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Kansas: Sperm donor should pay child support

Michal Lura Friedman while pregnant with twins. (Photo: Family photo via New York Daily News)

William Marotta thought he was doing a good deed when he helped a lesbian couple conceive a child by donating his sperm. But three years later, the state of Kansas is pursuing him for child support it says he owes.

Story via NPR:

Marotta met the couple, Jennifer Schreiner and Angela Bauer, after he answered a Craigslist ad in 2009. As part of their arrangement, he signed a document in which he relinquished any parental rights or responsibilities. He also refused the $50 payment the women offered.

But the couple used a syringe, not a medical facility, to accomplish the insemination and conceive their daughter. And that decision, paired with their eventual naming of Marotta as the donor, landed him in trouble.

"In 1994, the state of Kansas passed a law regulating sperm donorship that said a person was not responsible" as a parent, Hrenchir tells Robert, "as long as they had a medical doctor carry out the insemination. A medical doctor was not used for this particular insemination."

The state law is based on the idea that a doctor can certify that the donor is in fact not connected with the child's mother — "and not, for example, a boyfriend who's posing as a sperm donor, but should actually be required to help support the child."

The issue came to the state's attention when Schreiner applied for Medicaid. She eventually gave the donor contract to a caseworker. The Kansas Department for Children and Families is now seeking to have him named the father of the child, and thus liable for child support.

As Marotta said in an interview on the Today show, "No good deed goes unpunished." His wife added, "This is not at all what we signed up for."

As crazy as it might seem, Marotta has an uphill legal battle in front of him.  The Kansas law is pretty clear and his attorney will have a hard time getting this case dismissed.

What do you think?  Is the Kansas state law out of line, and/or should Marotta be held responsible for not following it?  Sound off with a comment!

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