For about 48 months, a North Texas weightlifter and former cop has been embroiled in family law litigation he never envisioned. He has been in and out of a courtroom fighting a family law proceeding. A child support petition was brought against him by a woman who bore a child from his sperm, arranged through a sperm bank.

The two met in Texas when they both lived in an apartment complex in Arlington. While they were intimate with one another, they never married, and the women moved out of state in 2001. In 2006, the man voluntarily provided sperm for her in vitro fertilization. In June of the following year, she had triplets using the fertilized sperm.

The man was listed as their father on the birth certificate, and he executed a declaration of paternity. After the man married someone else in December 2007, the mother of the triplets brought family law proceedings against him, seeking child support. He was initially ordered to pay child support while the lawsuit was pending trial. A judge then affirmed and finalized the child support order in favor of the woman, which the man appealed.

But an appeals court tossed out the child support petition on March 19, relying on a state statute that permits women to seek services from a sperm bank without the threat of a future paternity action. Texas has a similar law on its books. After the appeals court ruling, the man is no longer required to pay child support.

This child support proceeding underscores the complexity involving some family law matters. In this case, despite the man’s former romantic relationship with the woman, the court seemingly relied on the fact that the births were the result of a sperm donor transaction. Those Texas residents facing similar issues, would benefit by learning the relevant law and procedure as it applies to the facts and circumstances of their own family law proceedings.

Source: Lubbock Online, “California court says Texas sperm donor owes no child support,” April 12, 2012