Should Sperm Donors Be Required To Pay Child Support? | KCUR

Should Sperm Donors Be Required To Pay Child Support?

Nov 6, 2013

A case in Kansas will have jurors deciding whether a sperm donor should have to pay child support.
Credit Wikimedia Commons - CC

A few years ago, a lesbian couple in Kansas posted an ad to Craigslist asking a man to donate sperm so they could have a child. William Marotta responded, refused their offer of $50, and signed over his sperm.

The couple gave birth to a child, however,  when the child started receiving state aid, Marotta found himself being sued by the state for thousands in child support.

Marotta is being sued because he did not follow the Kansas state law for sperm donation, a process that includes going through a physician. Both Missouri and Kansas have laws regarding sperm donation that, if followed, absolve the sperm donor of his paternal responsibilities. 

Although many donors and surrogates are family members or friends of the couple, each party must meet with a physician, attend a counseling session, and seek out an attorney to complete the legal process. 

Going through the legally approved system costs a couple around $5,000 for sperm donation, which is a cost that some couples simply can't pay. Nonetheless, the system has set up a process that makes sure that the donor or surrogate is psychologically and physically ready to donate, and the parents are clear as to what kind of connection the child will have to the donor or surrogate.

Both parties must recognize that a sperm/egg donor, and any of their current or future children, will forever be genetically connected to any child produced— even if they are not legally responsible.


  • Karen Rosenburg, Attorney and Partner at Krigel & Krigel in Kansas City specializing in Reproductive Technology Law and Adoption Law
  • Kris Probasco, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with Clinical Counseling Associates in Liberty and Overland Park