Sperm donor with no parental rights forced to pay child support to lesbians

Angela Bauer and her partner Jennifer Schreiner  
By: John Roberts  

A lesbian couple desperately wanted to have a baby of their own. The couple took to Craigslist, where they posted an advertisement seeking a sperm donor.

William Marotta, who is a 43-year-old mechanic, responded to their post and offered to be the sperm donor. After agreeing to be the sperm donor to the lesbian couple, Marotta from Topeka, Kansas, sat down with Angela Bauer, 40, and her partner Jennifer Schreiner, 34, to sign an agreement.

The agreement included Marotta giving up his parental rights to the child while Bauer and Schreiner gave up the right to financial support. But now, after the lesbian couple had parted ways, Marotta has been ordered by the state of Kansas to pay child support for the girl who is now three-years-old.

The child support issue came up after the lesbian couple separated but continued to co-parent the child. Bauer, who had been supporting Schreiner and the child, became unable to provide for them e due to an illness that prevented her from working.

The couple applied for State services which led the Kansas Department of Children and Families to request the name of the child’s father.

Since Kansas law does not recognize gay marriage, the state was unable to obtain child support from Bauer. Therefore the state requested the couple to disclose the name of the sperm donor. Now, the Kansas Department of Children and Families services has filed a child support claim against Marotta.

The couple said that they have an agreement with Marotta where he gave up his parental rights, including all financial responsibility. But the State, in court documents, claims that the contract between the women and Marotta is not valid because the insemination was not done by a licensed physician.

Marotta asked the court to dismiss the child support claim against him. The two women said they support Marotta’s efforts to fight the child support order. The women believe that the State's decision is politically motivated.

“More and more gays and lesbians are adopting and reproducing and this to me is a step backward,” Bauer said. “I think a lot of progress is happening currently in the world as far as gays and lesbians are concerned. Maybe this is Kansas’ stand against some of that,” Bauer added.

"This was a wonderful opportunity for a guy with an admirable and giving character who wanted nothing more than to help us have a child. I feel like the state of Kansas has made a mess out of the situation," Bauer also said.