Should Sperm Donors Have Parental Rights and Obligations

One of the newest forms of litigation appears to be that of sperm donors and their various legal rights and obligations.

I noted with interest a few months ago that the High Court of England handed down a landmark decision allowing two gay men in a civil partnership the right to apply for contact to their three biological children, who were artificially inseminated with the semen of the men, and who are being raised by lesbian couples with whom the men are friendly.

In Kansas just recently, William Marotta, had answered a newspaper ad seeking sperm donors for two women attempting to start a family.

In 2009 he donated several sperm samples and plastic cups and signed an agreement giving up all his parental rights.

The women subsequently separated and the state of Kansas sued him for child support, despite the fact that women did not want him to be part of the child’s life.

The state of Kansas had demanded the name of the girl’s father and took the position that he was responsible for the medical expenses incurred in the government-funded healthcare program.

In the first situation the sperm donors wanted access to a biological child.

In the second example the sperm donor wanted nothing to do with the biological child, yet was being sued for child support despite the fact that he had signed an agreement giving up all his parental rights.

It would appear that when artificial insemination began to be popular some years ago nearly all of the applicants were married women.

Apparently that has now changed so dramatically that 49% of the women who now receive donor conception treatment are single, with lesbian Gay bisexual and transgender families accounting for another third of the recipients, and married couples the small balance.

Trevor Todd

Trevor Todd is one of the province’s most esteemed estate litigation lawyers. He has spent more than 40 years helping the disinherited contest wills and transfers – and win. From his Kerrisdale office, which looks more like an eclectic art gallery than a lawyer’s office, Trevor empowers claimants and restores dignity to families across BC. He is a mentor to young entrepreneurs and an art buff who supports starving artists the world over. He has an eye for talent and a heart for giving back.

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