Kansas Demands Child Support Payments From Sperm Donor

test tube babyWe have been following cases where sperm donors have been held for child support or alternatively sought parental rights. The latest such case is out of Kansas where the state is pursuing a sperm donor for child support. William Marotta responded to an advertisement by a lesbian couple to donate sperm, but, after the couple split up, the state insisted on being given his name as the father and pursued him for monthly support payments.


Angela Bauer and her former partner, Jennifer Schreiner, put the advertisement on Craig’s list in March 2009 and Marotta decided to help out. Recently he was told that the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) recently compelled Bauer to reveal the name as a condition for state support. Since the state does not recognize same-sex marriage, the couple had to adopt the child. They adopted a total of eight children during over the course of their relationship. This appears the only child by artificial insemination. The couple elected to artificially inseminate Schreiner. Bauer cannot support the child without state support due to an illness. The state said that if the parents did not reveal the donor’s name, it would withhold health benefits. Marotta, a 46-year-old machinist, believes that the state is actually targeting him out of hostility for same-sex couples.

Ironically, since the state does not recognize same-sex marriage, it cannot collect child support from the women.

Marotta signed an agreement relinquishing all legal claims to the child but the state insists that this does not relieve him of child support obligations. He is fighting the agency action though he is facing high legal costs.

Source: Washington Post

68 thoughts on “Kansas Demands Child Support Payments From Sperm Donor”

  1. Hi, OS,

    Good minor, and I mean that, and I do believe it. Drama not so much, but that’s my own past experience with Drama majors (the scripts to Grey’s Anatomy are written by a relative, it’s been all downhill).

    Thanks for the specificity on comment. Which part leaves you scratching your head? I can reply, clarify, or just confuse you more, but can’t do any one of the three without more from you.

    Now, an aside, IIRC you’re a cop or have been? How, as an English minor, could you deal, or have dealt, with the jargon? I have a BSChe, and hated the jargon when it went beyond what was needed by the profession to be exacting. I hate lawyer jargon, not because it isn’t needed in their profession, but because they think it is the whole of language. Dry, dessicated (ah, redundancy to make a point), stilted, and narrow language that they purport to describe the world in all its wide meaning. Luckily, it’s only in the USA that lawyers have so much sway. And they have to pay for it in student loans. A selfish and satisfying digression.

  2. Ariel,
    Believe it or not, I have an English minor and am certified to teach English and Drama in three states. I do have other skills and am capable of multitasking; however, your remarks at 12:06 AM leave me scratching my head, wondering if I cut too many classes or something.

  3. Hi, OS,

    A moment of reflection leads me to ask: was my snark proportional to yours, if yours was even snark? You can easily take away my moment of guilt…

  4. “Blah blah blah. You sure talk a lot for not saying anything.”

    Well that impressed you.

  5. Hi, OS,

    And to which post do you refer? Sitting in a college classroom for 13 years means nothing more than you sat, and you didn’t even specify the subject. I assume you don’t mean 13 years of Mandarin.

  6. Ariel,
    What you wrote LOOKS like English, but I have no idea what you said. I thought after sitting in a college classroom for 13 years I was fairly conversant with the English language, but apparently I was wrong.

  7. “Adoptions vitiate biology for legal parentage so it is perfectly germane to the point of legal parentage versus biological parentage which is at the heart of the issue here – the state pushing genetics over legal guardianship when the pertinent relationship for support is legal as biological relationships are vitiated all the time for various reasons including by contract. ” Nice verbiage, and nice try to change context, but the genetic issue is exactly what’s playing out here in terms of legal relationship. As well what constitutes a contract. And by a technicality of when does a sperm-donor’s relationship end as to responsibility to a child. My gibberish had a buried example of condom and private AI. Sorry you blew over it without thinking past your nose or your ego, Your response was just self-serving gibberish, but it sounded good. Vitiate, what a word.

    “This is blackmail by a state agency based on an outdated and religiously dictated definition of marriage. It has nothing to do with parental responsibility being a matter of genetics instead of legal relationship. Many genetic parents are not the legal parents of their children. If not, there where would no adoptions, no orphans and no parents stripped of their rights due to abuse and neglect. There is only one “bad guy” here and it’s the State of Kansas in moving forward with this extortion.” None of this is germane, but it is a lot of words. All of these are settled. Orphans either have no parents or have been abandoned, a silly example without clarification. Adoption is the silliest, because genetics are destroyed by adoption, and have been so decided well before our birthdates, where if both parents survive one has to sign off. You can use vitiate, or severed (much more graphic but less erudite), but still your examples are just fill. They aren’t pertinent other than “these things happen too”. It’s the genetic issue, what is AI, and what is a contract. All to be determined by the reading of that state’s laws.

    “You could have simply said you agreed”, you’re a lawyer, though I think you often claim expertise outside your area given your area can’t be as large as your seeming expertise, so how many times have you said “I simply agree” or “I agree with you upon arrival, but damn I can’t agree with how you got here”? By your ego, I’d guess the latter more than the former.

    There’s a reason why a podiatrist can’t claim expertise in oncology…though both are doctors. And there is a reason why lawyers shouldn’t think they have more knowledge on what goes on in practice in an area they have no practice. You have no understanding of what goes on in out-of-wedlock births. None. Your example was less than educated.

    As for gibberish, thanks for the word-picture of Humpty-Dumpty with “Gene H.” where his navel should be.

    What “destroy” wasn’t good enough for you? I bet you hate Hemingway.

  8. What Gene said. This kind of injustice is going to go on until same gender marriage is legalized. Why MUST it list a father? How about mother and mother, or father and father? Like the book about the kid with two mommies that has all the fundies knickers in a twist.

  9. The state in that situation would have gone after the legal parent. How do I know this? A friend of mine who lives in Kansas adopted the daughter of his girlfriend. The biological father didn’t care and gladly signed away his rights. When they split? The state went after my friend for child support which he gladly paid because despite their lack of formal marriage, they both considered her his daughter as did the state by the terms of the adoption. The problem in this instance is rooted in Kansas not recognizing same sex couples. That’s simply a legal fact. I don’t care whether you agree or not.

  10. Even here you fail: “if this had been a heterosexual couple out of wedlock who conceived via AI – even if it had been done privately – they would have gone after the legal parent, not the biological donor.” You fail because this isn’t how it actually works out of wedlock, unless you mean the other legal parent is whomever the woman puts down on the birth certificate. It’s just not as simple as you write it.

    California, as do most states, pushes every out of wedlock birth to have a father on the birth certificate, whatever name is the father and they go after whomever they can identify, wrong or not. The man identified is left proving otherwise, and no it isn’t so simple as “DNA we’re done”. If its past the contest phase (one legal part), the mother and the state can fight against genetic testing, you are the de facto father. If you’re her husband, you’re the de facto father even if she’s been gone a year (another legal part). I believe California has changed the contest phase, but this plays out in so many other states that a change in California places no burden on the argument. California is only one state among too many that do this, and it’s driven by money, both for the mother and the state, and especially by matching Federal money to the state.

    If the couple were not married, AI doesn’t matter. She’s the mother, if his name is on the BC, he’s the father. If she claims a richer boyfriend, he needs lawyers.

    Out-of-wedlock is what this lesbian couple was, so why wasn’t the state going after her partner by your argument? Rhetorical answer: because it takes a figurative penis and vagina to make a baby and the State still recognizes that when there is no other recourse.

    In a way, I agree with you. How you got there makes so much difference. As for legalities, they are neither moral or sensible or sensical (back formulation) in this area. And too often today driven by monies, not “for the children”.

  11. Adoptions vitiate biology for legal parentage so it is perfectly germane to the point of legal parentage versus biological parentage which is at the heart of the issue here – the state pushing genetics over legal guardianship when the pertinent relationship for support is legal as biological relationships are vitiated all the time for various reasons including by contract.

    The only thing muddled here is your desperation to find something muddled, repeat what I said rephrased missing the relevance of private adoptions as contractual in nature and then act as if agreeing is original thinking on your part. You could have simply said you agreed. The rest of what you said was self-serving gibberish.

  12. “This is blackmail by a state agency based on an outdated and religiously dictated definition of marriage. It has nothing to do with parental responsibility being a matter of genetics instead of legal relationship. Many genetic parents are not the legal parents of their children. If not, there where would no adoptions, no orphans and no parents stripped of their rights due to abuse and neglect. There is only one “bad guy” here and it’s the State of Kansas in moving forward with this extortion.” I can agree with your first seven words and then you go all muddled. Adoptions destroy genetics by law, as well any bio-parental responsibility, so not germane. Orphans have no parents except when abandoned, and if the State can find them, they will assess fees. Parents stripped of their rights are just that, stripped of all rights to that child, which in a sane world would be no responsibility either. This is the State determining who owes by way of genetics and embracing “father-mother with rights and responsibilities” even though there is no father here except by genetics, and likely no real rights unless he fights. Women have impregnated themselves from semen in condoms, the guy is still on the hook. Something really wrong there..

    If by this “an outdated and religiously dictated definition of marriage” you mean that the other “mother” (I put that in scare quotes because I see only one real mother) is the only other adult responsible, I agree. From there your left in lesbian cases with how much the utero mother wants to exclude her partner from the child’s life. Women do a lot of gate-keeping, though in this case it reads that the mother only wanted help from the state not that she wanted to actually exclude her partner. The State pushed genetics.

  13. The fact that the state cannot pursue thw women does not prevent the sperm donor from naming them as third party defendants under an indemnification theory.

  14. The proper way a woman imposes the duty of child support on a man is to insist that he marry her before donating any semen to her. If she goes ahead and consents to (fails to refuse) sexual relations with him, she acts entirely at her risk. Legislatures have tried to fix an age old problem by turning this aspect of intersexual relations on its head.

  15. Juris,

    I did say inferred. An inference is never better than direct evidence. As to how same-sex marriage fits in, if this had been a heterosexual couple out of wedlock who conceived via AI – even if it had been done privately – they would have gone after the legal parent, not the biological donor. I’ve lived in Kansas and dealt with their various governmental bodies. On that experience, I say bias is in play here. It’s for the courts to decide now though and I say Kansas has opened a bigger can of worms than they realize.

  16. Gene, I must disagree, respectfully of course. A lot of heterosexual couples are raising families without the marriage license. I think that the lesbian couple wanted to get married is more of a presumption in this case rather than an inference.

    Also, I don’t see how same-sex marriage plays into it. Assume the donee couple were heterosexual, married or not, above, and that the nonbiological father is the one that bolted. The same argument could be made that he cannot be held liable for child support as he is not the father in the eyes of the law and that the State agency still would have pursued the sperm donor for child support.

  17. Some of the comments remind me of that old joke: the hardest part of being a farmer is saying “keep Washington out of my business” and “where is my crop subsidy check” in the same sentence.

  18. Breach of contract between against the two women ought to suffice.

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