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Central Standard

Should Sperm Donors Be Required To Pay Child Support?

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A few years ago, a lesbian couple in Kansas posted an ad to Craigslist asking a man to donate sperm so they could have a child. William Marotta responded, refused their offer of $50, and signed over his sperm.

The couple gave birth to a child, however,  when the child started receiving state aid, Marotta found himself being sued by the state for thousands in child support.

Marotta is being sued because he did not follow the Kansas state law for sperm donation, a process that includes going through a physician. Both Missouri and Kansas have laws regarding sperm donation that, if followed, absolve the sperm donor of his paternal responsibilities. 

Although many donors and surrogates are family members or friends of the couple, each party must meet with a physician, attend a counseling session, and seek out an attorney to complete the legal process. 

Going through the legally approved system costs a couple around $5,000 for sperm donation, which is a cost that some couples simply can't pay. Nonetheless, the system has set up a process that makes sure that the donor or surrogate is psychologically and physically ready to donate, and the parents are clear as to what kind of connection the child will have to the donor or surrogate.

Both parties must recognize that a sperm/egg donor, and any of their current or future children, will forever be genetically connected to any child produced— even if they are not legally responsible.

Guests:

  • Karen Rosenburg, Attorney and Partner at Krigel & Krigel in Kansas City specializing in Reproductive Technology Law and Adoption Law
  • Kris Probasco, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with Clinical Counseling Associates in Liberty and Overland Park

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As a host and contributor at KCUR, I seek to create a more informed citizenry and richer community. I want to enlighten and inspire our audience by delivering the information they need with accuracy and urgency, clarifying what’s complicated and teasing out the complexities of what seems simple. I work to craft conversations that reveal realities in our midst and model civil discourse in a divided world. Follow me on Twitter @ptsbrian or email me at brian@kcur.org.
Matthew Long-Middleton has been a talk-show producer, community producer, Media Training Manager and now the Community Engagement Manager at KCUR. You can reach him at Matthew@kcur.org, or on Twitter @MLMIndustries.