Sperm donor sued for child support by Kansas

This should turn a few men Democrat.

A man answered a Craigslist ad from a lesbian couple a few years ago by providing them some of his sperm. They signed agreements that he wasn’t the father and had no financial responsibility for the child. One of the women had his genetic offspring, and then the lesbian couple split and one of them had to stop working due to illness. She applied for state benefits. Incensed, Kansas decided the sperm donor should have to pay that $6,000, not Kansas. So they mounted a lawsuit against the donor, whose lawyer said the court battle will cost a lot more than the $6000 Kansas could get out of it. The lawyer asserts it’s politically motivated, and it’s hard to conclude otherwise.

What is Kansas trying to prove, though? They probably don’t have a mechanism for charging the other half of a lesbian couple, who didn’t provide any genetics to the child, for child support. That’s their problem, and they should pass a law… oh, wait. That would mean recognizing same-sex couples on some level. Can’t have that!

But there’s something else. If your state has passed one of the most restrictive anti-abortion laws in the union, like Kansas did, one of the arguments you’re going to face is that you don’t put as much zeal into making men pay for unwanted kids, too – that you’re just out to punish women. So you’ll want to go through some motions to make it look like you’re out to punish men, too. Enter: making some guy pay child support for what was obviously a sperm donor transaction.Men should expect more of this sort of thing as abortion restrictions tighten and women are unable to abort offspring that neither member of the couple wanted or anticipated. Legislators can’t just stick women with the bills, or overburden the state adoption system – if they did, that would provide loads of fodder for ACLU lawyers intent on taking it all the way to the hill. No, the anti-abortion states will have to go after the men for child support, too, and they’ll have to be vigorous about it.

Comments

  1. Alex says

    This isn’t as new a concept as you’d think. A 2007 article by The Straight Dope lists several cases where the court ignored all circumstances behind a birth in favor of forcing child support upon the genetic father (or, in one case, not granting visitation rights to a woman that was mistakenly implanted with another couple’s child; thanks for the free rental of your uterus!). Also, while I’m having a real difficult time finding a source, I could have sworn I read something about a court coming real close to deciding a no older than 14 boy would have to pay child support on the offspring of his molestation when he comes of age, but it got a “happy ending” when he decided to marry his abuser (not Mary Kay Letourneau, it turns out).

    The court system is sticking hard to an extremely narrow, unforgiving definition of parentage and a requirement of child support from both parents no matter what. It needs some serious updates to recognize more than the vanilla model, but as a relatively rare problem amongst a ton of more marketable political talking points, it’s probably not going to happen.

  2. sbg says

    I read the article and made the mistake of reading the comments to it, where it took about .25 seconds for someone to rail about the horrible gay agenda winning yet again! Like it was the couple involved taking this guy to court, when, if the article had actually been read, anyone should have been able to determine was not the case.

  3. Musereader says

    There has been a case of this in the UK. It was a few years ago, here is a news story – http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/7125895.stm

    The coverage was mostly slated in anger towards the couple who had the children for ‘making’ him pay, despite the promises.

    However when you get the full story, it was due to a piece of legislation that a parent with child (PWC) who claimed income support benefit for any reason had to claim maintenance from the Non resident parent (NRP) through the child support agency (CSA), otherwise they are denied the benefit. (This is because when a PWC was receiving both, the government would recover the benefit from the maintenance paid through the CSA, the parent was only allowed the first £10 of the maintenance). Hence when this couple had to claim the benefit they had to name him as the NRP as they could not name the partner as the other parent of the child.
    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/539944/Donor-dad-Andy-Bathie-Lesbian-pal-Sperm-donor-is-forced-to-pay-child-maintenance-Terri-and-Sharon.html This article glosses over this fact, where the first one doesn’t even mention it.

    The result is that this legislation was superseeded about a year later, meaning that PWCs on benefits no longer are forced to use the CSA and as you can see at the bottom of the first linked article, same sex couples can now have equal parental rights.

    Shows the difference in attitude towards this, given that the cases are nearly identical, in both cases the father being chased by the government after the mother claimed benefits.

  4. says

    Alex: I could have sworn I read something about a court coming real close to deciding a no older than 14 boy would have to pay child support on the offspring of his molestation when he comes of age, but it got a “happy ending” when he decided to marry his abuser (not Mary Kay Letourneau, it turns out).

    I so remember that too! I’m thinking it was in the 90s.

    We DO have an insufferably narrow definition of parenthood as a genetic state, but it’s interesting that this view suddenly shifts when socioeconomic factors come into play. We’ve got an article around here somewhere (damned if I can find it, though) about a woman who had quite a few children with different fathers, and yeah, they were poor but happy. Kids doing well in school and everything. But then social services came around and saw that they were poor, and suddenly she’s a bad mother. Sure didn’t read that way to me, but they took some of the kids away. I have a feeling you’re more likely to get taken from your parents if your parents are poor than if you’re being beaten daily by parents who are more affluent.

    sbg: I read the article and made the mistake of reading the comments to it, where it took about .25 seconds for someone to rail about the horrible gay agenda winning yet again!

    That is so far out that I had to read it a couple of times. There’s actually potentially an anti-gay agenda here: I assume they’re refusing to go after the other mother for child support because that might be used as precedent to show that a same-sex couple can form a family with children just like an opposite sex couple.

  5. DNi says

    “This should turn a few men Democrat.”

    That would require a level of introspection and thought I’m not sure they would be capable of. The first time I saw this story was on 4chan’s Politically Incorrect image board (which I visit because… I guess I hate myself???), and the misogyny and gay-bashing was as palpable as it always was. They don’t view this incident as a biased system screwing over people, they view it as vile harpy lesbian feminazi womyn screwing over some innocent, well meaning, poor, belittled man.

  6. says

    DNi, I forget how utterly stupid people can be while still managing to type their thoughts into the internet. There is just no way to read this article and think the two mothers have done anything to this man. The “worst” thing either of them did was to go on public assistance due to health problems, and it’s interesting this mess didn’t invoke the “lazy greedy welfare mothers” conspiracy theories instead of this. child support.

  7. Julie says

    Oh, I read this story a week or so ago. It was CLEARLY mentioned by the reporter and quoted the women several times that they did NOT support the state going after their child’s bio-father. They absolutely supported him in his fight against paying child-support & testified FOR him in court. Kansas should pony up the financial help the state agreed to in their own laws, and which, presumably, this child’s parents paid into.

    I think it’s outrageous what that court system is doing to that poor guy.

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