Attorney: Kansas Law on Sperm Donors Outdated
Kansas law governing artificial insemination is outdated and fails to recognize modern concepts of family, according to the attorney for a Topeka man being pursued to pay child support for a girl born to a lesbian couple as the result of his sperm donation.
Kansas law says a sperm donor is not the father of a child if a doctor handles the artificial insemination. But the law does not specifically address the donor’s rights and obligations when no doctor was involved, as was the case in 2009 when William Marotta donated sperm to Jennifer Schreiner and then-partner Angela Bauer, and Schreiner became pregnant.
Lawyer Ben Swinnen argued Thursday that Marotta, 46, can’t be declared the father of the now 3-year-old child, because the donor and moms had a written agreement that he had no parental rights or responsibilities. Swinnen also noted that nine states have laws saying a sperm or egg donor is not the parent of a child conceived through artificial reproduction.
“The state of Kansas is lagging behind in following the trend,” he said. “It is a freeze, in my opinion, on artificial insemination and alternative family settings.”
Swinnen also said that in pursuing the case against Marotta, the state is reinforcing the traditional view of a family as a married man and woman with children.
“Anything else is no good,” he said. State officials have said the law aims to ensure that a biological father helps support a child.