Sperm donor may be responsible for child support, medical expenses

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TOPEKA, Kan. – A sperm donor may be forced to pay child support for a child being raised by a same-sex couple.

After answering a Craigslist ad, it’s been roughly seven years since William Marotta agreed to be a sperm donor for Jennifer Schreiner and Angie Bauer.

“I’ve never spoken to anybody who’s a sperm donor and says I expect to be the father too,” Marotta told KSHB.

Marotta says he met the couple and signed a contract, giving away any rights he would have to a child.

“The contract says before anything happened, I wasn’t going to be a parent,” he said.

Marotta says he donated sperm three times and Schreiner eventually became pregnant.

“It was never intended for William to be a parent. Jennifer and I created this child, not William and Jennifer,” said Angie Bauer.

When the women applied for state assistance after Bauer lost her job, the State of Kansas started pursuing Marotta, who was listed on forms as the child’s biological father.

In a filing, co-counsel Timothy Keck wrote, “History has not washed away the long-standing public policy of legitimacy through marriage and none of the parties have asserted a marriage occupied between any of the parties.”

“We couldn’t marry at the time. It wasn’t legal,” Bauer said, adding that she and Schreiner did have a commitment ceremony.

Judge Mary Mattivi ordered Marotta to undergo paternity testing, citing the Kansas Parentage Act.

The act requires using a licensed physician during artificial insemination. Since one wasn’t used in this case, the judge says that Marotta isn’t entitled to the same protections as other sperm donors.

In the state’s court filing, Keck wrote that the girl’s “best interests, including physical, mental and emotional needs would be served by having the biological father known.”

Marotta says he has spent thousands of dollars fighting the case. The state wants him named the father in a modified birth certificate, which would make him partially responsible for medical expenses and to pay more than $1,600 in child support.

A decision will likely come next year.

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