A recent case outside of Louisiana has captured attention on the home front and throughout the rest of the country as it could potentially set a legal precedent for certain types of child support cases.
A sperm donor's child support obligations have often fallen into a gray area within family law. Technically, a sperm donor is the biological father of a child, but donors do not always plan on lending their sperm with the idea of assuming that role in the child's life.
This was the situation a Texas man went through when he opted to donate sperm for his friend. That friend wanted desperately to have children, so the former police officer and professional bodybuilder decided to donate his sperm via a California sperm bank. While the man willfully did this, he made it clear to his friend that he did not want to be a parent to any subsequent children that would be born through the assisted reproduction.
The woman eventually gave birth to triplets. However, she lost one of the children shortly after birth. Despite the agreement that the two sides had, the woman launched a lawsuit against the man asking for child support payments. The man said he feels betrayed and that he thought his friend would stick to the agreement.
Because of the lawsuit, the man was originally forced to pay up to $5,000 a month in child support. Finally, an appeals court reviewed the case and told the man he could cease making those child support payments.
Generally speaking, legal analysts said sperm donors are not considered parents when a child is born through assisted reproduction, as was the case in this instance. This is especially the case when the donor and recipient are not married.
Even though the law eventually sided with the man, he said he learned a lesson and was never going to consider donating sperm again. Currently, he is married with his own children.
Source: MyFOXdwf.com, "Court: Sperm donor doesn't owe child supports," Fil Alvarado, April 10, 2012