Woman Gets Court Order to Bar Husband from Her Delivery Room

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judge-in-court-with-gavelA Long Island mother set a precedent this week when she successfully got a judge to issue a court order barring her husband from being in the delivery room to witness the birth of their child.

According to the New York Post, Brianne Stoffer Tagliarini and her husband, Eric Tagliarini, have two children and a third that was due earlier this week. They split up in February after four years of marriage, though, and now that they are no longer a couple, Stoffer Tagliarini said she did not want him in the delivery room when she gives birth to their third child.

Tagliarini was furious. He was there for the births of the previous two children, and says he considers himself a full-time dad, “not a part-time dad” and that he has the right to see his child’s birth. His disappointment and his feelings are completely understandable, but in the end it is Stoffer Tagliarini who is going to be squatting and groaning and pushing a human being out of her, and that’s a stressful enough situation. It’s their child, but it’s her labor and her delivery, and in the end it’s up to her to say who she wants to be watching her while it happens.

It sucks that they’re in that situation at all. It’s sad that their relationship is strained and it’s difficult for everybody involved, but the point of a birth is to get a baby safely into the world, and minimizing stressors to the laboring woman is a big part of achieving that goal. That includes keeping an unwanted ex out of the room while it happens. 

Stoffer Tagliarini says she has no intention of keeping her husband away from the kids. As soon as the baby is born, her husband can come right in. He can meet and bond with the baby. He can do skin-to-skin if he wants to. She just doesn’t want him in the room for the labor and birth, and that should be her decision.

“I don’t feel he should have the right to be in the room when I’m in my most vulnerable state, seeing me in pain and seeing me uncomfortable,” she said.

Stoffer Tagliarini says she left her husband in February because he was harassing and provoking her. She feels that if he’s not a helpful or supportive presence in the delivery room, and he’d just cause additional pain and stress, she doesn’t want him in there.

“You’re not going to be there supporting me, so then what’s your purpose?” she explained. “I have no problem with him coming in at the end. The baby comes out, he can have that moment, and that’s that. But I don’t want him there when I’m in labor.”

It’s his child, too, but the labor is hers. It should be her right to say who she does and does not want in her hospital room.

The judge agreed, ruling that a “wife, as a patient, has a legal right to determine the course of her medical treatment and the right to the utmost privacy in the receipt of medical care.” That includes the right to determine who is and is not allowed to be in the room while she is laboring.

Tagliarini is angry about the judge’s ruling and the fact that his wife went to a judge in the first place, but she wouldn’t have had to get a court order if her husband had been willing to stay out of the room at her request. Obviously he wants to be there for the birth, but it would have been a good move to say, “I am disappointed and I want to be there to see the birth, but it is your decision.”

This whole situation sounds like it’s going to be rough, and it’s just beginning. Co-parenting is difficult even when relations are friendly, and Stoffer Tagliarini and her husband are going to have to figure out this terrain as they go forward.