Husband's 'right to baby' case rejected

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Shanghai Daily, December 21, 2010
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A husband who sought a divorce because his wife refused to bear him a child and used contraception in secret has had his lawsuit thrown out by a district court.

The Jing'an District People's Court ruled that the so-called "infringement of the husband's right of birth" didn't necessarily mean the couple's marriage had broken up.

The husband, who was identified as Kang, married his wife, identified as Fen, in 2000 when they were nearly 40. Both were marrying for the second time, the court heard.

Fen became pregnant in 2003 and Kang, who has no children, was overjoyed. But Fen wanted an abortion, saying Kang had been suffering from shingles and she feared this could affect the fetus. Kang agreed.

However, Fen did not become pregnant again and in September 2009 Kang learned from her medical record that she had started using a contraceptive ring after the abortion. Enraged, Kang accused Fen of cheating him and depriving him of a child.

In a bid to save their marriage, the couple took part in a popular family dispute TV show presented by Bai Wanqing, a well-known mediator.

Kang told the court that though Fen agreed on the program to bear a child, she refused again afterwards. The husband, now 49, who believes in the Chinese tradition that a man should have a son, sought a divorce.

Fen told the court that she was worried a baby might have learning difficulties as there was a history of genetic problems in Kang's family.

In any case, she had undergone a caesarean section operation when she gave birth to her son - who lives with her ex-husband - and doctors had warned her that giving birth again could prove fatal.

Fen also said when he asked her to marry him, Kang told her they needn't have a child.

The court said the right of birth belongs to both a husband and wife.

It told Kang to be more considerate towards his wife, who at nearly 50 isn't fit for bearing a child.

As Fen won't divorce her husband, the court rejected Kang's lawsuit.

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