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The Courts The Almighty Buck

Court Says Craigslist Sperm Donor Must Pay Child Support 644

Posted by samzenpus
from the pay-up dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "David Stout reports at Time Magazine that what began with a Craigslist ad from a lesbian couple calling for a sperm donor in rural Topeka, Kansas ended in court on Wednesday with a judge ordering the sperm donor to pay child support. The Kansas Department for Children and Families filed the case in October 2012 seeking to have William Marotta declared the father of a child born to Jennifer Schreiner in 2009 so he can be held responsible for about $6,000 in public assistance the state provided, as well as future child support. 'In this case, quite simply, the parties failed to perform to statutory requirement of the Kansas Parentage Act in not enlisting a licensed physician at some point in the artificial insemination process, and the parties' self-designation of (Marotta) as a sperm donor is insufficient to relieve (Marotta) of parental right and responsibilities to the child,' wrote Judge Mattivi. Marotta opposed that action, saying he had contacted Schreiner and her partner at the time, Angela Bauer, in response to an ad they placed on Craigslist seeking a sperm donor and signed a contract waiving his parental rights and responsibilities. 'We stand by that contract,' says Defense attorney Swinnen adding that the Kansas statute doesn't specifically require the artificial insemination be carried out by a physician. 'The insinuation is offensive, and we are responding vigorously to that. We stand by our story. There was no personal relationship whatsoever between my client and the mother, or the partner of the mother, or the child. Anything the state insinuates is vilifying my client, and I will address it.'"
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Court Says Craigslist Sperm Donor Must Pay Child Support

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 24, 2014 @07:43AM (#46054843)

    Sounds like there was plenty of correctly-marked letters. Quite simply, the State decided that the defendant owed the State money, sued, and then ruled in its own favor.

    Contracts waiving parental rights and responsibilities are commonplace and well-supported by law. If one truly exists here, and it's legitimate, then the judge screwed up.

  • by Firethorn (177587) on Friday January 24, 2014 @08:00AM (#46054891) Homepage Journal

    Screwed that up. Somehow the first part of my post was eaten.

    For those that haven't researched the case, besides it being the State of Kansas suing, not the lesbians, they won't even see any money from the man even if the state wins, as the money will go to the state to repay the benefits given to the child.

    Also, the couple was fine until they seperated(divorce anyone?) and one lost her job due to illness. []

  • by onyxruby (118189) <> on Friday January 24, 2014 @08:52AM (#46055133)

    A woman can still get benefits without naming the possible dad. My ex did it with the kid she had before she met me and she was far from alone. The mother chose to name the Dad because then she gets benefits and child support. She's letting the state be the bad guy to keep the blame off of her for her own greed. Quit making excuses for others malicious behavior.

  • by Joce640k (829181) on Friday January 24, 2014 @08:58AM (#46055175) Homepage

    Unless you lose your job due to illness *after* the child is born. Which is what happened.

    Try reading articles.

  • by Ginger Unicorn (952287) on Friday January 24, 2014 @09:04AM (#46055199)

    If you see a single mother, stay the hell away from her. She's a disease. I know that sounds completely awful and it is.

    You don't need to indulge in unneccesary and irrational dehumanising generalisations to justify your anger at how you were treated.

  • by Tauvix (97917) on Friday January 24, 2014 @09:49AM (#46055489)

    The kid has two parents, so you could get the mother's partner to pay up rather than the father. The other woman explicitly chose to be a parent, thus the burden should be her responsibility. Why aren't they? Perhaps because this guy has more income so he's the guy they can extract money from, or perhaps they just think the law is written heteronormatively enough that this will work better.

    Well, the simple answer to your question of "Why aren't they?" is because Kansas has a constitutional amendment in place that prohibits the state from recognizing the non-biological mother in that relationship as part of that family. She's just a roommate as far as the eyes of the law are concerned. Therefore, the state's only recourse is to go after the biological father despite any contract that he and the biological mother may have signed.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Friday January 24, 2014 @10:01AM (#46055595) Homepage

    I concur for "normal people." My ex is not normal people. She's unreachable in most cases. Even by the justice system. I can't tell you how many times over the course of the 20+ years I have not laid eyes on her that I get a call from some legal or law enforcement or other office seeking her whereabouts. (Honestly, I enjoy the calls... it's a reminder that she did me a huge favor by leaving me because my life got SO much better when she did.) She also claimed the children on taxes. And every year, proof to the contrary had to be delivered to the IRS like clockwork... that is until they got old enough. It's history now. It was drama back then. Because you know? If it was a man making these false claims, they would have come after him with guns drawn. But because it was her? They presume innocence. They presume ignorance (which is not an excuse under the law for men). They presume all manner of things and the result is invariably lots of slack which a man never gets.

  • by iamhassi (659463) on Friday January 24, 2014 @10:03AM (#46055623) Journal
    They had signed legal documents with the donor's name and address. Had they chosen to withhold that information and the state found out I'm sure the same sex couple could have been found guilty of lying to the court or fraud. Even if the donor chose to donate annonymously through an attorney I'm sure the attorney had the information and would have to give it to the state.
  • by pr0fessor (1940368) on Friday January 24, 2014 @11:11AM (#46056289)

    The agency said it also received different versions of the donor contract from Marotta and Schreiner, suggesting that the document "may be invalid on its face."

    Had the contracts matched and been witnessed by doctor or even a $15 public notary then the outcome may have been different.

The biggest mistake you can make is to believe that you are working for someone else.