Are sperm donors responsible for paying child support?
In California, there is a statute that protects women who obtain sperm from a medical facility from the donor. The statute gives women the peace of mind that the donor will not be able to seek them out and file a paternity action for any child that may have resulted. Using this same statute, a California appeals court ruled that a sperm donor does not have to pay child support.
The situation that led to this ruling was quite unique. It started back in 1991 when a man and a woman were neighbors. The two began a sexual relationship, but ultimately ended the relationship on friendly terms. She moved from Texas to California and in 2006, the man agreed to donate sperm for the woman’s in vitro fertilization. He thought this would be the end of his role in the matter.
The woman had triplets in 2007. Sadly one of the babies did not survive, but the man was signed a declaration for all three babies. He moved forward in his life and got married. The following year, the man received notice that the woman was suing him for child support.
In the years that followed, the man was required to pay the requested child support while the suit was pending. Four years later, a California overturned a lower court’s ruling that he had to pay the child support. The appeals court determined that a sperm donor has the same protection from mothers as the women do from donors. Therefore, it was ruled, the man has no obligation to pay child support.
The ruling may have a significant impact on other California men in similar situations. Paying wrongful child support can cost thousands of dollars. Even though unjust payments cannot be repaid to a person, it is important to put a stop to any future payments that do not need to be made.
Source: The Republic, “California court reverses ruling that Texas sperm donor owes child support,” April 11, 2012