Yes, that’s right folks, the most detrimental and expensive STD is an unwanted child! Oh, you thought I was going to say Herpes? Hah! This blog isn’t called Not A Father for nuthin’!
I am far more scared of an accidental pregnancy than any non-life-threatening STD. Having a child when you don’t want one has some incredibly negative life consequences, which we will discuss here and compare to various STDs.
So what happens if you knock a woman up and she decides to have the kid? Well first off you’ll likely be kicking yourself and feeling like a complete fucking idiot, which you are. After that, there’s expensive genetic testing to see if you’re the actual father, or if you’re really lucky it’s some other chump. This testing is not optional by the way. If she names you as a possible father, testing will be court-mandated and you have to do it. If you’re the father, you will likely need to hire a lawyer in order to establish custody, which is a whole ordeal in and of itself. Even if you don’t want custody, you’ll have the same court knocking on your door for child support payments. And what happens if you don’t pay child support? You get to spend some time in jail! Sound good? I didn’t think so.
IF YOU WANT CUSTODY
If you actually want part or full custody, be prepared for a lot of trips to the courtroom and a huge amount of legal fees. Even if you spend $100k, there’s no guarantee you’ll get any custody if she doesn’t want you to. Courts tend to favor the woman in most cases and will generally award custody to her if she doesn’t want you to be in the kid’s life, but this isn’t always the case.
Let’s say you get 50% custody. What does your life look like now? You’ll have a child to take care of for 50% of your time. If you want to go to work, you have to find child care. If you want to go on a date, you have to find a sitter. Do you have any idea how expensive child care is? I don’t have kids (duh), but most of my friends do and it’s insane how much they spend on child care just so the parents can go to work and earn enough money to support their little family. On top of this cost of child care, you still have to pay child support to the mother! Doesn’t sound like a good deal to me.
IF YOU DON’T WANT CUSTODY
You’ll still have to go to court to have custody decided. Then they will calculate your child support payments which can be pretty hefty.
For someone making about $75k a year living in California with no custody, you’ll be paying $1400-$1600 a month on child support. This is calculated as a percentage of your income, so if your income is higher, your child support payments will also be higher. This comes out to about $17,000-$19,000 per year, and $300k-$350k for the duration of the 18 years of child support you will be forced to pay. And sometimes child support can extend longer than 18 years! I’m pretty sure you have better things to do with that money. In comparison, the average HIV medication cost is around $18k per year, about the same as child support! Herpes (HSV2) medication on the other hand costs about $20 per month.
How would your life change with an STD like this? Depends on the person, and the STD. Many people live wonderful, active sex lives with herpes or HIV. There are even dating sites specifically designed with the STD positive dating community in mind such as positivesingles.com, or datingpositives.com. Of course you want to avoid contracting an STD by following all the safe sex rules and reading blogs like this, but we’re comparing an unwanted kid to the possibility of having an STD. There are tons of drawbacks too. You would need to disclose your STD status to 100% of the people you dated, adding another layer to the already difficult process of finding a mate.
Having a kid on the other hand, you certainly wouldn’t need to tell everyone you dated. If you had custody though, you would need to radically alter your dating life in order to make it work; finding a sitter, a place to take the new lady, etc. Car sex beyond your twenties probably isn’t going to go well…
I think we can conclude this article by agreeing that neither situation would be a good one, and neither would make you any more happy. You should be doing everything you can to avoid an unwanted pregnancy, and take every precaution to avoid getting an STD. Simple. Keep your condoms handy, an adequate amount of Plan B in your medicine cabinet, and some pregnancy tests around just in case. Follow the birth control rules, stick to safe sex, and maybe buy my book if you’re super serious and want to reduce your sperm count to zero.