To some, donating sperm is considered an easy way to make some cash. However, for one Kansas man,* donating sperm turned out to be way more than he bargained for. William Marotta donated sperm to a lesbian couple via Craigslist, but did not comply with a Kansas statute that required that a licensed physician perform the insemination. Instead, he gave the sperm directly to the couple.
The state of Kansas sued Mr. Marotta for parental support of his child, even though he and the couple signed a written agreement relinquishing his parental rights. The court decided that since the parties did not comply with the statute, Mr. Marotta is the child’s legal father whether he likes it or not. Therefore, he will have to financially support the child, as well as provide back pay to the State of Kansas for aid the child has already received. As a result, there will probably be more litigation in store for these parties.
Fortunately, this costly and uncomfortable result can easily be avoided. In California, if a sperm donor gives samples of his sperm to a physician, surgeon, or licensed sperm bank, he will be treated as if he were not a natural parent of the child, unless otherwise agreed to in writing before the child is conceived. By keeping the process official and legitimate through the use of a doctor or licensed sperm bank, sperm donors can remain anonymous and can avoid “fatherhood” until they are truly ready for that responsibility. Bottom line: unless you want to pay 18 years of child support, be sure to follow all of the statutory requirements in the Family Code.
If you’re having paternity or child custody issues, having a knowledgeable, experienced family law attorney by your side can prove to be invaluable. If you have any questions about your family law issues, please contact our California Certified Family Law Specialists (as certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization). Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri’s attorneys have decades of experience handling complex family law proceedings and are happy to offer you a free half-hour consultation.
Please remember that each individual situation is unique and results discussed in this post are not a guarantee of future results. While this post may include legal issues, it is not legal advice. Use of this site does not create an attorney-client relationship.