Texas child support: State seeks money from sperm donor

A brewing child support case has garnered national attention and created a media firestorm. The man at the center of the case reportedly answered a Craigslist ad from a lesbian couple seeking a sperm donor. The man donated his semen for free in order to help them have a child. The state later filed a child support claim against him even though he and the couple have an agreement freeing him from financial responsibility for the child. The outcome of this case will likely be followed by those involved in or considering in vitro fertilization, as well as those considering donating sperm in Texas and around the country.

A child was conceived from the semen sample, but the couple eventually began to struggle financially. They sought benefits from the state and, in doing so, were required to give the name of the child’s father. After an investigation, the state pursued the sperm donor in an effort to require him to pay child support. This case originated in Kansas, where the law requires sperm donors to go through a licensed doctor if they wish to avoid future child support claims.

Since the man answered a Craigslist ad and provided the couple a container of sperm instead of going through a licensed facility, the state maintains he should be required to support the child. It remains to be seen how this child support issue will be resolved in Kansas. Sperm banks around the country provide donations to people interested in conceiving a child, but it is done so with the understanding that no financial support will be provided for any children conceived.

The state is seeking a child support order as well as payment for medical expenses relating to the birth. While it appears the man made a good faith gesture in order to help a couple conceive a child, the state has stepped in and is attempting to force him to support the child even though he has an agreement that states he doesn’t have to. Interested parties across the country may want to keep an eye on the final outcome of this case. If the man is ordered by a court to pay child support, it could potentially deter donors in Texas and elsewhere who may be fearful of becoming financially responsible for the benefit of a child with whom they never planned to be involved.

Source: Yahoo! News, “Child support claim rankles sperm donor to lesbian couple,” Kevin Murphy, Jan. 2, 2013

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