Should sperm donors be obligated to pay child support?

On behalf of Jarrell, Hicks & Waldman, PC posted in Child Support on Thursday, January 10, 2013.

An intriguing case has caught national attention this recently as it deals with a complex issue now occurring in more and more family law cases. Virginia residents may be interested to learn the details of this complex child support case.

The case centers on a man who donated sperm to a lesbian couple who have a 3-year-old girl. The state of Kansas is currently suing the man for reimbursement of Medicaid benefits that were provided by the state to the young girl, in addition to ongoing child support. According to reports, the donor did not go through a doctor to donate his sperm but instead replied to an ad online and then signed an agreement with the couple absolving him of all future financial responsibility for the child.

The legal issue that has been presented to the court is whether a sperm donor who does not go through a doctor is protected under state law or not. The state is arguing that because the law does not recognize a donor unless he goes through the formal procedure with a doctor, he should be legally held responsible as any other biological father would be.

With the advent of a rising number of children being fathered by sperm donors in non-traditional settings, the issues raised by this case are sure to come up again in courts around the country.

The state of Virginia takes all child support issues very seriously. In addition, serious penalties can result from failure to pay child support. The Virginia Child Support Guidelines detail the amount of child support an individual must pay in any given situation. Each case, however, is unique, and many different factors can influence the final amount of child support that and individual must pay.

Source: USA Today, "Kansas wants sperm donor to pay child support," John Hanna, Jan. 2, 2013

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