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Sperm donor pursued for child support

As the modern definitions of parentage and marriage continue to evolve, the clear distinctions of responsibility in a family have become less ironclad and black and white. Legal same-sex unions, surrogacy, and sperm donation are all relatively new developments in family dynamics-ones the laws of our land may not yet be prepared to accommodate.

One current child support case involving a same-sex couple and sperm donation is currently frustrating legal precedents just north of Texas. The state of Kansas is pursuing child support from a man who had previously agreed to provide sperm to two women hoping to conceive and care for a child together.

A crucial mistake made by the man and the hopeful couple was failing to attain legal and medical credentials for the sperm donation. The child, now three years old, is currently in the custody of one of the women following their separation. As the child's mother seeks unemployment benefits from the state, government authorities are seeking child support payments from the donating father, asserting a parental responsibility for a child to whom he has never expressed any in the past.

The two women were put in contact with the man through a craigslist ad, and only made a personal signed agreement amongst themselves absolving the man of parental responsibilities. That agreement, in the eyes of the state law, does not shield the man from now owing $6,000 in child support payments.

While some states, including Texas, have adopted new language to family laws that specifies a donor's exculpation from parental responsibility, the situation can often lead to legal disputes of all stripes. For families contemplating artificial insemination, or for parents seeking fairness in an upcoming child support agreement, the best possible option is contact a family law attorney with the necessary expertise to guarantee long-term security, stability, and fairness.

Source: The Washington Times, "Who's your daddy? Sperm donors, paternity, child support and the law," Myra Fleischer, Jan. 17, 2013

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Bruce Turner

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