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Legal detail leaves sperm donor on hook to pay child support

Some people might say, "Get it on paper!" when it comes to making a deal, even between friends or family members." Creating a contract that is signed by all involved parties seems like a safe step toward parties getting what they want and need out of a deal -- even a relatively unusual deal.

Several years ago, a deal began with a Craigslist ad. Two women (a lesbian couple) were looking to start a family with the assistance of a sperm donor. They wanted to have a child and didn't go through what some might call the traditional routes of conceiving via sperm donation.

Should that detail be causing the child support hiccup that the parties now face?

CNN reports that the state of Kansas, where the deal was struck and the child and parents reside, is ignoring the parental rights contract made by the parties before the child was born four years ago. The state is reportedly demanding the donor to live up to one's rights based on paternity, even though he believed he'd never have to pay child support following his sperm donation.

The legal detail that's resulted in the state tapping the donor for child support is that the parties didn't involve a physician in their sperm donation process. According to the state's law, that difference disqualifies the contract that was intended to prevent the donor from becoming the target of child support and other parental demands.

This unique family law case isn't taking place in Arizona but most definitely could. Attitudes and laws regarding same-sex couples and how to have a child are changing. It can take time for the law to catch up with national trends.

Arizona men and women who are faced with the emotional and complex matter of paternity and child support issues should reach out to a family law attorney who can explain the laws in their state. It is a good idea when trying to begin a family with alternative methods, as well as after, in order to protect the best interests of all involved.

Source: CNN, "Kansas court says sperm donor must pay child support," Chandrika Narayan, Jan. 24, 2014

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