Sperm Donor Forced To Pay Child Support

father's rights lawyerWilliam Marriato of Topeka, Kansas, in 2009, responded to an advertisement on Craigslist.  A lesbian couple, also located in Kansas, were seeking a sperm donor.  He stepped up to the plate and donated the sperm.  He did this to be kind and helpful.  He received no financial remuneration.  The donation resulted in the successful birth of a daughter.

 Lesbian Couple Breaks Up

After the child was born, the lesbian couple broke up.  One of the women was unable to continue working because she had become ill.  As a result, she applied for welfare from the State of Kansas.

Child Welfare Department Goes After William Marriato For Child Support

The Welfare Department in Topeka, Kansas brought legal proceedings against William Marriato.  Mr. Marriato argued he had entered into written agreements prior to making his sperm donations.  He claimed this agreement released him from all financial responsibility from children born from his sperm donation.  The Department of Children and Families disagreed with Mr. Marriato.  They claimed he was financially responsible for supporting the child because a physician did not perform the artificial insemination.

 Kansas Law Considers Him The Father

Unfortunately, for Mr. Marriatto, under the law in Kansas, he is considered the father of the child and is financially responsible for child support.  This was because a physician did not handle the artificial insemination of the mother.  In Kansas the utilization of a physician to artificially inseminate the mother is necessary to prove the sperm donor was actually a donor and did not have sexual relations with the mother.  In the event a physician had been utilized to artificially inseminate the mother, the physician would first check for sexually transmitted diseases.  In addition, the physician would have investigated as to whether either of the parents had genetic disorders which would have impacted on the child.


Before you donate sperm, you should be careful to investigate the laws of the state you are in.  Kansas is a state that does not recognize same sex marriages.  Self-help in this situation allowed for the birth of a healthy child and caused the gracious, cooperative, good intentioned father to be stuck with between 18 and 21 years of child support!father's rights advocate

About Elliot S. Schlissel

Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq. has spent more that 45 years representing individuals in matrimonial and family law cases.