Kansas Sperm Donor Fights Back After State Forces Him To Pay Child Support

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A bizarre court case out of Topeka, Kansas involves a lesbian couple and a sperm donor who responded to their Craigslist ad.  In 2009, William Marotta donated his sperm to Angela Bauer and Jennifer Schreiner, a local couple who gave birth to a baby girl later that year.  Marotta’s act of kindness has turned into an ongoing and lengthy child support battle.  The state of Kansas is pursuing him to pay three years of back child support.

In 2012 Bauer and Schreiner filed for state assistance which lead to an investigation by the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF).  DCF was given Marotta’s name as the sperm donor and the state subsequently filed a child support claim against him.  When the child was born in 2009, Marotta and the couple signed a contract forfeiting his parental rights. However, the state of Kansas will not accept the contract since adoption laws were not followed.

Bauer and Schreiner have advocated on Marotta’s behalf and believe he should not be held responsible for child support.  The couple filed for state assistance due to an illness keeping Bauer out of work which caused her to be unable to provide healthcare for the child.  Previously Bauer had assumed financial responsibility for the child.

The child’s birth certificate does not list Marotta as the father, instead only identifying Schreiner as the mother.  At the time of the child’s birth, Kansas did not recognize same-sex marriage or collect child support from same-sex partners.

Recently, the court ordered Marotta to undergo DNA testing to prove that he is the father.  Marotta has stated “I’m the sperm donor, I’m not the father.”  Marotta believes that the state is in the wrong and has vowed to fight all the way to the Supreme Court if needed.  Marotta’s lawyer has only found one other case in the United States with similar circumstances. However, in that case the sperm donor changed his mind and requested visitation rights, which is something that Marotta has never wanted or requested.

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John Schutz

John Schutz

Partner at John F. Schutz, P.L.

Representing clients exclusively in family law cases for the past 24 years, Mr. Schutz is widely regarded as a marital and family law expert. He is Board Certified in marital and family law by The Florida Bar. As a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), Mr. Schutz is committed to elevating the standards and improving the practice of family law.

John Schutz

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