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An interesting question was asked regarding whether the child conceived by a kidnapper and his victim, and who is still held by the kidnapper, is also considered kidnapped. I think that a more basic question must be asked first: does a rapist have any parental rights to a child conceived from the rape if the mother refuses to marry him? For example, if a minor daughter born to his victim wanted to make a vow that she would have nothing to do with her father, could he annul her vow?

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I can't imagine why he wouldn't be able to. He's her father. –  Double AA May 9 '13 at 19:27

2 Answers 2

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While I've never seen this discussed in any of the literature, I would imagine that the child does have an obligation to honour and respect his/her father (assuming that the father has done teshuva), and that the father has the right to annul his daughter's vows and betroth her to a man, etc. My "proof" text (if it can be termed a proof) is the Mishna, Yevamot 2:5.

מי שיש לו בן מכל מקום פוטר את אשת אביו מן החליצה ומן הייבום וחייב על מכתו ועל קללתו ובנו הוא לכל דבר חוץ ממה שיש לו מן השפחה ומן הנוכרית

Concerning one who has a son under any circumstances: the father's wife [ie: his wife] is exempt from both chalitzah and levirate marriage and he [ie: the son] is penalised for striking and from cursing him, and he is his son is every respect - save for if his mother was a slave or a gentile.

From this passage, we have a man who sires a son but who is not married to the child's mother. That there might even be any question as to the nature of their relationship (such that the mishna would suggest that he was sired under "any" circumstances, and that he is his son in "every" respect) is taken by the Rambam as an indication that this would even include a son who is a mamzer. I would think, although I've never seen it so expressed, that this would also include a son or a daughter conceived through rape.

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I asked this question to Rabbi Dovid Rosenbaum (rabbi of Young Israel Shomrai Emunah in Silver Spring, MD), shlita, who said, "as bizarre as it sounds," the rapist would not lose his parental rights and would have the right to annul her vows. The Rabbi was a long-time student and first musmak of Rabbi Gaaliah Anemer, z'tl.

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Could you link to an explanation of, or explain, who this rabbi is, please? (Also, did you spell his first name right?) –  msh210 May 12 '13 at 3:57
    
@msh210 I'm going to guess (based on quick googling) this wp.yise.org/about/whos-who –  Double AA May 12 '13 at 3:59
    
Way to go Rosie! –  not-allowed to change my name May 12 '13 at 16:36
    
Sadly it is not particularly bizarre. In US civil law, for example, most states grant parental rights to rapist parents: theatlanticwire.com/national/2012/08/… –  Kayla Jacobs May 22 '13 at 15:26

protected by msh210 May 9 '13 at 17:01

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