One good reason not to be a sperm donor
I was reading today about how a man who was helping out a lesbian couple conceive a child by donating his sperm is now on the hook for child support payments. He apparently had signed a contract stating that he would relinquish any parent rights and not be held financially responsible. However – the state of Kansas had other ideas.
Now that the couple has split and not as financially stable, the state wants him to “pony up” to support the woman and the 3 year old child. I personally feel this is so backward. The man is married and was just trying to help out doing a random act of kindness, but now is liable for more than he bargained for.
I was reminded of a lesbian that I worked with. Her and her lesbian life partner had undergone fertility treatment to have a baby. At the time, they were together for a few years. They had a baby boy together and when their son reached 2 years old, they split up. The biological mother had custody with visits from his other non-biological mother on weekends. After the breakup, they were both in a financially stable position -that is – until the biological mother lost her job.
She had met a woman in another city and wanted to take her son with him to move there. However, she was not able to because the non-biological mother had her rights to see him regularly and attested to the move.
And the boy’s father? He was from Oregon state but they had his history when they chose them at the clinic as their donor – mainly for his athleticism. His entire medical history was laid out on a few pieces of paper from the IVF clinic. They were able to pick a donor like they would order a pizza – down to the last details. He had fathered more than 25 children and he was open to a reunion after they became adults.
Because he would not meet his kids until after they were of age, I am presuming that he would be free from obligations as well, but that all depends on the nature of the justice system where his kids are living I suppose.
Relationships are so complicated nowadays and there is no standard definition of what a family is anymore so having the state step in with backward ideas is not the solution. There are gay and lesbian families, and jigsaw families where – like the Brady Bunch – they are made up of a parent and their kid or kids meeting another one of the same. I personally think contracts should be honored and it’s not up to the state to make him pay; rather – it should be the biological mother’s partner since they made a commitment to raise that child and that is who the kid knows to be the other supportive parent in their life.
It makes me wonder how many men are going to rethink donating sperm if they are going to have so much responsibility with that one decision to help out a family that desperately wants children. I think that it’s the perfect way for commitment-phobic men to exercise the biological urge to pass on their seed while giving many women who needs their sperm – gay or straight – the ultimate gift of a child. I hope that nothing changes in that regard.