Sunday, December 30, 2012

Lesbians Separate, Stick Sperm Donor with Child Support

Nearly four years ago, Marotta donated sperm in a plastic cup to a lesbian couple after responding to an ad they had placed on Craigslist. Marotta and the women, Topekans Angela Bauer and Jennifer Schreiner, signed an agreement holding him harmless for support of the child, a daughter Schreiner bore after being artificially inseminated.

But the Kansas Department for Children and Families is now trying to have Marotta declared the 3-year-old girl’s father and forced to pay child support. The case is scheduled for a Jan. 8 hearing in Shawnee County District Court...

In an email to Marotta that is part of court records, Bauer described herself and Schreiner as a “financially stable lesbian couple,” with Bauer working outside the home and Schreiner being a stay-at-home mom with their other children.
Curiously, married lesbian couples are about  twice as prone to divorce as heterosexual couples, according to studies in Sweden and Norway, where homosexual marriage has been officially permitted for some time.  It makes sense; women initiate divorce a substantial majority of the time, so statistically, a marriage with two women would seem to be at twice the risk of breaking up.

“We are foster and adoptive parents and now we desire to share a pregnancy and birth together,” Bauer wrote...

Marotta, Bauer and Schreiner each signed an agreement saying he would be paid $50 per semen donation, with the arrangement including a clear understanding that he would have no parental rights whatsoever with the child or children.

The agreement also called for Bauer and Schreiner to hold Marotta harmless “for any child support payments demanded of him by any other person or entity, public or private, including any district attorney’s office or other state or county agency, regardless of the circumstances or said demand.”

Schroller said that after consulting with his wife, Marotta decided to donate free of charge rather than taking the $50.
 No good deed goes unpunished.
On Oct. 3, attorney Mark McMillan filed a petition on behalf of the Department of Children and Families seeking a ruling that Marotta is the father of Schreiner’s child and owes a duty to support her. It said the department provided cash assistance totaling $189 for the girl for July through September 2012 and had paid medical expenses totaling $5,884.96.

Schroller, an attorney with Topeka-based Swinnen & Associates, said the state became involved after the mother fell on hard times and applied for financial assistance through the state.
And why didn't the other half of the lesbian divorce (Angela Bauer, who called herself part of a "financially stable couple") pay child support?  Maybe she didn't have a legal obligation to supply child support, because there was no official marriage but she was certainly part of the arrangements that caused the baby to be born.  I would argue she has a moral requirement to provide child support.  Maybe Marotta should sue her for misrepresentation and failure to fulfill a contract.

Apparently, part of the state's argument is that because the sperm donation did not go through a formal sperm bank, the agreement that claims to hold Marotta harmless is not valid:
McMillan responded in a motion filed Nov. 1 that the hold harmless agreement between Marotta, Bauer and Schreiner was moot because it didn’t meet the primary requirement of Kansas statute 23-2208(f) that Schreiner have a licensed physician perform the artificial insemination.

Marotta signed an affidavit in September saying he had no reason to believe a medical professional wouldn’t carry out the artificial insemination using the semen specimen he provided.
Would allowing gay marriage prevent this?  If so, let's have it. Make women responsible for their own reproduction.

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