WWYD: Court Tries Forcing Mom to Circumcise Son Because Dad Wants It Done
by Michele Zipp
Circumcision is a personal decision a family makes -- it's also often a religious one. But what happens when a couple disagrees? I'm certain that happens a lot and one partner ends up changing their stance on the matter, but what if they don't? The courts can get involved. At least that's what happened to one couple who cannot agree on whether or not to circumcise their son. One Israeli couple is currently going through a divorce and the mother says that the father initially agreed to leave their son uncircumcised, but has since changed his mind after going through divorce proceedings.
The mother is currently being fined $140 a day for every day she refuses to agree to her son being circumcised. It's been six days so far and she hasn't budged. The family has kept their identity private but the mother said, "I have no right to cut his organ and mutilate him. And the court has no right to force me to do so."
This is a rabbinical court and they have said, "circumcision is a standard surgical procedure that is performed on every Jewish baby boy, so when one of the parents demands it, the other cannot delay it." So she's being fined and there is a chance it could end up in Supreme Court if they cannot agree.
Most parents don't reach this kind of impasse, but disagreements on circumcision happen a lot. It may even be one of the topics discussed before you get married and way before you even think about having kids with someone. It's not the kind of disagreement you want to face when pregnant ... or like in this case, going through a divorce after just having a baby.
Without putting your own opinion on circumcision into the mix, when you are going through a divorce it's still vital for both parents to agree on everything going on with the kids. This sure puts my debate with my ex over giving my son a haircut into perspective. In my case, when one parent didn't get their way (me), it didn't carry the kind of weight this situation does. However, I was strongly against my son getting his hair cut simply because my son didn't want a haircut. I felt it should be his decision to make -- not mine, not his father's. Plus, I will admit that I loved his long hair -- it never knotted, and he loved it as well. His father ... not so much. When my ex cut my son's hair without consulting me about it, I felt betrayed. My feelings, my co-parenting, wasn't considered. And my son's feelings weren't considered either. If we were instead dealing with a disagreement on circumcision, it would be much more difficult.
Should circumcision be a man's decision? One father thinks so, as does this father. Both parents must feel they just want to make the right decision for their son -- and they clearly feel very strongly about it. And whatever ends up happening, one parent is going to feel that their say in what happens with their son isn't taken into consideration, as if their rights as a parent were taken away. What an awful feeling that is.
What would you do (or have done) if you and your partner do not agree on circumcision?
What do you think of this case?
What should happen?