A Kansas county judge has ruled a man who donated sperm to a lesbian couple is not the resulting child’s father and does not have to pay child support.
The Topeka man donated his sperm to Jennifer Schreiner and Angela Bauer in response to a Craigslist ad, for the price of $50 per semen donation. Schreiner had his baby girl in December, 2009, but later split up with her partner. Now the state is trying to force William Marotta to supplement the government money she’s getting from the state to raise the girl.
Schreiner and Bauer do not support the state’s demands, and are supporting the donor’s legal fight. A friend of the couple and Marotta has set up a GoFundMe page to help with Marotta’s legal costs, with a goal of $10,000.
The state Department for Children and Families initially sought $6,100 in birthing expenses on her behalf in the court case. But Shawnee County District Judge Mary Mattivi ruled last week Marotta is not on the hook for the money, and that Bauer should be considered the child’s second parent.
Marotta’s lawyer argued that the demand for child support is a “radical” position and discriminates against same-sex couples. “If the presumptive parent, in this case the non-biological mother, had been a man, they never would have gone after the sperm donor,” the lawyer told The Associated Press.
Kansas law stipulates a man who donated sperm is not the resulting child’s parent, unless he signs a written agreement stating otherwise. The Kansas agency may choose to appeal the judge’s ruling, on the grounds of a technicality regarding the use of a physician in the pregnancy.
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