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Should sperm donor be required to pay child support?


Posted by Thomas Pettinicchi of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Jan 04, 2013 in Child Support

Across the country, laws related same-sex marriage and adoption vary widely. A relationship that is legally recognized in Connecticut may not enjoy the same recognition in other states which can affect how a non-biological parent is regarded. Because of the inconsistent and varying state laws related to same-sex marriage and family, it can be very challenging for a parent to understand his or her parental rights in certain situations.

Recently, for example, two women in a state that does not recognize gay marriage found themselves to be at the center of a heated debate. The women were in a relationship and wanted to have a baby, so they posted an ad online looking for a sperm donor. With the help of a donor they found, they had a lovely daughter. Even though the two women later broke up, they continued to co-parent their 3-year-old and the non-biological mother agreed to pay child support.

However, the state Department for Children and Families is now going after the sperm donor to reimburse the state for benefits and to make future child support payments for the child.

The two women and the donor had come to an agreement that relieved the man of any future financial responsibilities for the child. The state argues, however, that the agreement is invalid because the insemination was not handled in the presence of a physician, as is required by that state's law. When the non-biological mother became unable to continue paying the child support she had agreed to pay, the state stepped in and went after the donor.

This situation highlights how important it can be for people to speak with an attorney prior to making any significant legal arrangements. In this case, an attorney may have been able to advise the couple about the specifics related to sperm donation, artificial insemination and adoption. Even when people believe they have a clear understanding with all parties involved in a situation similar to this one, it may have no importance if it is not a legal agreement that complies with state and federal laws.

Source: Associated Press, "State trying to make sperm donor pay child support," Jan. 2, 2013

  • Understanding and exercising parental rights in Connecticut can be complex for people in all types of relationships. For more information on our law firm and how we can help in this area, please visit our page on child support.