N.J. Judge Allows Mothers to Ban Dads From Delivery Room

By ABC News

Mar 13, 2014 2:23pm

ABC News’ Reena Ninan reports:

Dads in delivery rooms are a pretty common fixture these days.

But now a New Jersey Superior Court Judge has ruled that expectant moms have the legal right to keep dads out.

The ruling was a victory for Rebecca DeLuccia, who became pregnant by Steven Plotnick, the plaintiff in the court case, last year.  The couple split before their daughter was born last November.

Plotnick didn’t want to miss the first moments of his baby’s life, so he went to court.

“His main concern was seeing his daughter when she was born and being able to bond with her,” Laura Nunnick, Plotnick’s attorney, told ABC News. “What he asked was to be in an area near where the delivery room was.”

The judge, Sohail Mohammed, ruled in favor of a mom’s right to privacy in the delivery room:  “the court … finds that requiring the mother to notify the father that she has gone into labor and or require his physical presence would be an undue burden on her …. The court finds that they overwhelmingly favor the mother’s interests over the father’s application for his notice and appearance at the child’s birth.”

The court hearing and ruling happened last November – around the same time DeLuccia went into labor and delivered a girl.

Mohammed indicated in his opinion on the ruling that he was afraid Plotnick’s presence could put undue stress on DeLuccia during the birth.

Nunnick says her client will not appeal the judge’s decision in the case, believed to be the first of its kind to be litigated in the United States.

“This case clearly applies to unmarried couples,” said Nunnick. “How it extends to married couples, I don’t know yet.”

She says her client did work out an agreement with the mother to see his daughter.

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