The Houston Family Law Blog

Stop Having Kids, Judge Says

If you can't support your children, then shouldn't you stop having kids? That's the idea that a Wisconsin family court judge had, reports NBC News.

But is such an order infringing upon the fundamental right of a human to procreate? Corey Curtis was sentenced to three years of probation on Monday, writes NBC. His crime? Felony bail jumping and failure to pay child support.

Curtis owes over $90,000 in child support payments. He has nine children with six different women. Racine County Circuit Judge Tim Boyle had some strong orders for Curtis, as a result.

Stop having kids.

Curtis has been ordered not to procreate until he demonstrates that he can support his children. The $90,000 includes $50,000 in support and another $40,000 in interest.

This isn’t the first time a family court judge put out a strange order. It’s happened in Texas before. In 2008, a young mother was ordered not to get pregnant during her ten-year probation.

Felicia Salazar, a twenty-year old Texas mom, was sentenced to probation for allowing her child to be subject to child abuse. As part of her probation terms, Judge Baird ordered her not to get pregnant for ten years, after she failed to protect her 19-month old daughter from abuse by the child’s father, Roberto Alvarado.

Alvarado was sentenced to ten years in prison, after the couple’s toddler was found with broken bones and other injuries from being beaten by Alvarado, writes The Wall Street Journal. Both parents had to relinquish their parental rights and the child was placed in foster care.

Does such an order conflict with the fundamental right of a person to reproduce?

As Judge Baird said, Texas law allows a judge to impose any reasonable condition on probation. While a judge can’t order someone to be sterilized, a judge can order someone not to get pregnant.

The Wisconsin decision and the Texas decision both raise important issues and it’s certainly foreseeable that these rulings could come under the judicial microscope one day, as they touch on core concepts involving fundamental rights.

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