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Crime and Courts

Sperm Donor Says Case Is Politically Motivated

A sperm donor says a state effort to make him pay child support for a child conceived through artificial insemination is politically motivated.

William Marotta of Topeka says when he donated sperm to lesbian couple Angela Bauer and Jennifer Schreiner in 2009, he relinquished all parental rights, including financial responsibility. However, when Bauer and Schreiner filed for state health insurance last year, the state demanded the donor's name so it could collect child support for the now 3-year-old girl.

A spokeswoman for the Kansas Department for Children and Families says the agreement between Marotta and the women is not valid. State law requires a licensed physician to perform artificial insemination.

Under state law, If a man donates through a licensed physician and a child is conceived, he isn't liable.

DCF is required by statute to establish paternity and then pursue child support from the non-custodial parent. Marotta believes the state's effort is politically motivated, because both of the child's parents have told the state they assume financial responsibility for their children.

A hearing on a motion by Marotta's attorneys to dismiss the case is scheduled for January 8.