In 2009, a lesbian couple took out an ad online requesting a sperm donor. A 46-year-old man answered the ad, and after meeting three times with the couple and signing an agreement that relieved him of any financial or paternal responsibility, he gave the women a container of his sperm.
Eventually, the couple had a baby girl; but when the couple split, one of the mothers had to apply for public assistance. Now, the state department for children and families wants the man to pay back the nearly $6,000 the mother received in assistances as well as future child support.
This intriguing story out of Kansas has many people here in Colorado wondering how their own child support laws would apply in the situation of state laws versus legally binding contracts.
As for the man in Kansas, the state is arguing that because neither he, nor the women, used doctors or a clinic for the artificial insemination, the man is legally obligated to make child support payments to the mother. The 46-year-old man disagrees however, pointing out that he is not legally the child’s father, only a sperm donor, per the agreement he made with the women.
Because a doctor was not involved, the state contends that the agreement is not valid which appears to be muddying the waters a bit for the courts.
The Kansas Department for Children and Families filed a court petition against the man in October, asking that he reimburse the state. The man however is asking that the case be dismissed, citing the signed 2009 agreement as legally binding.
It’s important to point out that laws dictating parental rights can vary from state to state, and although this may be a source of contention in Kansas, things may be very different in Colorado. Parents who may find themselves in a similar situation are urged to speak with a family law attorney who can help them through this often times difficult form of litigation.
Source: KOAA.com, “US sperm donor fights request to pay child support,” Annie Snead, Jan. 3, 2013,” Annie Snead, Jan. 2, 2013