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Child support ordered for sperm donor in Kansas

Minnesota same-sex couples may want to have children. This can often be facilitated for lesbian couples through sperm donation. One Kansas man may be held liable for child support after he donated sperm to a lesbian couple. A judge ruled that the man is the 'presumptive father' of the women's 4-year-old child.

The key difference in this case: A licensed physician was not involved in the artificial insemination. The method for the artificial insemination is not described in news reports. Since a physician was not involved, the adults did not comply with the Kansas Parentage Act. That means that the man could not simply designate himself as a sperm donor and relieve himself of parental rights and responsibilities. The man signed an agreement with the mother and her partner in 2009. He said he never intended to have a relationship with the child. State law does not recognize that agreement.

Officials say that the child's mother has received about $6,000 in public assistance from the Kansas Department for Children and Families. That agency has apparently brought the suit against the man. His wages could be garnished if he refuses to pay child support. He said he might be willing to go to jail instead of paying the ordered child support. It is still not clear whether the man must pay future and past child support amounts.

New medical science is creating a variety of child support quandaries. Legal moves must be taken to serve the best interests of the child. Same-sex parents may benefit from consulting a family attorney before choosing their method of conception. Planning ahead for child custody and support matters could pay off in the long term.

Source: USA Today, "Kansas sperm donor to appeal ruling over child support" Michael Winter, Jan. 24, 2014

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