A sperm donor will have to pay child support, according to a Kansas judge. William Marotta of Topeka, Kansas donated sperm to a lesbian couple in 2009. Responding to a Craigslist ad by then couple Jennifer Schreiner and Angela Bauer, Marotta was paid $50 for his donation in a cup.
Schreiner gave birth to the child in December 2009 and in 2011 began applying for government aid for food, money, and medical assistance. On all the forms she simply listed the father’s name as “donor.” Since 2011, the state of Kansas has provided approximately $6,000 in help to Schreiner and her now four-year old child. She has also been accused of falsifying some of those documents. In October 2012, Kansas child and family services took notice of, and legal action against, the situation.
The State of Kansas now claims the sperm donor dad is responsible for child support and the $6,000 already paid out. District Court Judge Mary Mattivi ruled on Wednesday that William Marotta and the lesbian couple did not go about the insemination process legally and therefore he is considered the legal father of the little girl.
A 1994 Kansas law states “a donor of semen provided to a licensed physician for use in artificial insemination of a woman other than the donor’s wife is treated in law as if he were not the birth father of a child thereby conceived, unless agreed to in writing by the donor and the woman.” Called The Parentage Act, the purpose was to release sperm donors from future obligations in the growing trend of artificial insemination. But a key part of the act requires the use of a licensed physician. Marotta and the couple did everything at home.
“In this case, quite simply, the parties failed to conform to the statutory requirements of the Kansas Parentage Act in not enlisting a licensed physician at some point in the artificial insemination process, and the parties’ self-designation of (Marotta) as a sperm donor is insufficient to relieve (Marotta) of parental rights and responsibilities,” Judge Mattivi wrote in her official court ruling.
Marotta and the couple had possession of a signed contract waiving his right to fatherhood, but it does not matter in this case. Without the oversight of licensed physicians, the contract is meaningless in court. The court has not ruled yet how much Marotta will have to pay. Marotta and his attorneys are not done fighting the decision.
“We stand by that contract,” said Benoit Swinnen, William Marotta’s attorney. “The insinuation is offensive, and we are responding vigorously to that. We stand by our story. There was no personal relationship whatsoever between my client and the mother, or the partner of the mother, or the child. Anything the state insinuates is vilifying my client, and I will address it.”
Marotta and Schreiner have maintained the stance that Marotta has no involvement in the child’s life.
Do you think the sperm donor is responsible to pay child support in this case?