There have been quite a few cases working their way through the courts in the past couple of years over the rights and obligations of sperm donors. This has become a more prevalent issue largely because of single people and same-sex couples utilizing sperm donors to have children. There are various ways that this transaction can take place, and it most often goes through a sperm donation center that mitigates some of the legal issues.
However, some couples choose not to take this path since it may be quite costly. In one recent case, a couple sought out a sperm donor using an online classified ad. The couple and the donor came to an agreement and signed a contract memorializing that agreement. Things were going well until the couple applied for health insurance through the state, which required information about the father of the child to proceed with the application.
In the end, the biological father was ordered to pay child support because the agreement between him and the couple did not conform to statutory standards and was therefore not an effective release from parental rights and obligations. As this case shows, without going through the proper legal channels and making sure all of the requirements are met, there could be some unforeseen issues that arise when a donor is involved.
For couples considering using a donor to help aid in the process of having a child, these legal issues are important to consider. In order to avoid some of the pitfalls noted in this case, it can be helpful to consult with an experienced family law professional.
Source: Reason.com, “Judge Orders Sperm Donor to Pay Child Support,” Zenon Evans, Jan. 24, 2014.