Sperm donor won't have to pay child support

Judge denies state of Kansas petition

TOPEKA, Kan. -
A Kansas man who donated his sperm to a lesbian couple will not have to pay child support.
The ruling comes after an ugly four year legal battle.
Angie Bauer is not the birth mother.
But she's raised her daughter for nearly seven years.
She's thrilled by the ruling and says it means her parental rights have been recognized and her daughter protected.
"I have nurtured her and loved her from the moment she was conceived and I continue to do so," Bauer told the 41 Action News Investigators last December.
At that time, she and her daughter's future was unclear. 
It all started when William Marotta donated his sperm to Bauer and her partner Jennifer Schreiner free of charge.
Bauer says she was able to use it to impregnate Schreiner using a basic syringe.
When the women later applied for state assistance, Marotta was named on a form as the father.
"I've never spoken to anybody who's a sperm donor and says I expect to be the father too," Marotta told the 41 Action News Investigators last December.
"I mean that just wasn't part of the deal, not expected at all," he said.
The state of Kansas leaders saw it differently.
They wanted Marotta to pay more than $1,600 in child support and assume other parental responsibilities.
But in her ruling last week, Judge Mary Mattivi argued naming Bauer the girl's legal parent is in the best interest of the child.
As a result, she denied the state's petition to name Marotta the father and responsible for child support.
"It was never intended for William to be a parent," said Bauer. "Jennifer and I created this child, not William and Jennifer."
The 1973 Kansas Parentage Act requires using a licensed doctor during artificial insemination.
Because the women didn't use one, the state argued Marotta was not entitled to the same protections as other sperm donors.
A statement from the Kansas Department for Children and Families states, "We are disappointed in the decision.
The law pertaining to sperm donors is clear and was ignored in this case.  We are reviewing the opinion to determine whether will will appeal."



Andy Alcock can be reached at anderson.alcock@kshb.com.

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