Many people in Pittsburgh have probably heard about a case in Kansas in which a sperm donor was ordered to pay child support despite having given up parental rights through a signed contract. The case has made national headlines and has likely made some sperm donors worry about what could be in store for them.
The man answered an ad from a lesbian couple who were seeking a sperm donor. Before helping the couple, the three signed a contract stating that the man would not be responsible in any way for the child. What has been the main factor in the case so far, however, is the fact that no physician was present during the donation process. Kansas law says a physician must be present for a sperm donation to be legal.
After the women who have raised the child fell into financial hardship, they sought aid from the state. The state, however, sought to declare the sperm donor the legal father of the child. A judge ruled in its favor and ordered the man to pay child support. The man announced that he will appeal the ruling.
Of course, this ruling is big news because it raises the question of what kind of protections are afforded to people who choose to help others through sperm donation. How will they know for sure that they are protected from any parental responsibilities?
The answer to that question is to thoroughly understand the laws in Pennsylvania — or whichever state you plan to donate in. Additionally, it is probably beneficial to have an attorney on your side who can review any paperwork and make sure it will hold up in court if need be.
Source: New York Daily News, “Kansas sperm donor to appeal ruling that he must pay child support,” Jan. 24, 2014