Kansas man who donated sperm loses legal fight, must pay child support

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TOPEKA, Kan. — A Kansas judge ruled Wednesday that a man who donated sperm to a lesbian couple must pay child support.

Shawnee County District Court Judge Mary Mattivi ruled that because William Morotta did not use a doctor to provide the sperm, he is not an official sperm donor and is responsible for the monthly child support payments, according to the Topeka-Capitol Journal.

Angela Bauer and Jennifer Schreiner received sperm from William Marotta to conceive a child. Marotta is being required by the state of Kansas to pay child support in the amount of less than $200/month.

Angela Bauer and Jennifer Schreiner received sperm from William Marotta to conceive a child. Marotta is being required by the state of Kansas to pay child support in the amount of less than $200/month.

In 2009, Marotta and his wife responded to an ad in Craigslist seeking a sperm donor.  Ultimately, the Marottas decided to help Angela Bauer and Jennifer Schreiner have a child.

“They were a couple. They couldn’t have children by themselves. Its something I could help with,” Marotta told FOX 4 a year ago.

Marotta says he didn’t receive any payment and consented to a written agreement signing away any parental rights long before the little girl was born.

“They very much wanted something in place that said okay, you’re doing this for us but you don’t have any claim to this child,” he said in January 2013.

But in October 2012, Marotta says the Kansas Department for Children and Family Services informed him he was being ordered to cough up the less than 200 dollars a month the state had been paying.

Marotta said he was shocked.

“At which point I’m going, wow, no good deed goes unpunished,” he said.

Marotta says the couple had split up and the birth mother, Jennifer, filed for social welfare.

“Jennifer was pressured, coerced in essence to give my name,” he told FOX 4 in our original report.

In court documents, the state argued that because the insemination was not performed by a licensed doctor, the sperm donor contract was null and void.

Marotta told FOX 4 he believed the state’s argument was at least partially politically motivated.

“I think if this was a lesbian couple in southern California I don’t think it would even be an issue right now,” he said in 2013.

Marotta says the child’s mothers fully support him and have told the state they are the ones who should be held responsible.

In January 2013, when FOX 4’s Macradee Aegerter spoke to Marotta, he was concerned about the lengthy legal battle ahead. He said he had already spent more than ten percent of his yearly salary on legal fees. A legal defense fund was established to pay for legal fees. Marotta said any remaining funds not used in his defense would be given to other sperm donors in need of legal help.

In her ruling the judge said: “In this case, quite simply, the parties failed to conform to the statutory requirements of the Kansas Parentage Act in not enlisting a licensed physician at some point in the artificial insemination process, and the parties’ self-designation of (Marotta) as a sperm donor is insufficient to relieve (Marotta) of parental rights and responsibilities.”

Earlier report:

Data pix.

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21 comments

  • Joe

    This is really unfortunate. The 2 lesbians should be held responsible for the child since one is the mother and the other should be considered her step-mother or father or whatever they want to call her.

  • Joe

    The man was simply a donor and anytime I have donated something, I have never been obligated to take care of my donation for the remainder of my days. If a donation is accepted by another, it no longer belongs to the donor.

      • Joe

        Rebecca: Don’t read things that are not there. Where did I try to connect an inanimate item to a child? Also, this is a perfect example of someone assuming something they know nothing about. I do NOT support abortions; but since I will never have one, I can only speak for myself. As for others, they have to make their own decision regardless of whether I agree with them or not. I am not the boss of others and neither are you!

  • MsBunny

    I think Judge Judy is out of control. She treats people with complete contempt, she is rude and her ego has obviously gotten the better of her. It is embarrassing to me to see what a snotty elitist she is and how much she enjoys abusing those people who come before her. Total abuse of power.
    As to this case, it’s obviously a slap in the face of “Justice.” There is nothing whatsoever that is remotely Just about it. I hope these two women give him back his money every month, plus a little extra for his legal fees. Ridiculous. The judge is a mess.

  • Adam

    So, genuine question here: is Ms. Bauer not responsible for the child? If they would have used a Dr, would it change it. Ms. Bauer, essentially adopted the child prior to breaking it off with ms. Schreiner

  • ryan

    Every car I purchase from here on out I will be requesting repayment for any maintenance and repairs from the original owner. I don’t care if there was a bill of sale, we didn’t use a licensed dealership to finalize the transaction.

  • wellnessclinician

    Judges are ethically bound by law whether they agree or not …it is NOT a moral but a legal decision; since I have not analyzed the facts of law I must assume the judge did his job. Even when we do something out of kindness, we are subject to the law. BTW, this is NOT a lesbian issue; but a moral issue; the couple needs to take whatever action is legally required to relieve the man of this burden.

    • Terry Roberts

      the law is subject to interpretation so this is how the judge ruled. Basically it is the state pressing this and seems like the judge is going to take care of the state. If that couple adopted the kid then he should be out of the loop. So who did the insemination? did the have sex together to complete this? still though with all the papers signed it should show that this was a donor. Some judges just want to get a little noteriety so they can get their name in the judical books.

  • Rebecca

    How did the insemination take place? Raw question but, maybe that is what the judge based partial decision on this. They followed no state rules to exclude him from future involvement legally according to the state and there is a reason the couple could not have children. I know I will get slammed, but people are people and they give up on relationship, regardless.of sexual orientation had the couple done this legally or.meant any of their promises to each other the other female would have felt obligated to the child. He got himself involved, with his wife’s permission. ..sounds very Abraham to me. The child is still entitled to support from a father.

  • Olpe Murphy

    Kansas is a Red State?

    This is government gone wild at its worst.

    It puts the government in your bedroom and brings an end to capitalism.

    The exchange of money for services, may not now proceed unless there is a bureaucrat present.

    According to this judge, private contracts between two people, are illegal.

  • mba74

    why couldn’t this man and the biological mother give this child up for adoption? (i’m assuming the lesbian partner and current caregiver to the child would want to have legal custody. i’m also making the assumption the biological mother would be in agreement to the adoption).
    I also have the same question Melinda has above. The father would in theory or could in theory be the custodial parent at this point, which means he would be the once collecting child support. (forgive me once again as i haven’t read the details of this case and don’t know the current health status of the biological mother)

  • b love

    Another freak show in America. Go figure. Grab some pop corn and make sure you bring a vomit bag with you. I don’t have a problem allowing Lesbians adopting unwanted children, but when they are conceiving children from sperm obtained via Craigslist. We then know why nature made A MAN AND A WOMAN.

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