William Marotta thought his responsibility ended after his donation of sperm to a lesbian couple, but the State of Kansas feels differently.
The state of Kansas is attempting to force a sperm donor to pay child support for a child conceived by a lesbian couple, Angela Bauer and Jennifer Schreiner through artificial insemination. The donor, William Marotta signed away any and all paternal rights when he donated the sperm to the couple in 2009. The Kansas City Star reports,
The agreement also called for Bauer and Schreiner to hold Marotta harmless “for any child support payments demanded of him by any other person or entity, public or private, including any district attorney’s office or other state or county agency, regardless of the circumstances or said demand.”
After the couple separated, Schreiner who is the birth mother filed for state assistance at which time she was required to name the father of the child. It was after this that a petition was filed on behalf of the Department of Children and Families requesting a ruling that Marotta is the father of Schreiner’s child and owes a duty to support her.
Although the Kansas Supreme Court has denied rights to sperm donors in the past, the attorney for the state asserts that it is state law that a licensed physician performs the insemination. Marotta however argues that he had no reason to believe that a medical professional would not be artificially inseminating Schreiner with the sperm he donated.
If the state manages to win its case against Marotta, they will be setting a dangerous precedence for future cases in which a woman who chooses to be inseminated may go after the donor for financial support, essentially making him a father and not a donor. If a sperm donor is only protected under the state statute for an insemination performed by a licensed medical professional then any woman could essentially have sperm donations delivered to her home, inseminate herself and then go after the donor for support. It could also make it possible for sperm donors to sue for parental rights if their donations produce offspring.
Do you think states should be allowed to go after sperm donors for child support if the child has been on assistance?
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