In what is being looked at as one of the strangest and most unexpected cases ever, a Kansas man may have to pay child support for a child he doesn't even know. While that may not seem strange, there's a lot more to it. As reported by CBS on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, the man signed away any parental rights when he donated sperm to a Topeka, Kansas couple, but the state is after him for child support.
William Marotta is under pressure from the state to pay child support after the mother of the baby received financial assistance. Marotta is a mechanic in Topeka that answered a 2009 Craigslist ad from a lesbian couple seeking a sperm donor.
Marotta's lawyer argues that the state trying to declare Marotta as the baby's father goes against a 2007 Kansas Supreme Court ruling on sperm donors. There is currently a hearing scheduled for Jan. 8, 2013, to dismiss the case.
Legal analyst Charlie Langton said that Kansas does not recognize same-sex marriage so when one of the partners files for benefits, it is normal for the state to pursue the father.
"Kansas law does not normally mandate that the sperm donor has to pay child support, but here’s the catch: If the artificial insemination was done by a licensed physician — In this case it wasn't done — so now because this was done kind of haphazardly, the court may order the donor to pay child support," Langton said.
The couple that placed the Craigslist ad, Angela Bauer and Jennifer Schreiner, told Marotta in an email that they were a "financially stable lesbian couple." They said they were already foster and adoptive parents, but wanted to "share a pregnancy and birth together."
An agreement was signed between the couple and Marotta stating he would be paid $50 per semen donation. There was also an arrangement made with a clear understanding that he would have no parental rights at all.
Taking matters further, the agreement also made it clear that Bauer and Schreiner would not hold Marotta responsible for any child support payments demanded of him by anyone at all, including the state of Kansas.
Marotta hasn't had much contact with the couple, but has received email updates on the child from time to time. After Schreiner fell on hard times and applied for financial assistance from the state, a petition was filed on behalf of the Department of Children and Families seeking that Marotta is the father.
The state is now trying to request money from Marotta since cash assistance was provided for the girl totaling $189 for July through September 2012, and unpaid medical expenses totaling close to $6,000.