Kansas: state sues sperm donor for child support

by Walter Olson on November 1, 2013

“A Kansas district court heard arguments [last] Friday in the case of a man who is being sued for thousands of dollars in child support by the state after donating his sperm to a same-sex couple he found through a Craigslist ad.” By law artificial insemination in Kansas requires a doctor’s supervision, but mechanic William Marotta instead relied on a private contract with the women who wanted his services, which the state argues cannot excuse him from parental responsibility. [NBC News]

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Blawg Review #325.3 » Defending People
11.04.13 at 1:32 am

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1 Hugo S. Cunningham 11.01.13 at 11:01 am

Kansas arguably has the vilest child-support law in the country. They even equate marital reponsibility with the molestation of a 13 year old boy by his 18 year old babysitter.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermesmann_v._Seyer
This is a socially conservative State with plenty of self-proclaimed defenders of marriage.

2 Ed 11.01.13 at 12:27 pm

“Seeking only a male as a father is discriminating on the basis of gender,” Swinnen said.

Ummm, kinda the only way that it works, isn’t it?

3 Malcolm 11.01.13 at 7:01 pm

It sounds like a perfectly reasonable action on the part of the state to me. He deliberately went out of his way to father a child, and now he wants to avoid the responsibilities of fatherhood. Why should he expect the taxpayer to pay?

4 Hugo S. Cunningham 11.01.13 at 9:31 pm

This particular case revolves around same-sex marriage. Should it be recognized or not? Kansas is too virtuous to accept it, though they have no problem with 13-year-old boys getting molested by 18-year-old babysitters. In this case, the child had a second (gay) parent, who later ran into financial difficulties. With a heterosexual married couple, the law would not go after a sperm donor.

I admit, however, that there is more to be said for the Kansas position in this case than in the Seyer case I cited above. If the donor had impregnated a single woman, I would have no sympathy for him no matter what his contract said. Does the Kansas requirement to use an MD include a social service check that the couple looks able to afford a child? If the donor, acting outside the system, contributes to a couple patently without a financial future, I would not let him off the hook.

5 Wfjag 11.01.13 at 10:57 pm

He found the sperm donee on Craigslist – gives a new meaning to Products Liability.

6 TexJudge 11.02.13 at 1:00 pm

Most states do not hold donors to commercial sperm banks liable for child support; this guy screwed up by going outside the law and I have no sympathy for him contributing to the already excessive number of fatherless kids.

7 gitarcarver 11.02.13 at 6:23 pm

A few weeks ago, a court ruled that regulations imposed on monks making coffins were wrong. (see post here: http://overlawyered.com/2012/10/october-19-roundup-3/) The general gist of the decision was that the tegulations did nothing to protect the public and only served to protect other merchants.

In this case, both the donor and couple agreed to a method where no one was put at risk. Obviously the procedure worked because of the birth of the child to the couple.

In essence, the state seems to think that a licensing requirement somehow adds to the public safety of couples. Whether that is true or not should have to be proven, not assumed.

The state is trying to hold the donor accountable for the actions of others. The donor had no control nor input to those actions.

The donor should not be forced to pay because of the breakup of the couple and because the state is trying to protect a group of businesses.

8 FrankJBN 11.04.13 at 5:47 pm

Not too far outside the law tho’.

As I read it, had the only difference been that the procedure was overseen by a physician., the donor would not then be considered liable.

Other than having had the oversight, what would the differrence be?

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