If a man donates sperm to a fertility clinic or sperm bank, should he be expected by law to support any child conceived through the use of his donation? Frequent donors could produce numerous offspring. Now there is a possibility they may be responsible for each one.
Men donate sperm anonymously. Women often use sperm donors because they feel there is less chance of the father demanding a paternity test and attempting to take the child. In most cases, both parties respect the others wishes to remain anonymous and the mothers retain sole custody of the child produced. It was not the donor’s intent to enter into a relationship with the mother of the child. No sexual act was committed with the intent of producing a child.
The recent case involving a lesbian couple who chose to use a sperm donor to produce a child has caused a heated debate in the legal community. In this case, the woman who got pregnant used a home insemination kit to inject the donor’s sperm. The man offered his services to the couple and it was agreed he would have no paternal rights to the child after its birth.
When the couple split up the mother of the child was forced to file for assistance to care for the child, raising the question of whether or not the sperm donor was legally responsible for his share of the child’s expenses. Because no medical facility or attorney was involved in the agreement or procedure that produced the pregnancy, the court has ruled the donor must pay both child support as well as other expenses associated with the child’s care.
The moral of the story is clear. Always make sure each agreement is legal and binding within the constraints of the laws of your state.