This note will entail an in-depth analysis of the Wisconsin Supreme Court's majority opinion and the dissent. This note will also provide support for the majority opinion by evaluating how the court's decision will help protect the children of individuals like Oakley, who intentionally refuse to support them. While some may claim that the probation condition to prohibit Oakley from procreating was a drastic measure, it was the appropriate measure for the court to take. This sentence will serve as a deterrent to Oakley and other fathers who intentionally refuse to support their children. The probation condition will prevent any future children from being subjected to Oakley's neglect. It will also help the nine children that he already has because Oakley will be able to work full-time and he will have the means to provide child support to the four mothers of these children. Based upon the fact that Oakley is not incarcerated, he has the opportunity to establish a relationship with his children, which is sorely needed. One of his daughters is so disgusted with him that she wishes to change her last name. Another child stated that she has never received any Christmas or birthday presents from her father. Children are our society's most important assets and they must be protected. The effect of failing to pay child support and neglecting one's children leads to dramatic results. This note will illustrate how this behavior contributes to childhood depression. This depression carries over into adulthood and repeats itself when depressed adults have children. Our courts and legislature must find a way to stop this cycle. The majority opinion in Oakley took a step in the right direction. Part II of this note documents the policy considerations and reasoning behind the Manitowoc County's Circuit Court opinion, the Second District Court of Appeals of Wisconsin decision and the Wisconsin Supreme Court's majority opinion. Part III will analyze the reasoning of the two female justices who provided written dissents. Part IV will provide the most recent update on Oakley's case in the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Part V will discuss how a child's mental health is detrimentally affected when his or her parent intentionally refuses to support them. Part VI will propose ideas that could help the plight of children in these situations. Part VII will conclude with the proposition that the Oakley decision was necessary to protect his children from any further harm.
Note, Prohibiting Procreation: A Step in the Right Direction to Protect the Children of Deadbeat Dads; an Analysis of the Court Decision in State v. Oakley, 17 J.L. & Health 327 (2002-2003)