A Kansas man who donated his sperm to a lesbian couple is now being pursued for child support by the state agency which ended up having to provide financial assistance for the baby.
In 2009, William Marotta responded to a Craigslist ad placed by Angela Bauer and Jennifer Schreiner, who wanted to share a pregnancy together as a couple, having already adopted and fostered several children together.
In their contract with Marotta, the couple agreed not to hold him responsible "for any child support payments demanded of him by any other person or entity, public or private, including any district attorney's office or other state or county agency, regardless of the circumstances or said demand," according to The Kansas City Star.
In an email to Marotta, the women described themselves as a "financially stable lesbian couple," with Bauer working and Schreiner acting as a stay-at-home mom caring for their other children.
For his part, Marotta, who himself was married with children, agreed that he would never claim any parental rights over the child or children created as a result of his sperm donation.
In December 2010, Schreiner and Bauer ended their relationship, according to the Topeka Capital-Journal
, but they agreed to continue to still co-parent their eight adopted and fostered children.
Bauer, the sole provider, soon lost her job due to an illness and became unable to financially support Schreiner and their children. Consequently, the women sought financial assistance from the state welfare office.
Under state law, Kansas does not recognize same-sex unions, so Schreiner is considered the sole parent of her three-year-old, and the state is unable to seek child support from Bauer.
In an attempt to retrieve some of the nearly $6,000 it claims to have provided Schreiner between July and September for her daughter, the Kansas Department of Children and Families filed a petition on Oct. 3 with the court. In the petition, the DCF's attorney Mark McMillan is seeking a ruling that Marotta be recognized as the legal father of Schreiner’s child and that he owes a duty to support her.
Marotta is seeking to have the case dismissed.
Some on the left view the DCF's attempt to retrieve money from Marotta as an indirect attack by Republican Gov. Sam Brownback, who ultimately oversees the agency behind the lawsuit.
Brownback, a former U.S. representative and senator, and a pre-primaries presidential candidate in 2008, opposes gay marriage. In his 2008 campaign, Brownback argued gay marriage would lead to more children being "born out of wedlock."
Neither Brownback nor the DFS have commented on the lawsuit.
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