Treasury saving or state compulsion
Child support should be formally awarded to the children
Use a formula to determine the amount
Have closer ties between child support administration and family courts
Use a symmetrical formula that treats both parents similarly
Household benefits/credits should not be treated as income
Amounts should relate to spend on children, not wealth
Also - Exclusions from the Agenda for the 21st Century
Also - A method of judging proposals
Also - International Agenda for the 21st Century
Related topic - Can Child Support Agencies ever work?
Related topic - The 21st Century is making the reformed scheme obsolete
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All children should have been accepted children

All children born should have been wanted, or at least accepted, by both man & woman when they had sex.

What?

The aim is that "all children born were wanted, or at least accepted, by both man & woman when they had sex". Note "accepted" - this page does not make the stronger statement that the couple should have been "trying for a baby". (This is not a "planned parenthood" web site!)

Examples of those cases that should be eliminated include:

  • Children resulting from carelessness or embarrassment. (Many men & women use contraceptives incorrectly, and some women feel they will be thought promiscious if they are well-prepared with contraceptives).
  • Children resulting from mis-understanding. ("I thought you were on the pill").
  • Children resulting from "sperm banditry" - where the woman wants a child but not a partner (other than perhaps just a paying-partner).

Why?

The reason, as far as this web site is concerned, for eliminating the examples identified above is that they all put an unnecessary load on the child support system, or add unwanted complications to it. There are other reasons as well, such as typically poorer outcomes for the children, and the unfairness of duping men (or boys) into paying for what is essentially the mothers' hobby.

The strains & complications for the child support system include fairly obvious effects:

  • A proportion of child support cases arise from accidents between never-together couples.
  • Sometimes even for cohabiting couples, the partnership was not likely to be a long one, so was never suitable for bringing up a child without the likelihood of separation.
  • Sometimes the arrival of a child that the man doesn't want and never wanted is enough to force the separation in cohabiting couples.
  • Examples of sperm banditry sometimes cause headlines which give the child support system more of a bad name. Even grumbles of "I never wanted it anyway" will sometimes invite sympathy.

Eliminating such problem cases will:

  • Reduce the load on the child support system.
  • Remove all excuses!

The most obvious winners are children and most fathers. By extension, "society" will benefit because of the reduced conflict. Women who respect their partner's wishes, or who also don't want a child to result from this sex, will not be affected.

The most obvious losers will be women who want to have children when their male partners haven't agreed to become the fathers of those children. (Such women are in the minority, but there is evidence that they DO exist). But that is a pretty contemptible attitude for women to have, and it is difficult to have sympathy with such women. A second set of losers will be fathers who would like to make the excuse that when they had sex they didn't want children, just recreation. Once this technology is available, they will have to face the question "if you didn't want a child, why didn't you use a suitable male contraceptive?" There will be no useful answer (just "I was being stupid at the time"). They will pay for their stupidity for perhaps 16 or 18 years!

How?

The main means advocated here is simply the next generation of male contraceptives - safe, reliable, reversible, and unobtrusive. See also:
Advances in male contraception - overview

In spite of many arguments from men's groups in favour of "Choice For Men" (also known as C4M or "Male Abortion"), I have never seen a credible proposal for an acceptable scheme, or a proposal that has a plausible chance of ever being legislated for in the UK. It is too late after conception for men to exercise a choice over whether they are prepared to support or bring up the child. It is neither acceptable for a woman to be pressured into having an abortion, not for a child to be brought up with one parent opting-out completely.

In fact, this page makes a stronger point - it will be very important, once the next generation of male contraceptives becomes available, that men have every motivation to use them and not leave contraception to the woman unless he really accepts the possibility of becoming a father. There must be no "get out" - although there are no signs that men are about to be provided with one anyway.

In summary, the actions needed are those that:

  • make suitable technology available
  • avoid any barriers to the use of this technology
  • publicise the availability & advantages of this technology
  • perhaps provide extra help for boys to use the technology

There are some issues. For example, to do with under aged children and the availability of such contraceptives, and possibly parental imposition.

References

Relationship to other Agenda items
Partners should know about paternity These items are based on the primacy of bio-parentage.
Other pages in this web site
Advances in male contraception - overview  
"Choice For Men" (C4M) - overview  
Potential lobby groups
   
Other relevant external links
Risug Corporation

RISUG is a new technology in male contaceptives. In mid-2002 it passed its clinical trials in India. It is intended to introduce it into Canada.

It may take 5 or more years before it is available in "the West".

Would women trust their partners to use a male pill? National Library of Medicine - PubMed
Will men take the pill? The BBC has run on-line discussions, with a range of responses from sensible to silly, and covering all views from "yes" to "no".
Would you trust a man to take the pill?
Male Contraceptives A comprehensive web site on this yopic.

It takes many nails to build a crib, but one screw to fill it

Page last updated: 5 July, 2004 © Copyright Barry Pearson 2003