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Court rules against non-biological father in child support case

Couples who conceived children with the help of a sperm donor may find the outcome of a divorce case in Indiana very interesting. This couple separated several years ago, but they are still finalizing their divorce, in part because the husband claimed he should not be responsible for paying child support, since he is not the biological father of their children. However, both a county court and a state appeals court saw this matter differently.

This case is unusual because the couple conceived their children through artificial insemination using a sperm donor. The husband supported the children during the couple's marriage and reportedly acknowledged that they were born to his wife while they were married.

After filing for divorce, the husband claimed that he did not "knowingly and voluntarily consent to the artificial inseminations." However, the court's ruling affirmed that the man was aware of the conditions of his children's conception and even "encouraged the use of" a sperm donor.

Two courts ruled that since the man recognized the children as his own during the couple's marriage and had consented to his wife becoming pregnant through artificial insemination and a sperm donor, the man is responsible for paying child support.

While the courts ruled in favor of the mother and children, this mother had to go through many challenges as a result of the couple's decision to conceive through artificial insemination. It is possible that if additional legal actions had been taken at the time of each child's birth, fewer disputes and legal issues would have arisen in this divorce.

Source: Muncie Star Press, "Court: Man must support kids created by artificial insemination," Douglas Walker, Jan. 15, 2013

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