|Angela Bauer and Jennifer Schreiner|
Staff Reports | TOPEKA, KS -- A man who donated his sperm to a lesbian couple is now being sued for child support by the Kansas Department of Children and Families.
Attorney Ben Swinnen, who represents forty six year old William Marotta, said in legal filings that his client had answered an ad on Craigslist from Angela Bauer and Jennifer Schreiner, a lesbian couple in Topeka, who were offering $50 per sperm donation.
Marotta accompanied by his wife met with the couple and agreed to donate to them without accepting the money, Swinnen said.
In a written contractual agreement between the couple and Marotta, it stated that he would be:
[...] held harmless for any child support payments demanded of him by any other person or entity, public or private, including any district attorney's office or other state or county agency, regardless of the circumstances or said demand [...]
After he donated Marotta was told that a baby girl was born but had no further contact. However, according to Swinnen, the issue that would later become the legal factor, was that the artificial insemination was not performed by a licensed physician, which Swinnen added his client did not know at the time.
"Three years forward, the couple sought state assistance for the child and the Kansas Department of Children and Families sought out of them the name of the father and said they would not provide assistance unless they provide the name," Swinnen said.
ABC News reported:
The women gave the state Marotta's name and on Oct. 3, attorney Mark McMillan filed a petition on behalf of the Department of Children and Families that claimed that Marotta was the baby's father and needed to support her.The filing said that the state had spent $189 on the baby from July 2012 to September 2012 and nearly $6,000 in medical assistance, which Marotta had a duty to pay.Marotta's attorneys claimed that as the sperm donor, he had no responsibility to pay. But the state shot back saying that the agreement signed was invalid because the artificial insemination was not performed by a licensed physician, according to legal documents."The state does not recognize the contract. We'll see if the courts in Kansas do," Swinnen said. "We have filed a motion to dismiss. We hope to prevail, but this is the first round."Kansas law states that the donor is "treated in law" as if he were not the father if the donation of semen is provided to a licensed physician.Marotta's attorneys protested this requirement."If, as the petitioner alleges, the use of a licensed physician is a primary requirement...then any woman in Kansas could have sperm donations shipped to her house, inseminate herself without a licensed physician and seek out the donor for financial support because her actions made him a father, not a sperm donor," they wrote. "This goes against the very purpose of the statute to protect sperm donors as well as birth mothers."
The couple has not responded to requests for comment by media Bauer and a spokesperson for the Department of Children and Families declined comment citing departmental policy.
A hearing regarding Marotta's motion to dismiss is scheduled to be heard on Tuesday Jan. 8 in Topeka in District Court for Shawnee County.