File this story under the tagline, “cautionary tale.” According to a recent Yahoo! article, one Kansas man who donated sperm to a lesbian couple has now found himself in the surprising position of being asked by the state to pay child support.
The sperm donor, William Marotta, gave the goods after signing a contract that specifically stated he would not be considered the father of the child nor would he ever be liable for child support. Though the girl who was born as a result of his gift lived for years without incident, this past fall the state of Kansas filed a petition asking that the man be declared the father of the child and be financially responsible for her after the lesbian couple endured financial difficulties.
Marotta has said he will ask the court to dismiss the claim. The state says a law on the books is clear that sperm must be donated through a licensed doctor for a father to be free of any future financial obligation. In his case, Marotta donated the semen after meeting the couple on Craigslist. The state is now asking him to pay child support, including almost $6,000 in expenses dating as far back as the child’s birth.
Marotta’s attorneys have said that the man has no parental rights because of the contract he signed with the girl’s mothers. They claim that the clear language of the agreement means that the man cannot be held financially responsible for the child. Marotta says he responded to the Craigslist ad seeking sperm donations for $50. He turned down the money, saying he and his wife, who have no children of their own, simply wanted to help a couple that wanted a child.
The case has garnered national attention given the number of people who donate sperm to sperm banks and who may now fear child support agencies knocking on their door one day in the future. Marotta has said he was stunned by the suit and believes it proves that no good deed goes unpunished. Other groups opposed to the suit have said that the action by Kansas could have a chilling effect on other men’s desire to help couples in need of a donor, something that could end up hurting many families.
If you find yourself facing the prospect of divorce in Charlotte, it is best to contact experienced child support attorneys who practice in Charlotte, North Carolina like those at Arnold & Smith, PLLC who can help guide you through the confusing process.
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