Whatever their family background, children have a right to be supported by both parents. The court system and child support guidelines in Colorado and elsewhere typically provide for all children to be supported by their parents, even if one parent does not have custody of the child. Despite their best efforts, however, the courts have yet to find a way to stop men and women from having children that they cannot afford, and child support enforcement is difficult and costly. This is a problem not just in Colorado, but nationwide.

A recent ruling by a court may serve as a deterrent for those parents who shirk the responsibility of providing for the financial needs of their offspring. A 44-year-old father in a Midwestern state landed in hot water with a judge after being charged with failure to pay child support to the tune of more than $100,000 for nine children with six different women.

The judge in this case ruled that the defendant must not have any more children until he can prove that he is able to provide for them and went on record as wishing that he had the judicial authority to order the man to be sterilized. That authority does not exist.

The father said that he will abide by the judge’s ruling even though it found it “hasty.”

The collection of child support is a major issue for many children in this country. Millions of dollars in delinquent payments go uncollected each year at the expense of the children who need this money. But does that preclude a person’s individual liberty over their own body?

Source: JSOnline.com, “Behind in child support dad barred from having more kids,” Dec. 4, 2012.