Sunday, January 6, 2013

Kansas Wants Child Support from Sperm Donor.

I'll do my best to be,uh, unsnarky while writing this particular post.

In 2009, a lesbian couple, Angela Bauer and Jennifer Schreiner of Kansas, placed an ad on Craigslist in their search for a sperm donor. Their ad (and resumably, their prayers) were answered by one William Marotta, also of the great State of Kansas.

After meeting with Marotta and his wife, - and choosing not to use a clinic or doctor - Schreiner inseminated herself with a syringe. Bauer, Schreiner and Marotta signed an agreement relieving Marotta of any financial or paternal responsibility.

At some point, Schreiner and Bauer split up and according to one news report, "when Bauer was diagnosed in March with what she calls 'a significant illness' that prevents her from working, Schreiner sought health insurance for their daughter from the state. The DCF told Schreiner if she didn't provide the sperm donor's name, it would deny any health benefits because she was withholding information."

With the sperm donor's name, the Kansas Department of Children and Families claimed that Marotta was the baby's father and needed to support her.

From a legal standpoint, it's difficult to say if Marotta should have to repay the State for the $6,000 that Schreiner received through public assistance. After all, an agreement was signed by all three parties involved. The State of Kansas claims that the agreement isn't valid because no doctor was involved in the insemination.

Regardless of the "legalities", I believe Marotta should be made to pay child support. Artificial insemination, with or without a doctor, is immoral. The idea that Marotta could help create a human being without being responsible in morally reprehensible. Marotta was more than willing to donate sperm to two complete strangers whom he met via the Internet. An article on one website attempts to muddy the waters by suggesting "homophobia", but the process wouldn't be moral even if the woman was heterosexual. Should Marotta be made to pay, perhaps others will be reluctant to become sperm donors.

In its attempt to get money in a way which might be questionable legally, the State of Kansas might actually be encouraging moral behavior. That would be ironic coming from the home of Kathleen Sebelius.

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