Sperm donor held liable for child support

Jan. 2, 2013 at 2:25 PM
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TOPEKA, Kan., Jan. 2 (UPI) -- A Topeka, Kan., man, a sperm donor in 2009, says he is now being held financially liable by the state for the child he helped conceive.

William Marotta, 46, responded to a Craigslist ad by a lesbian couple, Angela Bauer and Jennifer Schreiner, seeking to have a child. Schreiner had a baby girl after Marotta relinquished all parental rights and responsibilities regarding the child, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported Wednesday.

The couple split in 2010 but continue to co-parent the child and seven others they adopted, ranging in age from 3 months to 25 years.

The Kansas Department for Children and Families is attempting to have Marotta declared the father of, and pay child support for, the now-3-year-old girl, noting a licensed physician did not perform the insemination.

When Schreiner attempted to obtain state health insurance for the girl, the DCF demanded she provide the sperm donor's name and threatened to deny benefits if she withheld it, Marotta said.

DCF spokeswoman Angela de Rocha said Monday if a sperm donor "makes his contribution through a licensed physician and a child is conceived, the donor is held harmless under state law. In cases where the parties do not go through a physician or clinic, there remains the question of who actually is the father of a child or children. DCF is required by statute to establish paternity and then pursue child support from the non-custodial parent."

The matter will be considered by an administrative hearing officer Jan. 8, Benoit Swinnen, Marotta's attorney said, adding if the case was not resolved, his office would file a motion seeking a summary judgment in Marotta's favor.

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