I’ve been keeping an eye on this case for a while. The facts are unusually crass. A lesbian “couple” wanted to have a baby. They advertised on Craig’s List for a donor. (Pause. Let that sink in. Gross, eh?) Anyhow, the man replied to their ad, and delivered a jar of sperm. She impregnated herself, without the assistance of a doctor.
The lesbian “couple” separates. The mother can’t make it on her own. She goes on welfare. The child welfare people in Kansas want to know who the father is. She hems and haws for awhile that she doesn’t know. Finally she names him. The state wants him to reimburse them for child support. (Also, kind of crass, eh? Not really THAT interested in the child: the state just wants it money back.)
The court ruled that he does not count as a “sperm donor” within the meaning of the law, because the two of them got her inseminated without the assistance of a physician. If a physician had been involved, the father would not have counted as a father, but as a “donor” and would not have owed child support. This makes it clear: the “sperm donor” status is a artificial status, created by the state, for the express purpose of keeping fathers away from their children, and fathers and mothers away from each other.
Anyhow, the good thing about this ruling is this: in the course of the litigation, the department of child welfare made a key statement.
“A person cannot contract away his or her obligations to support their child. The right for support belongs to the child, not the parents.”
Unusual facts, I will admit. But, at least someone in the government made this important statement. It is about time someone spoke up for the child and his rights.