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Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Indentured Sperm Donors

We hear from time to time of men who have flings with women, get them pregnant and thereafter are financially indebted by the government for life for the financial support of the child.

The governmental agency that takes care of this long term arrangement is the IRD. The man pays the IRD a proportion of his salary. This amount differs depending on how much he earns. The IRD on-pays this to the woman taking care of the child/children. Or do they? (This is the bit I'm not clear on.) Anyway, the IRD makes sure the man pays, and if he doesn't pay, the IRD has the power to seize his money. The IRD doesn't care if he's struggling himself to make ends meet.

Which gets me to my small leap of logic - what man wouldn't support abortion in this scenario? If it's true that more young men support abortion than any other group, then this is probably the reason. The fear of a one night stand or temporary fling resulting in being no more than a sperm donor and perpetual provider of money.

It gets worse. The man is considered to be the "father" if he is named on the birth cirtificate. If a man believes that the child they are forced to pay for isn't theirs, they have no right to demand DNA proof of paternity. It's a wonder all of New Zealand's unattached males haven't fled our shores yet .. oh wait, there's more women in NZ in the 21-something or other age group..

One man in the news today finally got a DNA test with the consent of his grown daughter, to find that she wasn't his in the first place. Something he suspected all along, but was unable to do anything about. Now he wants compensation. See : Compo wanted after 21-year fight with bureaucracy.

The only way for a man to evade entrapment is for the mother to not name the father on the birth certificate, resulting in a reduction in the benefit she gets. And, yes, there are women out there who refuse to name the father despite being asked to do so.

It doesn't stop at casual relationships. I know a man who's wife left him for this man's "friend". The child payments were calculated on the man's good salary at the time, but he'd left his job to live closer to the children since his wife had moved across the country. He couldn't get another job, IRD were still charging him for the time he was unemployed, so he consequently fell behind on the enormous payments the IRD still expected of him. It finally dawned on him that it was better to not earn money at all. Now he is unemployed and is going to tech. Seems to be the only way out of the loop, that or leave the country.

It's timely that the indentured servetude that many many in NZ are labouring under is back in the news. It's inextricably linked with abortion because abortion could be seen to be the solution to the potential problem of never ending child support.

Can you see how the hand of government is in here? The government is supposedly there to make sure that men pay for the result of their "crime", while the women get to be the beneficiaries. I'm not saying that raising kids is easy and that we should just abandon single mothers, what I'm saying is it looks to me that the system appears to be designed to create a class of single mothers and indentured sperm donors, rather than letting the parties involved to sort it out between themselves. I wouldn't be surprised if the cost of ensuring that sperm donors pay for their offspring is closely equivalent with the money collected. I'm including in here the lost income from men fleeing the country and from men refusing to work.

The number of single mothers is increasing, so if there's some sort of move to split up men from their potential mates and children - and it's working. More and more men are turning into indentured sperm donors. Not a future I want for my sons.

Posted by Lucia Maria | 6/08/2005 10:53:00 pm


Blogger Bernard Woolley said...

It also makes some of us males a lot more protective of our 'intellectual property', which isn't a bad thing - it means we are taking more responsibility for our actions. Clearly there are still way too many irresponsible males out there, if they were more careful with their IP, they wouldn't be in sticky situations in the first place.

6/08/2005 11:53:00 pm  
Blogger ZenTiger said...

Interesting point about access to DNA tests to check the "IP".

Bernard, I'm not sure if the threat of paying maintenance is any more of a disincentive than the "threat" of becoming a father and all of the responsibilities to some-one young.

Part of the problem with the younger is the "it wont happen to me" attitude. Perhaps the other part of the problem is the "just get an abortion" attitude. There are solutions to problems, and there is understanding and respect for actions and consequences, and the acceptance of responsibility. Society is losing its way.

That being said, thought your reply was cream of the crop. Liked the IP angle. Sticky situations indeed! Next you'll be going on about off-shore production, paternity patent rights and capital injection.

6/09/2005 12:05:00 am  
Blogger Berend de Boer said...

Heay, this is just the result of feminism. Men have it easy now. Just f**k around and leave when the responsibilities are coming.

I would say it's the fault of women and their parents. If they teach their daughters that sex without marriage is just fine, they're gonna get it. If they send their kids to public schools, what other message do they expect will their kids hear?

6/09/2005 09:51:00 am  
Blogger Ackers1 said...

They are going to get a different message if they send their kids to a private school Berend? And of course it's their fault for sending their kids to a public school in the 1st place - what more do they expect! And what exactly are they going to 'get' if they teach their kids that sex without marriage is fine? It sure seems that way to me. I've had plenty of sex without marriage and it was mostly extremely fine.

6/09/2005 10:25:00 am  
Blogger Berend de Boer said...

ackers1, my point is: is there a public school with a different message?

What they're going to get is single mums. Aren't the statistics clear?

ackers1, on 'extremely fine', as I said: haven't heard men complaining.

6/09/2005 10:40:00 am  
Blogger stephen said...

It seems to me that the regime is almost alimony in disguise. Because the income assessable is not capped until over 90K pa, the sums that can be paid at the high end are well in excess of the needs of any normal child.

My ex and I share custody of our daughter, week on, week off. I have a healthy income, above the cap set for assessment. My ex is also well-paid -- about 20K above the national average -- but not as well as I am. Under the current regime, I would have to pay her the difference between what I would get as fulltime custodian from here, and what she would get as fulltime custodian from me. It amounts to several hundred dollars per month, even though our daughter spends half her time at my place!

To her credit, the ex recognises the inherent unfairness of this and we have worked out our own arrangement. Not everyone ends up on such amicable terms though...

The young man who fears child support payments always has the option of a) keeping his dick in his pants or b) using a condom. Those who fall out with their partners have many choices, but they are all unpleasant.

With you on the injustice of refusing tests, however.

As to the school issue, all I can say is that as parents, it's our job to inculcate our own values into our children, not the school's.

6/09/2005 04:26:00 pm  

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