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Should Sperm Donors Be Held Financially Responsible?

Three years after a Kansas man donated his sperm, the state wants him to pay child support.

 

A mechanic who answered a Craigslist ad to donate his sperm to a lesbian couple, is now being pursued by the State of Kansas for child support, reports the Kansas City Star.

In 2009, Angela Bauer and Jennifer Schreiner entered into an agreement with the donor, William Marotta to provide his sperm.  They signed a contract that outlined he would be free from any financial responsibility as well as parental privileges, according to the newspaper.  The legal contract stated Marotta was not responsible “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.”

Although the women offered $50 per donation, Marotta and his wife met with the women and agreed to the contract without accepting the money, reports ABC news.

Now three years later, the mother fell into financial hardship and was told by the Kansas Department of Children and Families that the name of the father was required in order to obtain assistance, ABC reports.

The State of Kansas argues their contract is not valid because the artificial insemination was not performed by a licensed physician; Marotta is therefore responsible for child support.

Marotta's lawyer argues that if the law only protects donors inseminated by a licensed physican, any woman could have a donation shipped and inseminate herself in order to pursue the donor for money.

What do you think?  Should any sperm donor be held responsible for child support?

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Steve Cobb January 06, 2013 at 05:28 PM
This is merely one example of a larger issue: how much may we limit the rights of consenting adults to enter into contract? When you limit the right of contract, even with good intentions, you preclude the creation of a lot good (e.g. minimum wages eliminate jobs), or you drive activity into black markets (e.g. the vices of prostitution and drugs). In this specific case, how is the situation any different from adoption? I was once asked for help by a 42-year-old friend wanting to be a choice mother, but everyone I consulted advised me to refuse, warning me about exactly the situation that arose in the given case: even if the mother meant well, what would happen if in the future she faced financial hardship? So I disappointed a friend, who ended up childless. I should add that the liability here is not a fixed quantity, like $50 or even $10K, but a percentage of the father's income. It is no wonder that the US birth rate is declining. Nowadays a wise man gets a vasectomy.
Chuck D January 08, 2013 at 12:41 AM
SAdly, it is the state of Kansas who is playing the bad guy here and. even more sadly, I am sure they have the policy on teh "sperm donation" policy becuase too often it was used as an excuse by others.

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