Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
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.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Court Says Craigslist Sperm Donor Must Pay Child Support

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 24, 2014 @05:54AM (#46054697)

    Let's be a trifle more charitable here.
    It seems as though the state pursued this case off it's own bat. If you'd fallen on hard times and the state told you to name the father of your child or potentially not eat and have that child taken away from you, what would you do? The state is overreaching here, and it may well not be the mother's fault she's fallen on hard times. It can happen to anyone, through illness, divorce, sudden unemployment. The idea that all people who need state support are mere leeches is a poisonous stereotype perpetuated to justify the laissez-faire, let 'em starve approach taken by money-minded politicians and their aparatchiks.

    • by erroneus (253617) on Friday January 24, 2014 @06:30AM (#46054809) Homepage

      I was almost victim of the vicious child support system. It's damned ridiculous. It has gotten to the point that everyone is better off avoiding anything going into public record. It's basically too late to say that though.

      My ex-wife was illegally claiming my sons when collecting welfare in California. She apparently didn't need to present anything more than their social security numbers because she filed and started getting money. Meanwhile, the state tracked me down in my home state and contacted their child support services office to start extracting money from my pay.

      There was just one problem. I had my sons with me and had them for quite some time. I contacted my state's office and they said there was nothing they could do. I have the children in question. One would think this is a slam-dunk. No. I requested they contact the school they were enrolled in to confirm they were with me. She wouldn't do it. It's not her job to validate -- just to do things to people. So I ended up taking the kids from school with copies of all the records I could collect and went down to her office in person. What could have been resolved with a phone call and some faxes had to be done at the inconvenience of my sons and a day's pay from me because I had to take the day off of work to resolve it.

      It was resolved. But it was stupid. What people can do without proof has to be fought and even lost with insurmountable evidence to the contrary. There are cases where a person was charged with paternity, proven he wasn't the father and still shackled with child support. Why? Because he spent time with the mother and the child. That goes beyond reason. They've got it both ways. It's biology. It's relationships.

      So take it from me and every sad case out there. 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. But the system was built this way and single mothers take advantage of it far too often. Fathers are guilty until proven innocent and many are still punished afterward. Women are never held accountable for their actions and no one can expect otherwise. The only reasonable way to protect is to treat them as if they were a contagion. The situation is dangerous. Purely dangerous. And the greater the danger, the more extreme the measures one must take to protect one's self.

      Sorry ladies... sorry kids. Blame the system and stop using it. If you want to depend on a man to take care of you and your children? How about taking care of him in return and making a family? Also, how about selecting a good man instead of "an exciting one" and being a good person yourself. I know it sounds stupidly old fashioned and somehow out of date, but there is a reason those ancient ideals were formed in ages past and the reasons they were needed then are the same as the reaons they are needed today.

      I was lucky. The game didn't quite work in their case though I am sure if they tried to press it, it would have worked anyway. My eyes were opened to the situations out there and they are huge and tragic. Don't let labels like "deadbeat dad" fool you. Women are not innocent in any of this. They hold the control and the leverage and will use it when it suits them.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        So take it from me and every sad case out there. 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. But the system was built this way and single mothers take advantage of it far too often. Fathers are guilty until proven innocent and many are still punished afterward. Women are never held accountable for their actions and no one can expect otherwise. The only reasonable way to protect is to treat them as if they were a contagion. T

        • by SirGarlon (845873) on Friday January 24, 2014 @08:40AM (#46055415)

          However, speaking this opinion brands you as a misogynist in the eyes of most women and some unintelligent males.

          It depends on how you say it. I do not think you or GP are misogynist for pointing out the injustice of the system. But try this turn of phrase on for size: "If a woman wanted to abuse the system, what is there to protect the rights of the man?"

          This is not making claims about how many women want to abuse the system, but putting the focus where it belongs: on whether the system is fair.

          And, if the reply is "that would never happen," or "that's so rate as to be inconsequential," then it's not you who is the sexist.

        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          So take it from me and every sad case out there. 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. But the system was built this way and single mothers take advantage of it far too often. Fathers are guilty until proven innocent and many are still punished afterward. Women are never held accountable for their actions and no one can expect otherwise. The only reasonable way to protect is to treat them as if they were a contagion. The situ

      • by Ginger Unicorn (952287) on Friday January 24, 2014 @08:04AM (#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.

      • Fresh into returning to the field of Tax Prep, maybe there was a potential other angle of this, and I look forward to anyone chiming in about this. But what if you fight the "grumpy dog" (Child Svc) with a Grumpier Dog? (IRS)!?

        When you file/filed your taxes, even though maybe you're smart enough to usually do stuff yourself, go to a really good tax prep service on purpose and then file your return. The Claiming rules from the IRS have pretty fierce residency duration checks. The point here is not about the

      • by Arker (91948)
        A friend of mine had the neighboring state actually come and pursuade his wife to leave him, and bring the children. They got public housing and benefits and he had just had some major financial problems. So anyway about 2 years later he gets sued for child support. Not by his family of course, but by the state. Next thing you know any legitimate job he gets, the paycheck goes somewhere else. Last I knew he was working a taxi so at least he got paid in cash and could pay his bills and eat that way. It's not
    • by onyxruby (118189) <.onyxruby. .at. .comcast.net.> on Friday January 24, 2014 @07:46AM (#46055097)

      Get real, mothers tell the state that they don't know who the possible father is every day. You have obviously never looked at how the process works. The mother could have avoided the entire situation by declining to name the man, and still gotten the benefits.

      She chose to name the man and is letting the state of Kansas play the bad guy for her own benefit. She used him to get what she was otherwise unwilling to do and has now burned the guy that naively helped out a lesbian couple without having a lawyer on board.

      Quit calling a spade a duck and offering an excuse for her abominable behavior.

      • by AmiMoJo (196126) * <[ten.3dlrow] [ta] [ojom]> on Friday January 24, 2014 @09:02AM (#46055605) Homepage

        I doubt she could have got away with a lie. When she received maternity care she probably told the doctors how she got pregnant. It would be responsible to tell them in case there were any medical issues that arose (genetics etc.) Her friends probably knew and would have been required to lie to the state as well.

        She had no reason not to be honest about who the father was right up until they decided to make him pay, which she probably thought was impossible due to the contract. Maybe she was dumb assuming that, but there is no evidence of malice here.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 24, 2014 @06:03AM (#46054731)

    Never ejaculate anywhere near America.

  • by RR (64484) on Friday January 24, 2014 @06:05AM (#46054735)

    On the one hand, I think it would be neat to make money by self-pleasure. On the other hand, I feel that sperm donation is a bit icky.

    On a genetic level, it's little different than offering your kid for adoption. Actually, it's about half your kid. If you have fashionable features, it's a good way to spread your genes to the next generation.

    On a social level, it's basically making babies without parental responsibility, and without the fun of sex or the possibility of venereal disease. I don't see how you could in good conscience make babies with the intent of selling them off. Furthermore, fashionable sperm donors sometimes become the genetic fathers of many, many children. Sometimes the children start dating without knowing that they're genetic half-siblings.

    Increasingly, medicine is benefiting from family history tracking. Education benefits from parental involvement. A sperm donor would be depriving the children of those useful resources.

    • by erroneus (253617)

      I always have to use both hands.

    • by arse maker (1058608) on Friday January 24, 2014 @06:37AM (#46054831)

      I don't get sperm donation

      On the one hand

    • Furthermore, fashionable sperm donors sometimes become the genetic fathers of many, many children. Sometimes the children start dating without knowing that they're genetic half-siblings.

      That's normal in iceland:
      http://www.cbc.ca/news/busines... [www.cbc.ca]

    • by Threni (635302)

      Morally, it's like giving blood. If someone you gave blood to committed a crime, would you be responsible? Of course not.

      In the UK, people have the right to contact their (sperm donor) parent. Why? It's just going to upset the child:

      *knock knock*
      Guy: "Uh..hello?"
      Child: "I'm your son!"
      Guy: "Is this a joke? My son's at school. Go away or I'm calling the police"
      Child: "No, you donated sperm 15 years ago. Look, here's the document"
      Guy: "I don't care about all that - I was a student, I needed the money. You d

    • by VortexCortex (1117377) <VortexCortex@noS ... t-retrograde.com> on Friday January 24, 2014 @08:08AM (#46055223)

      On a social level, it's basically making babies without parental responsibility, and without the fun of sex or the possibility of venereal disease. I don't see how you could in good conscience make babies with the intent of selling them off.

      I think the problem is in your definition of parent. I don't think semen is a baby, or that ejaculation creates a parent. I believe the role of parent is one that should be entered into voluntarily. For instance: A woman in the USA should be allowed to take birth control pills. A woman should be able to have an abortion if she decides to not be a parent. She should be able to give a child up for adoption if she doesn't want it. Currently a mother can drop her child off at any safe-house, no questions asked, no 18 years of child support, and she doesn't even have to tell anyone (not even the father) that a child was born.

      Now, I don't think a man should have control over a woman's body just because she's impregnated with his sperm. He shouldn't be able to force her to abort or carry to term his child. However, since Motherhood is voluntary in the USA, then in the interest of equality, Fatherhood should be voluntary too. A woman is not required by law to inform her partner about her taking of birth control, or forgetting to take it. A man should be able to wear a condom if he wants to. A man should be able to get a vasectomy without consulting with his partner (doctors frequently prevent the latter). A woman can choose not to carry the child, or to give it up for adoption or drop it off at a safe house, so a man should be allowed to opt-out of fatherhood as the woman can.

      If the woman knows she can not force a man to be a father against his will, then maybe she will make different choices about bringing a life into the world she can not support -- or opt to give it up for adoption. The lesbian couple agreed to become parents, the sperm donor did not. When the lesbians split up, the other woman who was not pregnant but had agreed to be a parent should be the one paying child support -- It was these mothers' voluntarily agreeing to become parents, then reneging late in the game that caused the situation where child support was necessary. The lesbian couple adopted a donor's sperm and agreed to carry out the parenting roles that come with having a baby. That adoption is such a racket these days is a related, but altogether different matter. However, it's interesting that even in adoption you have people voluntarily entering parenthood -- The state doesn't just force people to raise a child against their will... unless the person is a man.

      It's quite heinous to force a child to be raised by people who do not want it. Indeed, to prevent mothers from abandoning their babies in dumpsters we have the no-questions asked safe-house drop off. Men shouldn't control women's bodies, but it's ridiculous to not give men any reproduction rights at all, especially when allowing them to opt-out of fatherhood well before the child is born doesn't limit a woman's choices in the least: She can still decide to be a mother or not. It's quite telling that feminists actually lobby against even such small degree of male reproductive rights, meanwhile claiming to be in favour of, "Equality". This is why I support Women's Rights, not feminism: Part of the problem is that the mother's lesbian partner was not given the right to be the child's parent. Granted, there are official means for sperm donors to help the couple out, but in the interest of equality and fairness the Judge shouldn't have required the donor to pay child support -- He only recognized half of the lesbian couple's right to voluntary parenthood.

      Education benefits from parental involvement. A sperm donor would be depriving the children of those useful resources.

      You are delusional if you think that two lesbian women would necessarily be depriving their child of the useful resources of education and parental involvement.

  • It will start at $100 a month - but what happens if the kid goes to University or gets sick. he could be bankrupted.
  • War on Women! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dfenstrate (202098) <{dfenstrate} {at} {gmail.com}> on Friday January 24, 2014 @06:58AM (#46054889)
    This case will make it that much harder for lesbian couples to obtain a sperm donor. Like many laws and regulations, it'll ensure that things only occur when the proper people (in this case fertility clinics) get their cut.
    • Re:War on Women! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Tom (822) on Friday January 24, 2014 @09:00AM (#46055575) Homepage Journal

      Yes, minus the "get their cut" conspiracy theory nonsense.

      When you do things in the real world with considerable consequences, make sure you are doing them properly. If this had been a rental agreement, or a purchase contract for a company, or whatever, the result would have been similar if the parties involved did things without the correct paperwork.

      Maybe it's a burden, but it's there to regulate our society. Law is very much like a computer. You can go the bureaucratic way and change your data using the correct API with all the filesystem or database overhead and the requirement to use a particular format or language. Or you can just flip a few bits in memory or on the hard drive and get the same result. Except that it might break data integrity, invalidate the sector because of a checksum violation or whatever else.

      Also don't forget that the interested party in this case was not some clinic or medical association, but the government, which has apparently paid quite a bit of money in child support and - thanks to all of us complaining all the time that the government is wasting money - was probably obliged by some deficit limit law to check if it can't get that money back from the father.

      Unintended consequences, anyone?

      But yes, it'll make it more difficult, because lots of people don't want to use the proper API and fill out the proper paperwork and don't want to pay a lawyer to tell them what the proper paperwork is. For a one-night-stand, that's understandeable. For a child, less so.

      • by rjstanford (69735)

        When you do things in the real world with considerable consequences, make sure you are doing them properly. If this had been a rental agreement, or a purchase contract for a company, or whatever, the result would have been similar if the parties involved did things without the correct paperwork.

        Except that in those cases - especially when both parties to the contract agree completely with the same interpretation of the contract - the courts will almost always allow that interpretation to stand. Its very rare indeed that the courts will reinterpret a signed contractual relationship contrary to the wishes of both parties.

  • The law prevents these people from agreeing upon a contract and then carrying it out, even if the contract broke no other law.... Gotta love the arcana of law.
  • No good deed... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kenh (9056) on Friday January 24, 2014 @08:39AM (#46055403) Homepage Journal

    ...ever goes unpunished.

    I wonder if this will help or hurt future same-sex couples find sperm donors, egg donors, and surrogate mothers - all of which could find themselves caught up in a similar web of unintended consequences...

  • by smooth wombat (796938) on Friday January 24, 2014 @08:43AM (#46055441) Homepage Journal

    Hey Fox, are you going to cover this story where Kansas, a firmly Republican state, has all these regulations governing what a person can and can't do with their own body, or are you going to keep whining about the regulations for clean air and water?

    Yeah, thought not.

  • by argStyopa (232550) on Friday January 24, 2014 @10:19AM (#46056375) Journal

    OK, let me see if I understand:
    "It's her body, her right to choose" (to have an abortion). It is a meaningless mass of tissue that can be disposed of at the mother's convenience. The father gets no say because logically, it's the woman and her body that are at stake.

    "Pay me the money" Yet if they decide not to abort, the CONSEQUENCES of the decision will have a lifetime impact financially on the sperm donor/father.

    Isn't that nearly taxation without representation? Essentially a choice is being made about my (male) future wealth without my participation.

    IF the choice to continue/not continue a pregnancy is your choice, the consequence is your responsibility.
    If the consequences fall partially on me, I better have a goddamn say.*

    *And for those of you who would respond "You had your say, you stuck it in" - in FACT I'd agree with you. But if you go down that road, then you also have to concede that women MADE THEIR CHOICE when they allowed it to be stuck in. Certainly, rape happens, and in cases of rape I would indeed say that is the sole circumstance where a woman IS of course entitled to make the decision without the father. But let's also remember that not all rape is actually rape, as Roe v Wade clearly showed (she claimed rape, it wasn't).

"Why waste negative entropy on comments, when you could use the same entropy to create bugs instead?" -- Steve Elias

Working...