State officials in Kansas recently held that a sperm donor is required to pay child support for his biological child, despite the fact that he waived his parental rights. William Marotta found a Craigslist advertisement from a lesbian couple seeking a sperm donation. Marotta responded to the advertisement and made the donation. The insemination was performed by the lesbian couple at home without the assistance of a physician. Prior to making the donation, Marotta signed documents stating that he would assume no financial responsibility for the child.
Shortly thereafter, the couple who initially sought the donation separated. One of them applied to the state for financial help. The state then turned to Marotta as the biological father for child support. State officials were not persuaded by the agreements Marotta signed wherein the parties agreed that he would bear no financial responsibility for the child. Instead, state officials held that the agreements did not apply because a physician did not perform the insemination.
In New Jersey, the law similarly does not protect sperm donors who did not utilize licensed physicians to make their donations. The Artificial Insemination Statute precludes a sperm donor’s paternity where a licensed physician was utilized in the process. The use of a licensed physician is required in order to ensure that the parties involved are not attempting to eschew their financial obligations. If no physician is involved in the process, the sperm donor is considered the biological father and thereby assumes an obligation to pay child support.
In the event that you are considering participating in artificial insemination, whether as a donor or recipient, be sure to consult with an attorney in order to understand your rights and responsibilities pursuant to the law. [Posted by Jenny Birz, Esq.]