William Marotta, a Kansas man who donated sperm to a lesbian couple in response to an online ad, is fighting the efforts of the state to force him to pay for the three-year-old girl who resulted from his, um, spunk donation.
He and the two women signed an agreement waiving all of his parental rights, but the state of Kansas says that since the insemination--and it was of the artificial variety, you know--was not done through a doctor's office or clinic, as required by state law, Marotta can be held responsible for about $6,000 that the child’s biological mother received through public assistance. In addition to future child support.
Kinda makes you think twice about choking the chicken in a sperm bank....in Kansas.
According to the Kansas Department for Children and Families, when a single mother seeks benefits for a child, they try to determine the child’s paternity and then require the father to make support payments to lessen the potential cost to taxpayers. Which of course opens that whole can of, well, worms, about what a father is and isn't in these cases.
Marotta met the two women, Angela Bauer and Jennifer Schreiner, who said they were seeking a sperm donor, though an online ad, and after exchanging emails and meeting, they each signed an agreement relieving Marotta of any financial or paternal responsibility. The agreement also said the child’s birth certificate would not list a father. But they didn't go to a doctor for the procedure; instead, Marotta dropped his junk off at the couple’s home and the women successfully handled the artificial insemination themselves. Schreiner become pregnant with a girl.
In 2012, the women split up, and Schreiner began receiving public assistance from the state to help care for the girl. And that was when the Kansas Department for Children and Families got into this mess, and filed a court petition against Marotta asking that he be required to reimburse the state for the benefits already received, and to make future child support payments.
The state contends the agreement isn’t valid because a doctor wasn’t involved. Under a 1994 Kansas law, a sperm donor isn’t considered the father only when a donor provides sperm to a licensed physician for artificial insemination of a woman who isn’t the donor’s wife.
So, how does this work out? If Marotta is deemed liable for public assistance given to the birth mother, is he then also responsible for all the child's needs until she reaches eighteen? And, is he then allowed to become a part of the child's life?
This is a mess brought on by another case of laws not keeping up with science. And of the government trying to weasel its way into affairs in which it shouldn't. Marotta didn't want to be a a parent; he just wanted to, um, add his two cents into the lesbian couple's parental conversation. And the two women didn't want a third parent for their child; they just needed the juice to get their family going.
Now, as I am apt to do, I have made light of the situation, but this could cause all sorts of legal hassles for future couples, gay and straight, married or not, who wish to use a sperm donor to have a family. I seriously hope the case gets thrown out, or else we'll be seeing all kinds of cases of the People v Monkey Spanker.