William Marotta craigslist user who donated sperm to lesbian couple spared paying child support after Kansas Department sought to have the man pay fees.
William Marotta a Topeka, Kansas man who answered a Craigslist ad to donate sperm to two women so they could have a baby has been spared having to pay for child support after a Kansas judge ruled that the man is not the child’s legal father.
The court’s November 22 ruling notes the Topeka Capital Journal comes after the State Department for Children and Family sought to have Marotta pay child support for the child born in December 2009.
At the time of exchange between Marotta and the two women, birth mother Jennifer Schreiner and her now former partner, Angela Bauer agreed to give the donor $50 per every semen donation.
Shortly after Schreiner was impregnated with a syringe containing Marotta’s sperm at the couple’s home. At the time no doctor was present. An oversight that would haunt Marotta in the not too distant future.
In making its decision, Shawnee County District Judge Mary Mattivi had asked Marotta to submit a DNA sample to confirm that he was the girl’s biological father and not ‘a mere donor of sperm.’
Nevertheless in making its ruling, the court concluded that the birth mother’s former partner should be considered the child’s second parent rather than Marotta, in part because he has had minimal contact with the girl.
The ruling comes after the department filed a petition in 2012 to have Marotta declared the child’s legal father, mandating the man to pay child support after the two women separated, with the birth mother receiving assistance from the state. The department initially sought to reclaim about almost $6,100 in expenses associated with the child’s birth.
During trial proceedings, Marotta’s attorney, Charles Baylor argued the Kansas agency’s position was ‘radical‘ and discriminated against same-sex couples, while arguing state laws were ‘antiquated.’
Told the lawyer: ‘If the presumptive parent, in this case the non-biological mother, had been a man, they never would have gone after the sperm donor.’
The agency argued that Marotta was legally on the hook for child support, despite the man never intending to act as the child’s father, because the two women did not use a physician. In her ruling, Mattivi said Bauer is unable to work and is receiving Social Security disability benefits.
A 1994 Kansas law says a man who provides donated sperm to a doctor for an insemination is not the child’s parent, absent a written agreement saying otherwise.
Responding to the ruling, Secretary Phyllis Gilmore said the department was disappointed with the court’s ruling, adding in a statement that ‘the law pertaining to sperm donors is clear and was ignored in this ruling.’
University of California law professor Courtney Joslin said a commission on uniform state laws recommended in 2000 and 2002 that states eliminate a requirement that physicians be involved in assisted reproduction to protect sperm donors.
Eleven states adopted its recommendations, and California independently repealed the requirement as of this year, she said.
Nine states and the District of Columbia have laws that treat an unmarried partner as a legal parent when there is assisted reproduction, Joslin said.
In making her decision, Judge Mattive noted that Schreiner and Bauer were parenting the girl together, while holding that Kansas courts have always held the child’s best interest as the key issue. The judge said Bauer’s presumption of parenthood is ‘superior’ to Marotta’s.
Of note, Mattivi had ruled in favor of the couple in 2014, with last week’s decision now overturning the previous ruling.
A friend of Marotta’s started a GoFundMe page to raise money for his legal expenses. As of Wednesday afternoon, the effort had raised about $2,425.
And then there was this comment on the web that made me wonder. See what you think?
The reason all of this occurred is because the women were not financially able to provide for a child… hence the $50 “stud fee.” Dogs get more money for their goods than that! The state is obligated to go after the biological parents because it has paid THOUSANDS for the birth and care of the child. Whenever the state steps in to provide assistance, the caregiver requesting government (TAXPAYER MONEY) assistance is required to disclose the name of the other biological parent so the state can attempt to recover some of the taxpayer’s money that it has spent on the care of the child.
I’m not arguing with the judges ruling, as this man was too dumb to know the consequences of his decision, but it should make everyone think about the the ramifications of bringing a child into this world to parents that do not understand the financial, emotional, and physical needs to care for a child. It is NOT society’s responsibility to pay to raise other people’s children!