Sign up for the Dr. Phil Newsletter
Twitter Facebook YouTube

2009 Shows

 
(Original Air Date: 10/22/08) Once a woman has a baby, the biological father is legally bound to provide financial support for the child. But what should a man do if he discovers he's responsible for a child he didn't know existed? Two years ago, Matt appeared on the show to discuss his court case dubbed "Roe vs. Wade for Men." Since then, Matt's case has been thrown out of court multiple times. And his mom, Diane, says the state has made an example out of her son and destroyed him financially and emotionally. Joining Matt and Diane is Mel Feit, Matt's advocate and director of the National Center for Men, and Gloria Allred, president of the Women's Equal Rights Legal Defense and Education Fund. Don't miss the lively debate that ensues! Next, Nicol says she thought she and her husband, Noel, had the ideal family life with a happy marriage and two children. Her dream shattered when Noel's ex-girlfriend called and requested that he get a DNA paternity test for a baby he never knew existed. Find out how the test results have changed Noel and Nicol’s lives. And, you won't believe what the baby's mother has to say! Then, what happens if a man becomes a sperm donor for a friend and years later she takes him to court for child support? Attorney John Purcell represented a man in a similar case which changed the law in Pennsylvania. And, TV and radio star Jay Thomas was contacted by his biological son 18 years after he was placed for adoption. He shares the story of their meeting. Find out if it's been a smooth reunion for Jay and his child or if they've hit rocky patches. Talk about the show here.

Find out what happened on the show.
Comments
Replied By: lizawren on Oct 2, 2013, 1:26PM - In reply to bdycus
Kudos to you for a great reply and for you and your husband for ultimately being the kind of people your kids are/will be so proud to call their parents
 
Replied By: lizawren on Oct 2, 2013, 1:21PM
Rarely have I seen a person as ugly on the inside as that woman from the second couple. With all her talk about 'our perfect circle' and how news of the half-sibling will 'devastate' her kids, she makes it plain that her values are incredibly superficial. The news won't devastate her kids, but her poisonous attitude certainly might. Life isn't perfect, and it's not supposed to be; we wouldn't learn much then, would we? Sometimes God throws a wrench into our 'perfect' plans that seems like a terrible misfortune, but turns out to be our greatest blessing because of the lessons in compassion, humility, and love that we've gained from the experience.
 
Replied By: qtherapist on Dec 2, 2011, 9:45AM
I'm a marriage and family therapist and I try to see both sides of the issue. It's obviously very heated. I don't mean to throw in a wrench but I'm curious about something if you all could give feedback about this scenario:

What if a woman takes a man's sperm after some form of consenting act, and takes it to the fertility clinic to get herself impregnated later. The man does not know about this. When the child is in elementary school, she sues for child support money but doesn't want father to visit. There's retroactive child support to be collected and he pays.

In terms of visitation - since the child is older, the court orders it so that the mother must supervise the visits with the father. She had turned the child to "against him" and the father has difficulty trying to establish some relationship with the child. There already is another man that the child has been calling "daddy. "

Isn't there an exploitive or fraudulent factor in this kind of situation?
 
Replied By: juniejones on Aug 20, 2011, 2:11AM - In reply to tyme4jack
Father's do not have a right to force a woman to have an abortion. This is because it is an invasive, traumatic procedure that a WOMAN must undergo. Period. No one can force a woman to do this. However, once the baby is in the world, the court is concerned about the baby's rights...not the father's. So yes, the father must pay up to help support an innocent child. A woman should't have to put her baby up for adoption b/c the baby's father doesn't want to pay. If you are male and don't like it, don't have sex. And I think the stories of women trapping men to get child support are a joke. It cost far more to raise a child per month than most men pay in support. Most people walking around complaining about child support are not millionaires that woman trapped. Please.
 
Replied By: juniejones on Aug 20, 2011, 2:00AM - In reply to cta2000
The double standard argument is a joke. There isn't a double standard in the law. The fact of the matter is that it is basic human anatomy. Women have more control over the pregnancy b/c they carry the child. Men can walk away and be footloose and fancy free for 9 months...and then cry in their beer when they have to pay child support. Wear a condom! The father on that show and his horrible wife made me sick. Take some responsibility. No one tricked you. We all learn that if you have sex a pregnancy can result. It is the chance you take.
 
Replied By: cta2000 on Aug 19, 2011, 8:38PM
There is clearly a double standard in our laws.  As a woman, I believe in equal rights, however in the case of reproductive choice, the rights do not seem to be equal at all.  If a man and a woman choose to have sex and that act results in the birth of a baby, the man is financially responsible for that child even if he makes it very clear that he does not choose to be a father.  This doesn't sound that crazy until you look at the woman's options.  If a woman chooses to have sex with a man and that act results in a pregnancy, she then has the option of terminating the pregnancy if she does not feel ready to be a parent.  The man does not have that choice.  Then if she decides to go through with the pregnancy, she has another option to give the baby up for adoption.  So in short, if a woman chooses to have sex, she has two chances to change her mind about being a parent.  If a man chooses to have sex, he has no chances to change his mind about being a parent.  I completely agree with the men's rights advocate on the show today.  The man should be given a short window of time during which to make his choice known.  Then the woman can make her choice, knowing exactly where the man stands when doing so.  I was really upset by the behavior of the women's rights activist on the show and how she treated the men like heartless, selfish jerks.  Would she speak that way to a woman who chose abortion or adoption?  I doubt it...
 
Replied By: obx2006 on Aug 19, 2011, 7:51PM
IF DNA IS NOT THE MEASURE OF FATHERHOOD THEN WHAT IS?? WITHOUT LOOSING MY TEMPER I WILL SAY THIS IN SHORT-IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE A FATHER/MOTHER THEN DO NOT HAVE THE SEX THAT IS THE SURE FIRE WAY TO BE SURE YOU WILL NOT PARENT A CHILD. MY HUSBAND AND I HAD BEEN FRIENDS SINCE 1ST GRADE DATED OFF AND ON IN HIGH SCHOOL AT 25 WE HAD JOBS AND HAD EXPERIENCED OTHERS RELATIONSHIPS, WE GOT MARRIED IN MAY 93 IN MAY 94 WE BECAME PARENTS WE HAD TALKED AND WANTED CHILDREN. I WAS ON BIRTH CONTROL AS I WAS NOT READY MYSELF FOR A BABY. BUT I GOT READY REAL FAST AND HAVE PRIDED MYSELF ON BEING A TERRIFIC BUT YES FLAWED MOM. MY SON IS NOW ALMOST IS SMART FUNNY TALENTED A WONDERFUL PERSON. THE DOWN SIDE IS HIS FATHER WAS NOT READY NEVER HAS GOTTEN READY AND HAS SEEN HIS SON ONLY ONCE IN ALL THESE YEARS HE HAS TOLD HIS CURRENT WIFE I TRIED TO PREVENT HIM FROM SEEING HIM. TRUTH IS MY SON AND I HAD THE SAME ADDRESS, PHON, CAR MY PARENTS THE SAME HE HAS VISITATION YET HE NEVER USED IT. HE RAN AWAY FROM MY SON IN VIRGINIA AND TOOK UP WITH A WOMAN AND HER 5 KIDS IN ARKANSAS AND TRULY WANTS NOTHING TO DO WITH US. HIS FAMILY HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH US EITHER THEY FEEL I SHOULD FORCE MY SON TO SEE HIS FATHER AND I SHOULD BE THE ONE TO LOAD MY SON UP AND HUNT HIS FATHER DOWN. WHILE I REALIZE THAT CHILDREN DO NEED BOTH PARENTS I FEEL THAT BOTH PARENTS SHOULD PUT THE EFFORT INTO BEING THERE FOR THE KIDS. MY SON IS HAPPY AND IF HE ASKS TO SEE HIS DAD I WILL DEFINITELY TAKE HIM BUT I AM SURE HIS FATHER WILL NOT BE PLEASED. AGAIN IF YOU HAVE SEX THEN YOU HAVE NOT TAKEN ALL POSSIBLE STEPS TO NOT BECOME A PARENT. NO SEX = NO BABIES!!! JUST THAT SIMPLE.
 
Replied By: bdycus on Jul 14, 2011, 5:20PM
I am watching Forced to be a Father and I am disgusted by these people!  Especially the wife that is on here whose husband has a child with another woman.  Let me start by saying....I have a 13 year old son and a few years ago, I found out I have a 13 1/2 year old step son.  (There is 6 months difference in the ages of my son and my step-son)  You all can do the math and figure out what happened and let's just say I was less than thrilled!!!  But....I have welcomed that child....that innocent child....into our home and our lives and we write that check to his mother every month.  Am I happy about it???  HECK NO!!!  But....my husband made the choice to have sex with this woman and it resulted in a child who had no choice.  If my husband had done anything other than what he did....come clean w/ me first.....go meet this young boy the same weekend.....bring him home to meet us the next week.....and WRITE THAT CHECK EACH MONTH.....I would have walked out and never looked back!!!  I'll be honest....it gets under my skin to write that check but it is the right thing to do.  If my husband had ignored this child and had the stupidity to go on national TV and let the world know what a louse he is, that would have been a reason to leave him.  I am disgusted by these people on this show.  God bless those babies and I hope they are loved beyond measure by the people that matter and those other people......what comes around goes around!!!
 
Replied By: cutelil222 on Mar 19, 2011, 10:12PM - In reply to hollywoodhoney
I wanted to do some research on these laws before I said anything about them. What I have found is only 5 of the states that have Safe Haven Laws in place give the option to the father to take the child. At this point the mother would have already relinquished her rights as the mother. The day the mother drops the infant off is the day she stops taking responsibiltiy for her child. Once the child is taken in she has surrendered her rights. 20 states do allow for the parent to change thier mind, as long as rights have not been yet surrendered.
 
Replied By: cutelil222 on Mar 19, 2011, 9:40PM - In reply to clworl
I agree with you on enforcement. Before my husband got custody of his daughter, his ex-wife refused visitation periods on many occassions, just to be mean. All they will do here is give you a report, because it is a civil matter. You can then file contempt charges, that cost $150 per filing plus legal fees, and laywers say do not file one at a time. So you have to go a long time period with consistent refusals. But, if you do not pay childsupport, which is also a civil issue, they will arrest you and suspend your license. I will also say there is a gender bias here. I have a friend who has had custody of his daughter since she was 2. She is 16. He has gone to Child Support Enforcement on several occassions with no response. At one point the mother was in jail in our county. They would not have had to go far to find her. Yet my husband was paying on time and child support enforcement sent him a letter letting him know there was an active case and if he did not pay he would lose his license.
 
Showing 1-10 of total 1003 Comments