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Geoffrey D. Mueller

GEOFFREY D. MUELLER

N.J. Court Holds Mother Can Exclude Father From Delivery Room - Plotnick v. DeLuccia

Per the New Jersey Law Journal:

"A putative father has no right to be notified that the expectant mother is in labor nor to be present in the delivery room if the mother objects, a New Jersey judge says in an apparent case of first impression nationwide.

"Ruling in a dispute between estranged, unmarried parents, Superior Court Judge Sohail Mohammed held that a woman's right to privacy and to control her body during pregnancy allows her to shut the father out.

"'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,' he wrote in Plotnick v. DeLuccia.

"'It 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.'
Mohammed said in his opinion, published March 10, that according to his research, 'the issues of whether a putative father has a right to be notified when a woman enters labor, and whether a father has a right to be present at the child's birth over the mother's objection, have never been litigated in New Jersey or the United States.'"

Full article and opinion after the jump...