25 February 2016

Illinois Republicans go after single moms

When I first came across this, I'd assumed it was from the Onion, but apparently it's real. Illinois Republicans have proposed a law that wouldn't give birth certificates to children of single mothers who can't (or won't) name the father of the child.

HB6064Synopsis As Introduced
Amends the Vital Records Act. Removes a provision concerning use of the biological father's name on the birth certificate if not married to the biological mother. Provides that if the unmarried mother cannot or refuses to name the child's father, either a father must be conclusively established by DNA evidence or, within 30 days after birth, another family member who will financially provide for the child must be named, in court, on the birth certificate. Provides that absent DNA evidence or a family member's name, a birth certificate will not be issued and the mother will be ineligible for financial aid from the State for support of the child. Provides an exception for artificially inseminated mothers. Amends the Illinois Public Aid Code. Provides that a family that does not comply with the Vital Records Act provision concerning birth certificates of unmarried mothers shall be ineligible for aid for support of the child. Effective immediately.

Have any of these Republican geniuses considered the fact that lacking a birth certificate might be a major problem for the child. Of course, it's insanely unjust for the mother as well. Laurel Dickman discusses just one very realistic scenario in which this might be problematic...

...say I had a one night stand – oy, you can say that QUITE A FEW TIMES, if you get my drift… There have been a couple of times where after a few drinks and a night of flirting, last names were simply not a priority. I may have wanted to see that person again, I may not have, but that choice was not always mine to make. Several weeks later, as my period is a couple of days late, I play the “what if game” and wonder if I should have an abortion or have Mr. I’ll Call You’s baby. The same portion of the government that would demonize me for having an abortion would be punishing me (and my theoretical child) for not being able to track down the father if I had it.

It's also conceivable that the guy gave the girl a false name or the girl couldn't recall the spelling. Beyond these details, we must ask why so many of the Republican proposals are designed to shame, blame and humiliate the poor or socially disadvantaged. Don't single mothers have enough on the their hands already? Why are the righteous right's posses so silent when the miscreants are members of the affluent classes?


Anonymous said...

Have you considered it unjust that taxpayers would now have to support the kid?

Karlo said...

I consider it unjust that a child wouldn't be given a birth certificate. Is the child supposed to go through life as a nonperson just because the state can't track down the father?

Anonymous said...

It's not the state's or taxpayers' job to track down the father. If the mother was so irresponsible as to conceive a child without knowing who the father is, she should pay for it. And you as well, since you do not seem that there is anything wrong with that. I however do not wish to pay.

Karlo said...

You're assuming that all single mothers don't pay for their children. My sister was a single mother who worked hard and made between 70 and 120 grand most her life. My nephew has a PhD and does fine. Why would the state be justified in not giving my nephew a birth certificate? This makes no sense.