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Kansas

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

Saturday, July 27, 2013

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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77 more reader comments:

  1. sounds like a dead beat dad

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 8:33pm
  2. I don´t agree Kitaro. He donated sperm to them… that´s it. They´re the parents and they should look after their child.

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 8:35pm
  3. @Kitaro Clearly you did not read the story

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 8:35pm
  4. Scammers.

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 8:35pm
  5. he is not the dad. he is a donor. they should not have had a child if they needed the states help. regardless,, you cant go after the donor.

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 8:36pm
  6. Uh no..Sperm donors shouldn´t have any parental obligations..He was assisting a couple so that they would have the kid, not him

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 8:36pm
  7. The couple isn´t pursuing this, it´s the homophobic state of Kansas.

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 8:36pm
  8. they are helping him so how is he a dead beat?

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 8:37pm
  9. He´s a sperm donor who answered an ad from a lesbian couple on Craigslist, agreed to donate sperm and waive his parental rights and responsibilities, and yet the state is still trying to hold him financially responsible… would this have happened to a STRAIGHT couple who used a sperm donor, I wonder?

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 8:37pm
  10. We are never going to be treated equally if this shit continues. I know baby making for revenue is popular.

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 8:38pm
  11. leave that man alone, he DONATED HIS SPERM. its not his fault that couple wanted a child and ended up needing more money to take care of it. they need to take responsibility. they were wanting to pay him for his sperm so that they could enjoy the gift of life. he didnt want to be a father, he wanted to donate his sperm, which was the original agreement. now they want money and things are different. typical

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 8:38pm
  12. Actually, the “mom´s” aren´t looking for child support from him. It´s the State of Kansas. And it´s a mark against LGBT. So, no, he isn´t a deadbeat dad. He “helped” a lesbian couple have a child.

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 8:39pm
  13. ^ How the fuck is he a ´dead beat dad´?
    He does not know this child, has not been around this child, and has had nothing to do with her because she is not his.
    Just because he donated sperm does not automatically make him the child´s parent.
    If that is the case, then other sperm donors better look out lest they get sued for child support for kids they do not know, too!

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 8:39pm
  14. More love from the “Bible Belt”. Jebus must be so proud!

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 8:40pm
  15. WTF? A sperm/egg donor has no legal rights to a couple´s child. This is bogus. He shouldn´t have to pay anything.

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 8:40pm
  16. Depends on the original agreement. If they just wanted his sperm donation so the ladies could have a baby, he definitely should NOT be held liable for child support.

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 8:42pm
  17. They should have done their homework before asking the state for financial help. The state has the right to go after the father but there was and agreement and a contract was signed. He is a donor that´s it. He shouldn´t be liable to this couple or the child.

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 8:44pm
  18. He´s actually a noble man because he knew what they wanted and he chose not to take their money. He should be allowed to waive all parental rights and responsibilities and responsibilities. He didn´t want a child. He wanted to help someone else have a child.

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 8:44pm
  19. It stated that it was not the couple who is pursuing him, it is the state. The donation happened several years ago and things can change fast in this life, so them needing government help now has nothing to do with when the conception happened.

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 8:45pm
  20. As I understand the article, it´s not the mom´s who are after him for support, it is the state of Kansas. He is not a dead-beeat dad, and the mom´s are not looking for money from him.

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 8:46pm
  21. Way to have a child you can´t support. The couple is 100% to blame.

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 8:46pm
  22. He is NOT a dead beat dad. The women are the parents and he should have ZERO obligation.

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 8:48pm
  23. Who says they didn´t have the money to support the child when they had her? People fall on hard times you know. When people do need help they should be able to ask for that help and not have to deal with judgement or scrutiny from people who don´t know what their situation is and how they came to need help.

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 8:48pm
  24. He shouldn´t have to pay for child support the state should. He signed a contract and more to the point this wouldn´t happen if the couple were male and female. The lgbt will never getting equal rights with shit like this.

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 8:48pm
  25. The couple should have kept him out of it. How many mothers on public assistance tell the government they just don´t know who the father is? They had no right to use his name.

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 8:48pm
  26. What really pisses me off about this is that A MILLION people know who they´re baby daddies and they´re not around to help pay for that child and the government gives it too them.

    This is clearly prejudiced. Like, so awfully prejudiced and so ” Kids WILL have a man and a woman in their lives” its sad.

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 8:51pm
  27. I agree with Niki, things change for ALL people, lesbians are not immune to life circumstances changing! The entire situation is on Kansas trying to change the rules for gay couples!

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 8:52pm
  28. People you need to READ. The mothers want no money from him, the state started this.

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 8:52pm
  29. I feel sorry for this man personally, he did an amazing thing by offering the gift of a child to a couple who couldn´t biologically do it on their own and he wanted nothing in return. That´s a good man right there! Now the couple should not have made the decision to bring a child into their lives if they weren´t stable enough to afford it. They aren´t asking for the child support however they did ask for state assistance which led to all of this. I really feel bad for them all but I feel even worse for those of us in the LGBT community who want to start families as well. As an engaged lesbian my fiance and I have tried looking for donors before and didn´t have much luck as it was (except for the perverts that wanted to make a baby the “natural way” clearly they don´t understand the word lesbian very well). But now with this whole fiasco men are going to be even less willing to donate their sperm. I just think it´s sad all around for our whole community.

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 8:55pm
  30. Jordan, the article doesn´t explain WHY the couple are seeking state support for the child. How do you know she wasn´t born with a disability or that one of the couple hasn´t lost their job and needs financial assistance to support the child? There are WAY too many possibilities as to why they would be seeking state financial assistance for the girl´s upbringing to simply say that they had a child they couldn´t support.

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 8:55pm
  31. I wish they´d been more discerning.

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 8:56pm
  32. Wow. Some of you are judgmental. The STATE is asking for child support because the family has requested public assistance. For some of you commenting about the couple not being able to afford their child, THE CHILD is 3 or almost 3. It´s been 3 years since his donation and her conception. Do you know how much can happen in 3 years?! They could have lost their jobs due, run into financial hardship that could not have been foreseeable 3 years down the road. Do not try to make this couple feel bad for asking for help when they need it! I have used public assistance during our prior down falls in order to keep food in my kids stomachs and a roof over their head. That is what the assistance is for! The STATE is at fault here. They should accept that this young girl has 2 mothers and not a father. Would one expect a sperm donor to give money to a man/woman couple who fallen on hard times and need assistance. I doubt they would. US needs to get with the times and accept that the nuclear family is a part of the past. Their is no “normal family” concepts anymore. Hopefully the judge sees what is really going on here – The state is just refusing to help a same sex couple in their time of need.

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 8:57pm
  33. I think the same thing may have happened with a straight couple who needed a donor. I am an advocate for gay rights, but it appears a few commenters are pulling the “gay card.”It appears that the state doesn´t want to lose money and is trying to find a loophole to have the donor pay instead. Nothing points to anything anti-LGBT in this individual case.

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 8:59pm
  34. Perfect comment Becca! Thank you ;)

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 9:01pm
  35. The stae of Kansas…is wrong…the lesbian couple…what they did wrong(even tho they arent pursuing it) if they weren´t long term prepared to care for a child they shouldn´t have conceived!!! period! now the donor has to deal with this shit because they didnt have their bases covered

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 9:01pm
  36. Kitaro is probably one of the “mothers” trying to screw this poor guy over…. I hope he is let off the hook

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 9:01pm
  37. Of course, Kansas.

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 9:02pm
  38. Roxanne, as I said above, the article doesn´t say why the couple is seeking assistance from the state. Maybe they were financially stable at the time they had the baby but aren´t now. Maybe the girl developed a chronic illness or turned out to have a disability that their insurance is now refusing to cover anymore. It could be any of those reasons. Also, the moms aren´t seeking child support from this man, the STATE is.

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 9:03pm
  39. THAT IS RIGHT! whispered words is had said it well! xo

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 9:09pm
  40. I dont care the reason why they have for pursuing the man! They decided to go with a sperm donor so he should have no responsibility if he doesnt want any. It would not be fair if suddenly all the women who had babies by visiting sperm donation banks could sue the donors for child support. This isnt Anti LGBT since I am gay. It´s the truth, These girls decided they were mature enough to start a family by this method and should now accept the responsibility that comes from their decision

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 9:14pm
  41. If it´s your sperm sweetie, how can you say it´s not – when you know it is. If you don´t want to acknowledge the child you should have thought of that before you jerked off into a little jar???

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 9:15pm
  42. They should have done what I did with my first daughter. I told every state agency that asked, that her father was deceased. They never persued him. He didn´t want to have anything to do with her, it was my choice to keep her, so I just said he was dead, and ya can´t get money from a deadman. lol

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 9:16pm
  43. Oh no, they didn´t pay a doctor thousands do to something that can be done at home! Let´s get him! O_O He signed away his rights and responsibilities, and the state is punishing him because the couple couldn´t afford the outrageous prices doctors charge to put some semen inside? BTW, this totally blows away my idea of having some nice person help me out and then sign away his rights to the kid. I´m straight, but that had been my idea since I got divorced. If the court rules that he is responsible no matter what, just because it´s his DNA, then my idea is screwed. I think they should have taken it to court in the first place. I mean, what if they just got some random guy drunk, whom they didn´t know at all, and got pregnant? What then? They still wouldn´t be able to put a name down, because they seriously wouldn´t know. And what about these Maury-type women who wouldn´t know? I seriously hope that the state is pursuing cases like this that don´t involve gay couples, so at least I can believe that they´re just stupid instead of stupid and bigoted. :P

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 9:16pm
  44. All the people saying that if the lesbian couple couldn´t afford the child, they shouldn´t have had her. Fine than all the heterosexual people on welfare and other state assistance programs shouldn´t be able to haven´t kids or give them to couples who are more financially stable.

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 9:17pm
  45. I agree with you Ramon.

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 9:17pm
  46. Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 9:17pm
  47. Ramon Cintron, you should read the article. The women are NOT pursuing the father! The state is! Don´t comment if you don´t know a single fact about the issue at hand.

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 9:20pm
  48. Why should a sperm donor pay child support?

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 9:20pm
  49. The lesbian couple has nothing to do with what the state is doing and the state of Kansas is simply overreaching a private citizen´s life to make an anti-LGBT political statement. They should be ashamed!

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 9:24pm
  50. This is why LGBTQ Nation should word their damned article titles properly so idiots don´t assume what the story is about before reading it.

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 9:29pm
  51. Hell even straight parents say don´t know who the hell the baby´s father is. And state helps them.

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 9:29pm
  52. Shuld also have his balls removed by said Court´s order for not being responsible for those his sperm created !

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 9:37pm
  53. THIS screws up many women that rely on sperm banks, not to mention the doners!!!! You KNOW you won´t get help after being pregnant from a doner. F the state of Kansas. Whomever she is married to is the legal father!

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 9:43pm
  54. This is not cool. He is the father and one day the child has the right to know but if these lesbians wanted a child and needed a sperm donor and that was the deal then they should be bound by that and not expect this guy to cough up a cent. Greed!

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 9:43pm
  55. ( yes I realize they are same sex couple but the one not bearing the child would be the other parent!)

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 9:44pm
  56. not cool hes not a father he agreed to be a donor

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 9:52pm
  57. This will be the start to what´s going to come not just for the LGBT but for heterosexual couples if couples can´t conceive and they ask a friend then he will be considered the father. Ok, what if she is married and the husband puts his name on the birth certificate most likely nothing will happen. But this is going to the be legal hold for anyone in the future if the state wins. Which I hope it does not its going to scare anyone who seeks help to have a child. Another thing to look at before I jump off this site… any couple straight or LGBT decide to have a child and the “MAN” that did help can´t have kids one day because of a horrific accident that left him sterile he then can claim the child has his because now he wants to be a father.. This case can take future cases to many directions it´s crazy!

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 9:52pm
  58. KANSAS!

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 9:53pm
  59. He has no responsibility…. a donor does not a parent make….

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 10:01pm
  60. …He´s a donor- not the parent. Jeez. People, really? ><

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 10:19pm
  61. Can´t/Should NOT happen. No one said the couple had to use His sperm!

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 10:21pm
  62. it´s the state of Kansas and their wacky contingency laws.

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 10:26pm
  63. Silly nonsense.

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 10:58pm
  64. that is so wrong! i thought it was anonymous, i guess npt.

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 11:08pm
  65. If he donated sperm, he should definitely not be liable for any kind of child support. That´s just wrong.

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 11:30pm
  66. READ. THE. ARTICLE. Seriously people, I went to public school and first hand know our education system isn´t failing this hard. Don´t just assume you know what is going on just because you read the title of the article. Even a child with 3rd grade reading level can read the article. This is why I hate people who try to argue a point but don´t know what they are talking about. YOUR IGNORANCE IS NEITHER FUNNY NOR CUTE. Everyone here can agree, this man has no legal claim or parental rights or requirements to the child(He doesn´t want them). He is the donor – not a father or a parent in any way shape or form other than biological. They even have a contract with him stating as such. It´s the fact you are putting down these woman because of something that is out of their control is utterly ridiculous. THE STATE OF KANSAS is going after this man – even though both the man and the women both contest to it. If you actually read the article it even says the state refused to help unless they provided a name of their donor. They system KNEW that this child had 2 mothers and no father but yet demanded such information. It´s obvious the judge should be smart enough to not make a mockery of the court room and our legal system, which means he will most likely laugh state our of the court. End of Story. Just learn to do your research and use your brain before you speak behind a keyboard. You make yourself look more ignorant then you actually are(well I hope people in this group would be smarter than they seem to be).

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 11:51pm
  67. The STATE is asking. NOT the parents. THE STATE. Jesus Christ people, learn to fucking read.

    Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 11:58pm
  68. This is going to be a disaster for same sex and infertile couples. It doesn´t make sense. Would Kansas go after birth parents if an adoptive family fell on hard times and needed help? He has no parental rights so he should have no parental obligations.

    Posted on Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 12:09am
  69. I agree with Tara, its just another stab at same sex couples.

    Posted on Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 1:34am
  70. Ok some of you did not READ THE ARTICLE and ONLY THE HEADING….THE COUPLE IS NOT WANTING HIM TO PAY–it is the STUPID STATE coming after him. And if there is a contract in place where he soley has agreed that he is a donor and that they cannot come after him, that should be able to hold up in court. We have documentation that the donor has signed over and rights or responisiblity therefore, cannot be pursued for Child support and so forth. So please get off the ban wagon that “look what the gays are doing now and FRIGGIN read the article the FULL VERSION.

    Posted on Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 2:14am
  71. That´s crazy! He´s not the father!

    Posted on Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 3:51am
  72. I hate living in Kansas!

    Posted on Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 5:54am
  73. The state needs to mind their business

    Posted on Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 6:00am
  74. He´s right. If he is willing to sign away all parental rights then he has no parental responcibility.

    Posted on Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 8:38am
  75. The Kansas Department for Children and Families is the one suing him, not the lesbian couples… so yeah, fuck kansas…

    Posted on Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 8:57am
  76. and people needs to know how to read the WHOLE ARTICLE and not just the headline…

    Posted on Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 9:01am
  77. in other words the person perusing this does NOT want men donating to Lesbians… and this will give the pause….

    Posted on Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 4:42pm