Kansas Charges Sperm Donor for Child Support After Parents Seek Financial Help

A sperm donor in Kansas is fighting the state over child support that officials say he owes after he gave the donation to a lesbian couples three years ago.

William Marotta donated his sperm to a lesbian couple hoping to conceive and is now on the hook for back child support and possible future charges. The state ruled that his is financially responsible for the child, whose mothers filed paperwork to receive state assistance.

Marotta maintains that he signed a written contract with the women in which he forfeited all of his parental rights, including all financial responsibility.

However, the state of Kansas disagrees and maintains that the contract Marotta signed is not valid. State law stipulates that all sperm donors who wish to relinquish their parental rights when participating in in-virto fertilization must utilize the services of a licensed doctor, otherwise donors could be on the hook for the child's financial support.

Court records show that Marotta and the couple signed an agreement in March 2009, which stated that the women would "hold him harmless" financially, in addition to his name being omitted from the birth certificate.

Under the state law that was enacted in 1994, a sperm donor is not considered the father when a donor provides sperm to a licensed doctor for the purpose of artificial insemination of any woman who is not the donor's wife. It was thought that this law would encourage donors and eager mothers to consult with a doctor.

Angela de Rocha, spokeswoman for the Kansas Department for Children and Families, said it is part of the routine procedure to determine the child's paternity when a single mother seeks state benefits for a child. Procedure requires the father to make financial payments in support of the child to lessen the burden of the state's taxpayers who fund the welfare services.

Marotta explained that he is "a little scared about where this is going to go, primarily for financial reasons," during an interview with The Topeka-Capital Journal.