Family Law

Kansas Sues Sperm Donor for Support, Says Written Waiver of Parental Rights Is Not Valid

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The state of Kansas is suing a sperm donor for parental support of his child, contending that the written agreement he made with a lesbian couple to relinquish his parental rights isn’t valid.

William Marotta responded in 2009 to a Craigslist ad seeking a sperm donor. He and the two women, Angela Bauer and Jennifer Schreiner, agreed in writing that they, not he, would be the parents of the now 3-year-old child Schreiner conceived through artificial insemination. However, the state Department for Children and Families is seeking to have Marotta declared the father of the child in Shawnee County District Court so it can obtain support from him, the Topeka Capital-Journal reports.

Five years ago, the Kansas Supreme Court refused to allow a sperm donor who wanted to assert parental rights to do so, explaining that a state statute precludes sperm donors from doing so unless they have spelled out that plan in a written agreement with the mother.

In Marotta’s case, the DCF says the law doesn’t apply to him because the artificial insemination of Schreiner wasn’t performed by a physician. Bauer had been supporting the 3-year-old girl, but has reportedly been unable to work recently because of health problems.

The Daily Mail and the New York Post also have stories.

Related coverage: (Dec. 2007): “Ohio Supreme Court: Surrogate Mom Has No Parental Right to Triplets” (Jan. 2008): “Sperm Donor Not Liable for Child Support, Court Rules” (March 2008): “Sperm Donor Who Claims Parental Rights Seeks Cert”

Huffington Post: “Revenge of the Sperm Donors”

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