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New Jersey Judge: Women Can Block Dads From Delivery Room

By Cleve Bryan

CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) -- A New Jersey court decision makes it clear, it may take two to tango but not to give birth.

"It's well established under federal and state law that there is a privacy right when a woman's in labor."

Rutgers professor and family law expert Sally Goldfarb says a Passaic County judge made the right call last November in his decision, which was published this week, when he sided with pregnant woman that her ex-fiancee had no legal right to be in the delivery room.

"What this man was seeking to do was really interfere with the woman's ability to exercise her own choices about giving birth in privacy and that to me falls outside of the rights that a father is legitimately entitled to."

In the decision, believed to be the first of its kind, the father was also told he didn't have a right to know when the baby was born.

Jeff Golden of Fathers & Children's Equality says, "It's a sad day for fathers, and for father's and men's rights."

Jeff Golden worries this sort of ruling paves the way for some fathers to be nothing more than visitors and pay checks to their own children.

"The way we look at it is a child is born, a child had two parents and they should be two equal parents."

Women have mixed feelings on the ruling.

Ashley Silva of Camden says, "Obviously, she's delivering the baby [but] the father is also a part of the baby's life, so I feel like he should be there, too."

Lauren Martinez of Camden says, "If she wants her mom there or a coach or whoever that's fine, but the man should at least be notified. I feel like that's a right that a man should have."

 CBS 3's Cleve Bryan spoke to the lawyer for the father in this case who says the two parents worked out an acceptable arraignment and so there will not be an appeal.

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