Saturday 25 October 2014

US sperm donor is pursued for child support

John Hanna Topeka, Kansas

Published 04/01/2013 | 05:00

A US man who donated sperm to a lesbian couple after answering an online ad is fighting efforts by Kansas state authorities to suddenly force him to pay child support for the now three-year-old girl, arguing that he and the women signed an agreement waiving all of his parental rights.

The case hinges on the fact that no doctors were used for the artificial insemination. The state argues that because William Marotta didn't work through a clinic or doctor, as required by state law, he can be held responsible for about $6,000 (€4,600) that the child's biological mother received through public assistance – as well as future child support.

Paternity

Angela de Rocha, spokeswoman for the Kansas Department for Children and Families, said that when a single mother seeks benefits for a child, it's routine for the department to try to determine the child's paternity and require the father to make support payments.

Mr Marotta, a 46-year-old Topeka resident, answered an online ad in 2009 from a local couple, Angela Bauer and Jennifer Schreiner, who said they were seeking a sperm donor. After exchanging emails and meeting, the three signed an agreement relieving Mr Marotta of any financial or paternal responsibility.

But instead of working with a doctor, Mr Marotta agreed to drop off a container with his sperm at the couple's home.

Late last year, after she and Ms Bauer broke up, Ms Schreiner received public assistance from the state to help care for the girl.

The Kansas Department for Children and Families filed a court petition against Mr Marotta in October. Mr Marotta is asking that the case be dismissed, arguing that he's not legally the child's father, only a sperm donor. A hearing is set for tomorrow.

Irish Independent

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