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Kansas

Lesbian couple’s sperm donor asks judge to rule he is not child’s father

Saturday, July 27, 2013
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TOPEKA, Kan. – A Kansas man being pursued for child support by the state after he donated sperm to a lesbian couple is asking a judge to rule in his favor before a trial.

An attorney for William Marotta filed a motion this week in Shawnee County District Court asking for the summary judgment for his client, contending that the Kansas Department for Children and Families is asking the court to do “what no court has ever done” in concluding that a sperm donor is a father when neither the donor nor the biological mother is seeking that result.

William Marotta

Angela Bauer and Jennifer Schreiner

The state contends that Marotta must pay child support because he is the father of a girl born to a lesbian couple in 2009.

According to legal filings, in 2009 Marotta answered an ad on Craigslist posted by Angela Bauer and Jennifer Schreiner, a lesbian couple in Topeka, who were offering $50 per sperm donation.

Marotta said he met with the couple and agreed to donate to them without accepting the money. He said he and the couple signed a contract waiving his parental rights and responsibilities.

Three years later, after the couple sought state assistance for the child, the Kansas Department of Children and Families sought out of them the name of the father and said they would not provide assistance unless they provide the name.

After the couple provided Marotta’s name, the state claimed he was the baby’s father and needed to support her.

The state filed a motion in May seeking a summary judgment in its favor. Timothy Keck, a co-counsel for the state, contended in that motion that the contract between Marotta and the couple was invalid because they didn’t follow a Kansas law that requires a licensed physician to perform the artificial insemination in cases involving sperm donors.

Keck’s motion also asked the court to order genetic testing on the child but District Judge Mary Mattivi put that request on hold while she considered other issues.

Marotta’s attorney, Benoit Swinnen, argued in his motion that the court should apply well-settled law to conclude that the sperm donor contract in Marotta’s case is valid and enforceable. He also asked that the court find Marotta is not the girl’s father and that he has no responsibility to pay any child support or other expenses related to the child.

An Aug. 13 status hearing is the next court action scheduled in the case.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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