Sperm Donor Asked to Pay Child Support: What Do You Think?

by TTMK on January 7, 2013 · 10 comments

Child support can be a contentious topic for men and women.  There are many opinions to go around about the fairness of dollar amounts and terms, and what goes into choosing who should pay.

This being said, one recent case seems to stand out from most others you might come across.  You might have heard about the situation in Kansas, as detailed in this article from NPR, where – get this – a sperm donor is being pursued for child support.  Apparently, this pursuit is straight from a state agency.

Per the article, a guy decided to be a sperm donor after answering an ad on Craigslist.  The idea of Craigslist ads for this seems a bit unusual to me, but hey – who am I to judge? Anyway, the couple was actually a same-gender pair of two women, who would be the child’s parents.  Apparently, at some point later per the article, one of the women applied for Medicaid.  This is where is seems that things went down the path of pursuing the guy for support.

The article notes that there were some technicality in how the insemination was done, where it didn’t meet the standards for having a donor not be responsible for the child.  Nevertheless, the guy was of course still a sperm donor.

Ultimately, the state agency is looking to have him be named the father and on the hook for child support.  This would naturally end up being a significant percentage of his income.

While I don’t know all the facts in this particular case, it seems to me that in general, its ludicrous to go after a sperm donor for child support.  After all, why would a guy take the action in the first place? Maybe for money, maybe to help someone out? I don’t know, but I’m guessing that the idea that one would eventually be on the hook for child support wouldn’t be a part of the equation.  If anything, I would think it would deter someone from doing this.

It seems insane to make guys pay in these cases.  These are purely donors, not people who in any way intended to be fathers one would think.  What kind of rights would they have? Wouldn’t rights and responsibilities go together? Secondarily, if men become entirely scared of the consequences, wouldn’t that also limit opportunities for couples wanting help?  Not that this is as important as having donors victimized by paying for a kid they may not have any rights to, but it’s just another thing to think about.

My Questions for You

Do you think that a sperm donor should be liable for child support, or do you think that this is a ludicrous concept?

I’m curious about your thoughts on why or why not.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

mochiandmacarons January 7, 2013 at 6:57 am

If he (and they) signed a contract saying he relinquished all rights to the child, to me that says that he’s just a donor.

Maybe they should have consulted a lawyer before trying to do this homemade sperm donation situation.

It’s why I always encourage everyone to get things in writing for any major decisions, even for things like buying a house together as friends.

Reply

TTMK January 7, 2013 at 10:03 pm

Who knows all the facts of this specific situations, but in general I don’t see how a sperm donor should be liable

Reply

Michelle January 7, 2013 at 7:22 am

I think it’s insane. The couple is being ridiculous and they stated the only reason this is happening is because apparently they applied for government aid, and it is impossibly to get approved unless you state who the “real” dad is. He wouldn’t have to be stated if they would have properly had the sperm donated. I don’t think he should have to pay, just sounds like greedy people to me.

Reply

TTMK January 7, 2013 at 10:05 pm

Michelle – I don’t think the issue is the women, but rather the state agency pursuing the guy. That seems like where approach is simply crazy! Just doesn’t pass the common sense test.

Reply

Goldeneer January 7, 2013 at 12:03 pm

The sperm donor should NOT be held liable for child support as he is not a parent responsible for this child. The two moms are the parents and the state should accept that.
This issue could equally apply to an egg donor providing an egg to a hetero or same-sex couple. Eggs are bought/donated with the intention of providing genetic material only. No responsibility towards the child is usually assumed.
If the state forces the sperm donor to pay child support, it could severely reduce the market for any future egg or sperm donation in that state. The state needs to change its policy.

Reply

TTMK January 7, 2013 at 10:06 pm

Goldeneer – I agree that the potential ramifications should be considered, and the policy is ridiculous.

Reply

AverageJoe January 7, 2013 at 1:04 pm

Wow! That’s funny (because it isn’t happening to me). There’s no way. He was helping people out, not asking to be a dad. At no time did he expect to be “dad” or want to be “dad,” so he shouldn’t have to offer the support of “dad.”

Reply

TTMK January 7, 2013 at 10:08 pm

AverageJoe – agreed, and would say that anyone in the position of a donor shouldn’t be personally liable. Crazy that someone could be pursued like that.

Reply

The College Investor January 9, 2013 at 10:41 am

I think it is crazy, but a similar thing happened in London last year. You really need to be aware of the laws when you do this type of thing, as more conservative places, like Kansas, treat things very differently than say, California.

Reply

TTMK January 9, 2013 at 9:16 pm

Robert – things sure can be different in different locales, no doubt!

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: