Lesbian moms seek child support from sperm donor 18 years after the baby was born.

In the late 1980’s, a married doctor in Nassau County, New York donated his sperm to a friend and her female partner.

The man included his name on the child’s birth certificate, believing it would give the boy “an identity”. The donor orally agreed he would not have any rights or benefits in the child’s upbringing. However, he regularly sent money, gifts and cards which were signed “Dad” and “Daddy,” and enjoyed regular phone chats with the child.

The donor said he had contact with the child from his birth until 1993, when the mothers and son moved to Oregon.

From then the contact dropped considerably.

He was assured that he would have no responsibility on his part and of course 18 years has elapsed where there hasn’t been responsibility,” said the man’s lawyer, Deborah Kelly of Potrush and Daab in Garden City.

Because of privacy concerns, all parties remain unnamed.

If payments are approved by a Nassau County Family Court Judge – the child support would be determined based on the mother’s earning capacity; the reported income of her partner, who is also a doctor; and the donor’s income.

Legislation differs from region to region regarding the financial responsibility of sperm donors. The Washington State Court of Appeals ruled in 2004 that a donor isn’t bound to pay child support, unless he and the mother have a signed contract.

But earlier this year, a Pennsylvania judge held a sperm donor liable for support because he had spent thousands of dollars on gifts for two children that he helped a lesbian couple conceive.

In a similar story, a U.K. man is faced with paying child support after he donated sperm to a lesbian couple. The couple broke-up after the birth of two children – and now one mom is asking for financial support from the donor. The local Child Support Agency began to dock his pay.

The U.K.’s Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority is now warning sperm donors they are liable financially unless they donate through a licensed clinic. The HFEA said: “We would warn men providing genetic material that the only time they are not the father is when they donate through a licensed fertility clinic. This does not apply to unlicensed websites or home insemination.”

Sources: NY Post/Evening Standard

8 thoughts on “Lesbian moms seek child support from sperm donor 18 years after the baby was born.

  • December 3, 2007 at 8:10 pm
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    This is a good heads-up so that other donors don’t fall into these circumstances. Don’t donate unless you’ve got legal representation! Get the paperwork out of the way before you hand over your donation.

  • December 5, 2007 at 4:50 pm
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    As a lesbian mom, this is so awful to read. It really does make us look bad! When we considered a known donor, we brought up in our first conversation that we’d legally terminate all of his rights and responsibilities. We didn’t want him liable for child-rearing or child support, and we didn’t want him demanding any custody (or his conservative parents).

    We wound up going with an unknown donor through a clinic for these reasons. Our baby has 2 parents who she lives with, and no shananigans among multiple “parents”. (I know some enlightened souls can navigate 2-mom-one-donor-daddy or 2-moms-2-dads situations, but I also knew pre-conception that I am not one of those souls!)

  • December 5, 2007 at 11:38 am
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    After this they couldn’t pay me enough to danate.
    I think after there aren’t any more donors the courts
    may change the laws and snuff this out.

  • August 7, 2008 at 3:33 pm
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    How about the birth parents of an adopted child, can the adoptive parents go after them?

  • August 6, 2008 at 11:32 pm
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    This is a slippery slope… What about egg donors? Can the woman then go back to the donor and ask for child support? How about if the egg and sperm was donated – could there be potentially four potential parents? Many questions, few answers…

  • October 2, 2008 at 12:37 am
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    it appears the new trend is to sucker a guy into giving you is sperm and then hitting him up for child support if things don’t work out as you planned.

    Beware

  • May 26, 2009 at 6:01 am
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    four times now I have seen men I know in this trap. if you live in Canada, you are legally liable for child support no matter what papers yousign, its the law, beware men, there’s no such thing as a freebie.

  • May 10, 2009 at 9:04 pm
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    This is why either going through a clinic or adopting are much better options. It gets sticky (heh) if you don’t.

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