In the case of same-sex couples who wish to have children, the application of many laws is murky due to the relative novelty of the situation. In a case that could have ramifications for sperm donors in all types of family composition, one man is fighting to avoid making child support payments for a child that was never intended to be his responsibility. Those in similar situation in Massachusetts may be interested in the outcome of the case.
According to the case, the man donated sperm to a same-sex couple who wanted to have a child of their own. He did so with the understanding that he would have no parental responsibilities for the child. The lesbian couple and the man signed a contract agreeing to this.
However, the state is now suing the man, attempting to force him to pay child support. The state claims that since the man and the couple did not follow state law by having a licensed doctor perform the insemination, the contract is not valid. The birth mother is not requesting child support from the man. Representatives for the donor are asking that the court rule the contract is completely valid and that the man has no parental responsibilities or duties, meaning he should not be required to make child support payments.
The outcome of this case may ultimately influence how sperm donors are treated in all states, including Massachusetts. Those interested in providing such a service to couples who are unable to conceive on their own may think twice about doing so if there is a possibility the state could require them to make child support payments. The country is likely waiting to see how this case will play out in court.
Source: koaa.com, “Sperm donor asks judge to waive child support judgment,” Alyse Rzemek, July 24, 2013