Contracts and Father’s Rights

William Marotta of Topeka, Kansas, answered an ad on Craigslist to be a sperm donor for a lesbian couple who wanted a child. He signed a contract saying he would have no father’s rights nor parental rights nor responsibilities.

Following the birth, the mother, the child’s mother, Jennifer Schreiner, applied for public assistance. The Kansas Department for Children and Families has paid her about $6,000 in public assistance. That agency filed suit against Marotta to recoup the money saying that he owes back and future child support.

Besides the contract, there is a law in Kansas that exempts sperm donors from child support claims. Judge Mary Mattivi pointed out, however, that the law does not apply unless a licensed physician performs the artificial insemination. There was no licensed physician in this case.

Father’s Rights, Wanted or Not

The judge also said that a private contract cannot override the law and negate his father’s rights and Marotta is therefore the presumptive father of the child. Whether Marotta has to pay child support is yet to be determined. What do you think?