For many couples, being able to raise a child is very important. As such, they may look into a variety of means to grow their family. For some couples, using in-vitro fertilization with a sperm donor is the best option. Generally speaking, the donor in this type of arrangement doesn’t maintain parental rights and responsibilities, since they often don’t play a role in the child’s life.
Interestingly enough, a family law case in another state is gaining national attention because a sperm donor has been ordered to pay child support. This may lead many to wonder: How did this happen?
About four years ago, two women in a committed relationship wanted to have a child. As such, the Kansas couple sought a sperm donor by placing an advertisement. Eventually, a man responded to the ad, because he wanted to help the couple out. Once the process was completed, the man signed a contract provided by the couple that was designed to free him of any parental obligations.
However, the couple split up and the woman who carried the child retained physical custody and her former partner paid child support. However, the support stopped coming in when the woman lost her job. She wanted to continue providing financial support, but it wasn’t possible at the time. As such, the other woman sought state benefits to help provide for her child.
Many Texas parents may be able to relate to this situation. There are certain uncontrollable circumstances that can limit a person’s ability to provide support according to their current child support agreement. In these cases, it’s typically best to seek modification to avoid serious legal issues.
This case, of course, is different than many others. Since an unmarried same-sex couple is at the center of the case, they didn’t have a court-enforced child support or divorce agreement. Like Kansas, Texas also prohibits same-sex unions, which is an issue we will explore further in the next post.
Source: Texas Public Radio, “Court To Sperm Donor: You Owe Child Support,” Feb. 12, 2014