For our New Jersey readers who have chosen or who know someone who made the choice to be a sperm donor, the thought of being repaid for that generosity with a child support bill from the state could seem like a nightmare, but it is happening to one man in another state.
The man answered a lesbian couple’s online classified ad seeking a sperm donor. The women used a home-based insemination kit, and the three signed an agreement in which the man agreed to give up all of his rights as a father. The child is now 3 years old, but the couple split up, and the mother needs government benefits to get by and make ends meet.
This is where the man’s troubles begin. The state argues that the agreement the two women and the donor signed isn’t legally binding, and thus the man is still the child’s father, which means he owed $6,000 in back child support. The state is seeking the money to help it cover the costs of the mother’s public assistance benefits.
The man speculates that the case could reach the U.S. Supreme Court, which could help address the issue for several states, which still have antiquated laws that don’t addressed home pregnancy kits with private donors. The state the people live in argues that the parties should have gone through the official channels of doctors and attorneys to cover the man’s bases.
For anyone contemplating becoming a donor, it’s important to know your rights and obligations so you don’t get stuck with a bill like this man. It appears that his troubles could get worse if he has to cover support for the child until she is 18.
Source: Washington Times, “Who’s your daddy? Sperm donors, paternity, child support and the law,” Myra Fleischer, Jan. 17, 2013