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Sperm donor wins controversial child support case

When an individual makes an effort to assist a family in having a child, that gift is beyond measure. Offering the biological resources needed to conceive a human life is among the most personal and meaningful transactions possible. Unfortunately, there are cases in Massachusetts and elsewhere in which that gift is rewarded with a great deal of turmoil and strife. An example is found in a recent case in which a sperm donor was pursued for child support, not by the couple he helped to become parents, but by the state in which the parties reside.

The man made contact with two women who were searching for a sperm donor through Craigslist. He agreed to provide that service free of charge and signed a legal contract to waive his parental rights. A child was indeed conceived, but the women ended their relationship some time after becoming parents. The woman who took on primary custody of the child eventually needed to access public assistance to help with financial struggles.

That led the Department for Children and Families to look into the matter. When a parent seeks assistance, it is common for the state to turn to the other parent to ensure that he or she is providing support for the child. In this case, the parents are both women, which led the state to pursue the sperm donor for child support, even though all parties were clear from the onset of their interaction that there was no intention for him to play that role in the life of the child.

The judge in the case ruled that the biological mother and the woman with whom she sought sperm donation services are the ones who will be held responsible for providing for the child. That ruling relieves the sperm donor from any obligation in connection to the child. It also sets up a legal path for the state to pursue child support from the absent partner. As for the state's Department for Children and Families, they are reviewing the case to determine whether to pursue an appeal. For prospective sperm or egg donors in Massachusetts and elsewhere, this case may be of interest.  

Source: cjonline.com, "State reviewing whether to appeal judge's decision in sperm donor case", Tim Hrenchir, Dec. 2, 2016

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