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Kansas Court Rules Sperm Donor to Lesbian Couple Must Pay Child Support
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William Marotta gave his sperm to a Topeka couple in response to an advertisement on the Craigslist. He says he was “intrigued” by the advertisements and was kind enough to donate three cupfuls of his sperm to the women, who live in same-sex partnership. Sometime later the couple separated, one of the women fell ill and applied for state help. Kansas officials traced Marotta and asked him to pay up for the child support.

The issue here was that a licensed physician did not perform the insemination but the women did it by themselves. Which according to the reasoning of the state as also of the judiciary, makes Marotta the father and liable for child support, despite agreements between the parties that Marotta would assume no financial responsibility for the child.


Marotta claims lack of knowledge about the non-involvement of a doctor, because he did not know the women personally and just responded to an advertisement on Craigslist. He also made sure by agreements that no financial responsibility fell upon him, before he donated the sperm. However, right now, under Kansas law, he is the father, even though he had been made to sign agreements waiving his parental rights at the time of donating his sperm.

Right now, Marotta is held liable for $6000 in support the state paid in public assistance, and he is also held liable for future child support payments.

In her order favoring the Kansas Department for Children and Families, Judge Mary Mattivi observed, “In this case, quite simply, the parties failed to perform to statutory requirement of the Kansas Parentage Act in not enlisting a licensed physician at some point in the artificial insemination process, and the parties’ self-designation of (Marotta) as a sperm donor is insufficient to relive (Marotta) of parental right and responsibilities to the child.”

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