Jan 5, 2013

How Donating Sperm Can Backfire: A Cautionary Tale



The other day I was reading an article courtesy of the Mr.Dad blog about a sperm donor who anwered a Craigslist ad and is currently in a court battle with the state of Kansas on whether or not he should have to pay child support for the life he helped create.

Yeah. This is REALLY happening.
After reading the article, I replied to the twitter feed and the story kind of receded into the back of my mind and I went on about my evening. It wasn’t until the following day when I heard the same story on NPR on the way home that it really started thinking about exactly how ridiculous this is.


He signed an agreement with the couple who happens to be lesbian that relinquished all of his paternity rights and that was that. Or so he thought.  When the couple separated and fell on hard times, the biological mother decided to apply for state aid for the baby who is now 3 years old.  After she were pressed to give up the name of the biological father, Kansas social services decided to go after him for child support. The reasoning behind this has to do with the exact wording of the law that identifies only artificial insemination procedures done by a physician are considered legal. Since theirs was not, the state views the donor as the true father and is holds him accountable.
 I just can’t imagine what is going through his poor guy’s head right now.  Maybe he did it to make a little extra cash. Or maybe he just wanted to help this family out. Regardless of the reason, it was an agreement between a trio of consenting adults that is being completely disregarded by government. If the mess that is going on at the federal level is any indication on how quickly this will get resolved, that child may be getting ready for college by the time an agreement is made.
 A situation like this is enough to potentially discourage men from donating sperm in the future. An unintended consequence I’m sure, but if that were to happen, it would be a shame for future well-deserving families everywhere.
In any case, if you are considering becoming a sperm donor, make sure you are fully aware of ALL the laws of your respective state before grabbing that playboy magazine.