Are Spouses Obligated To Have Children Or To Try To Have Children?

No. Whether married or not, an individual who wants to have a child cannot be stopped from doing so (with the possible exception of a person who is in jail.) On the other hand, an individual who does not want to have a child has a legal right to obtain and use birth control. One spouse cannot legally force the other spouse to have a child. According to the United States Supreme Court, the decision of whether or not to have a child is protected by the United States Constitution under the right of privacy.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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