Judge: Mom Can Ban Dad From Delivery Room

NJ judge cites woman's right to privacy
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 13, 2014 8:37 AM CDT

(Newser) – A first-of-its-kind ruling is not likely to win much favor with fathers. A woman may ban her baby's daddy from the delivery room during birth, a New Jersey judge decided in a November court hearing as a mother gave her arguments ... while in labor. "The intensity was at a 20," Rebecca DeLuccia's lawyer said. As DeLuccia gave birth to a baby girl, Superior Court Judge Sohail Mohammed cited the fact that any hospital patient has the right to decide who can visit his or her bedside. In particular, "Any interest a father has before the child’s birth is subordinate to the mother’s interests," he wrote, per the Star-Ledger, which notes such a case, which involved two unwed parents, had never before been heard in the US. The judge's written ruling was released Monday.

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The couple had been engaged but called off the wedding and "were estranged from one another at the time delivery was approaching," DeLuccia's lawyer said. While it was "laudable" that father Steven Plotnick wanted to be there, his "unwanted" presence could put "unwarranted strain" on DeLuccia and harm the fetus, the judge reasoned, per NPR. Plotnick's lawyer, however, noted the father only wanted to see the baby after birth, not in the delivery room—a request that was granted, the Star-Ledger notes. And while the judge said a mother's word wins, a rep for Dads Against Discrimination called the decision "anti-male ... It takes two to tango," he said. "Why are they allowing only the mother?" (Read more delivery room stories.)

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