Circumcising A 4-Year-Old To Spite Your Ex Is Horrible Parenting

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scalpelA lengthy court battle over the future of one child’s foreskin seems to have finally ended, and yet there are no winners in this case. I usually don’t care about what’s in a child’s pants, particularly when that child isn’t mine, but performing a circumcision on a four-year-old without a medical or religious reason is just parents using the child as a pawn and not acting in his best interest. It’s cutting off your child’s foreskin just to spite your ex.

According to, Heather Hironimus and Dennis Nebus had a six month relationship that resulted in a pregnancy. Since the baby’s birth the couple has been in and out of court over everything from parenting time to who the child calls Mommy and Daddy. One thing they did agree on was the decision to have baby Chase circumcised, but when the time came for the procedure, Hironimus changed her mind and got an emergency order to stop the circumcision from happening.

Nebus, who has stated in court documents that he wants his son to get circumcised because it’s “just the normal thing to do”, also filed court papers. The case wound its way through the system until recently, when the Fourth District Court of Appeal upheld a lower court’s ruling in favor of the father and the procedure. Chase is now four-years-old. Although mom can apply for a rehearing, she hasn’t.

I’m pro-circumcision. The CDC gave the procedure a thumbs up, my husband wanted our sons to be circumcised, and since I thought he would know more about it, I agreed. Once I saw the aftermath I was pretty angry with my husband because the surgical site looked grisly and these were my little babies, but admittedly they didn’t seem to be bothered by it, the site healed quickly and now I don’t really think about those tubes of skin in a bio-hazard bag somewhere.

Based on my rudimentary “He who has the junk shall make the decision” thought process, you’d think I would be happy that the courts have sided with Nebus in this case, but I’m not. While I’m all for newborns getting snipped if that’s what the parents want, once a child is old enough to know what’s in his pants, it’s cruel for parents to force the procedure on him without a medical reason.

Circumcisions for newborns are a quick procedure that don’t require the patient to be sedated. I was in the room for one of my son’s circumcisions and I was surprised at how fast it was over and how little he cried (though the copious amounts of sugar water the nurses gave him probably had something to do with that). But performing a circumcision on a older child is much more involved, more like a full blown surgical procedure. The pain, recovery time and potential for complications is increased with a four-year-old.

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