This is urgent! We are legally married. His mother has threatened to have it done against my wishes, and I need to know what I can do to prevent her from doing so. Can I let the hospital and surrounding clinics know that I will sue them if it is done without my consent? Will they actually care? Is it true that her signature is the only one that is necessary to have the circumcision performed? What are my options to protect my baby from his mother? I do not want to divorce her, but I don't know if I can stay in the marriage if she does this. Can she prevent me from coming to the hospital for his birth? Someone please help. I have contacted ARC Law, but have not heard back.
In actuality, you have two issues -- the circumcision and the underlying conflict between you and your spouse. The issue you present has strong emotional and possibly religious elements. You and you spouse may have different positions on whether circumcision is right or wrong and that conflict should be addressed as you consider what you want to do and how you want to accomplish it.
Circumcision is performed either at the request of the parents following birth in the hospital or in religious ceremonies by trained professionals. Preventing circumcision, or any other surgical procedure that one parent wishes to have performed on a child, might be accomplished by, as you suggested, notifying the likely medical providers and facilities that you object to the circumcision. A provider that performed a surgical procedure on your son without your consent may constitute a battery.
Many medical professionals will provide treatment/services with the authorization of just one parent. That is not to say that they will provide services/treatment when one parent consents but the other expressly objects (preferably in writing).
If you are in an otherwise in-tact and successful marriage, you might want to try counseling with your wife to work through the issue and gain the benefit of having an objective third-party help navigate what is clearly a very sensitive issue for you and your family. Simply objecting, regardless of whether or not you are successful in preventing the circumcision, will do nothing to resolve any bitterness that lingers after the situation is resolved (either by the circumcision occurring of being halted).
My colleague has provided an excellent overview. This does not sound like a good issue and/or marriage if it is creating this type of urgency. You can notify the hospital that you are both the parents and your are married and both have parental rights and do not have your permission to perform the procedure. They may or may not abide. I would strongly encourage you to think about what you want to do because if you take such steps, then it would seem like the marriage may be over.
This answer is for general informational purposes only and should not be relied upon for your particular case nor is it intended as legal advice. I have not reviewed your case nor have I met with you and the answer to this question does not in any manner whatsoever establish an attorney/client relationship.
I agree. Make your objection known to the medical facility/doctor in writing immediately. Unless your wife has a restraining order against you, it is highly unlikely that you will be barred from being present at the birth of your son by the Hospital staff. You may want to reach out to an attorney as this issue may escalate into something worse.
From a practical standpoint, I believe you will prevail if you present an objection to the doctors in writing. You are still married; you have not signed an agreement with her consenting to medical procedures for your son. I doubt your wife will pay an attorney to fight you in court regarding the circumcision.
However, from a legal standpoint, assuming your wife takes you to court, the outcome is unclear. Please see the article here:
The Palm Beach Court ordered the parties to go forward with the circumcision. I contacted the family law firm handling this matter and asked whether the court's decision was up for appeal, and the attorneys could not answer my question, citing confidentiality. My searches for an appellate decision on the matter were unfruitful.
Turning back to the practical matters, I recommend resisting, and drafting a letter to the hospital.
At which hospital does she plan on giving birth, what are their procedures? As for you being present at the hospital during the child's birth, my first step would be to contact the hospital. You are presently married to this woman. You are, therefore, the legal father of the child. I'm interested to see the hospital's response.
The fact that you have had to come to avvo.com to ask an attorney for help regarding the circumcision of your child... Hmm...
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