Kansas State Department of Children and Families may appeal a recent decision involving child support for a lesbian couple and their sperm donor.
In 2009, William Marotta and his wife responded to a Craigslist ad seeking a sperm donor for a lesbian couple. The couple, Angela Bauer and Jennifer Schreiner, had Marotta sign a written agreement confirming that he did not and would not have any parental rights to the child.
"They were a couple. They couldn’t have children by themselves. It’s something I could help with,” Marotta told reporters in 2013.
Bauer and Schreiner later separated. Kansas law states that a donor who is providing sperm to a doctor for the purpose of insemination is not legally a father. But the women went through Craigslist, bypassing a physician.
In 2013, the Department of Children and Families went after Marotta for child support for the baby girl born in December 2009, even though Marotta had signed away his parental rights, and even though Bauer and Schreiner did not ask for Marotta to pay child support.
Marotta contested the decision, and in January 2014, Shawnee County District Judge Mary Mattivi ruled that he was responsible for the payment because the parties did not use a doctor and Marotta could not be deemed an official sperm donor. He was ordered to pay around $200 a month.
The same judge ruled last week after an appeal that Marotta should not be financially responsible for the little girl because he is not legally the child's father.
As of Tuesday, the Department of Children and Families had not made the decision whether they would appeal the decision by Judge Mattivi.
Marotta told reporters in 2013 he believed the ruling was politically motivated, saying, "Wow, no good deed goes unpunished."
Correction: The original story indicated that the Bauer and Schreiner wanted Marotta to have financial responsibility for the child; however, Bauer and Schreiner appear to have not supported or instituted the DCF action against Marotta, which makes the DCF's actions all the more bizarre in this case. We regret the error.