Plotnick v. DeLuccia: A Father’s Pre-birth Rights

Very recently, in the case of Plotnick v. DeLuccia, a New Jersey Family Court Judge ruled that a father does not have the right to be notified when the pregnant mother goes into labor and does not have the right to be in the delivery room.

This was a case of first impression in New Jersey, as this issue has never been before the courts. The Judge heavily relied upon the United States Supreme Court decision in the landmark case Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which found that a mother did not have to notify the father of an abortion. As a result, the New Jersey Judge determined that a father’s pre-birth rights are inferior to the mother’s interests. The Judge ultimately held that “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. 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 as the Casey court warned.”

See the overview in the Case Text.