A New Jersey Judge has ruled in groundbreaking case, that Dad (or anyone else for that matter) does not have this right. This is one of the first cases where a dispute between unwed parents regarding a father’s presence in the delivery room has been litigated. In the recent decision entered by New Jersey Superior Court Judge Sohail Mohammed, the Court found that a woman’s right to privacy outweighs a father’s right to be in the delivery room for the birth of his child.
The Judge wrote: “Any interest a father has before the child’s birth is subordinate to the mother’s interests…A finding in favor of plaintiff for both notification and forced entry into the delivery room would in fact be inconsistent with existing jurisprudence on the interests of women in the children they carry pre-birth,” The Judge went on to say that such a ruling would “create practical concerns where the father’s unwelcomed presence could cause additional stress on the mother and child. Moreover, such a finding would also lead to a slippery slope where the mother’s interest could be subjugated to that of the father’s.” It is important to note that the Judge made the distinction that a mother’s interests are only superior before the child’s birth.
This ruling does not indicate that once a child is born a mother’s rights are superior to a father’s rights. It is important to remember that after the birth of a child both parents have equal footing regarding the ability to parent and exercise parenting time with the child. This ruling should not and does not seek to prevent any parent from seeking to exercise his or her parenting rights once a child is born. Posted by Robyn E. Ross, Esq.