Sperm donor sued by state for child support

Sperm donors often give couples or individuals who can't have a child the opportunity to do so. A child support case unfolding half way across the country from New Jersey shows that sperm donors may not always be treated fairly for their generosity. Those having child support issues, including the man in this case, may improve their chances of resolving the situations by understanding their legal rights.

A lesbian couple used Craigslist to find a sperm donor around three years ago. The women had a child, but eventually broke up, and when one of the women applied for state assistance in 2012, the state demanded she provide the name of the donor so it could collect child support from the man.

Before giving the couple his sperm, the man had signed a contract relinquishing all parental rights and responsibilities. However, the state says that because the insemination wasn't performed by a licensed physician, the contract with the man was void.

If the woman refused to give the state the man's name, she was apparently told she would lose health care benefits for her daughter. The other woman offered to take financial responsibility for the daughter, but because Kansas doesn't recognize same-sex marriages, that hasn't been allowed. The ex-couple is supporting the man against the state.

More and more cases involving nontraditional families are arising all over the country. These new families are raising new legal questions. It's important for everyone involved in a situation like this to understand how the law could affect them in the future.

Source: The Topeka Capital-Journal, "Topeka mothers support sperm donor in child support battle with Kansas DCF," Aly Van Dyke, Dec. 29, 2012