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Should sperm donor owe back child support?

An interesting legal case regarding child support is unfolding in another state that our North Carolina readers may be interested to hear about. In this case, a man who donated his sperm so that a couple could conceive a child is now being sued for years of child support payments.

In this case, the man reached a private agreement with a lesbian couple after he responded to their online classified advertisement seeking a sperm donor. The man signed an agreement waiving his parental rights. The couple later separated.

The case takes an odd turn here, because the state where all three people live has determined that the donor is still the father of the child because the couple and the donor did not use a doctor or attorney for the insemination. The state now says the man owes $6,000 in back child support and that he should pay child support going forward. The mother is not asking for any, but the state is trying to recoup the support because the mother needs government benefits to get by.

Only nine states adopted a proposed law from the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws that says a donor who assists in assisted reproduction is not a parent.

The man has said that he believes his case may reach the U.S. Supreme Court, because so many state laws have not caught up with the times. This case should provide a good lesson about the need to understand parental rights and the law before going through with assisted reproduction or something similar. An experienced family law attorney could help draft a formal agreement to protect everyone.

Source: Washington Times, "Who's your daddy? Sperm donors, paternity, child support and the law," Myra Fleischer, Jan. 17, 2013

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