U.S. sperm donor fights child support for same-sex couple

A sperm donor in the U.S. is fighting an effort to force him to pay support for a same-sex couple's child, who was conceived through artificial insemination.

State of Kansas demands 46-year-old pay support for couple's now 3-year-old girl

William Marotta is being asked by the state of Kansas to pay child support after providing sperm to a same-sex couple three years ago. (Jeff Davis, Topeka Capital Journal/Associated Press)

A sperm donor in the U.S. is fighting an effort to force him to pay support for a same-sex couple's child, who was conceived through artificial insemination.

William Marotta told a Topeka newspaper in Kansas that he's "a little scared about where this is going to go, primarily for financial reasons."

When the 46-year-old donated sperm to Angela Bauer and Jennifer Schreiner in 2009, Marotta relinquished all parental rights, including financial responsibility. When Bauer and Schreiner filed for state assistance in Kansas this year, the state demanded the donor's name so it could collect child support for the now three-year-old girl.

The state contends the agreement between Marotta and the women is not valid because Kansas law requires a licensed physician to perform artificial insemination.

"If a sperm donor makes his contribution through a licensed physician and a child is conceived, the donor is held harmless under state statute. In cases where the parties do not go through a physician or a clinic, there remains the question of who actually is the father of a child or children," Angela de Rocha, a spokeswoman for the Kansas Department for Children and Families, said in a statement.

A hearing on a motion by Marotta's attorneys to dismiss the case is scheduled for Jan. 8

Couple backs donor's fight

Bauer and Schreiner have said they fully support Marotta's efforts to fight the state's request.

When Bauer was diagnosed in March with what she calls "a significant illness" that prevents her from working, Schreiner sought health insurance for their daughter from the state.

The DCF told Schreiner if she didn't provide the sperm donor's name, it would deny any health benefits because she was withholding information.

Marotta said Monday he doesn't resent Schreiner for giving the state his name.

"I resent the fact that Jennifer was pressured into doing that in the first place," he said. "That was wrong — wrong by the state."

Marotta and his wife, Kimberly, have no biological children, but care for foster children.