Thursday December 5, 2013
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In 2009, Bill Marotta, 46, of Topeka, Kansas, answered an ad and signed a legal contract to donate sperm to lesbians Angela Bauer and Jennifer Schreiner through artificial insemination. In the contract he relinquished all parental rights and was assured by its wording that he would have no financial responsibility for the resulting child. He was offered compensation, but refused it, preferring to make his donation free.
The two women broke up a year later and went their separate ways, co-parenting eight children, ranging in age from 3 months to 25 years.
Now Angela Bauer has filed for state assistance, the State of Kansas has demanded and gotten the donor's name for the now 3-year-old girl, and is trying to collect child support from Marotta.
The state contends the contract was moot because it didn’t follow a Kansas statute requiring a licensed physician to perform the artificial insemination. But Marotta had no control over what was done with his donation. It was up to the women to comply with the law regarding how the insemination was performed, not to Marotta.
Saying that Marotta is responsible for what the women did is like saying that you are liable when someone drives a car you sold them and breaks a law. It is an after-the-fact claim.
Interestingly enough, it would appear to me that the question falls under the Contract Clause of the United States Constitution, Article I, section 10, clause 1, which says, "No State shall... pass any ...Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts...."
In addition, a 2007 case in the Kansas Supreme Court denied parental rights to a man who sought them after providing a sperm donation under similar circumstances, the only difference being that a licensed physician performed the insemination, which seems immaterial.
Bill Marotta is a working man who can't possibly afford the legal fees to fight the state. Though his attorneys are charging him reduced rates, Marotta said the legal fees are more than he can afford.
Marotta says he has already spent more than two months pay on legal help and he is broke. He is a mechanic but in today's economy he is currently doing other work. He and his wife, Kimberly, have no biological children but care for foster children.
A hearing on a motion by Marotta's attorneys to dismiss the case was scheduled for Jan. 8 in Shawnee County District Court but the case has been delayed to April 8th.
Several media outlets, including "Inside Edition," have applied to have cameras present in the court.
It looks like this is going to be a BIG court battle, one you are likely to hear about when it occurs.
How do you think it will be decided?
If the sperm had been given to a man and woman, husband and wife instead of lesbians would this be happening?
I don't think the man should have to pay anything.
Interesting that this case shines the light of reality on the natural fact that like sexes cannot reproduce their kind. As much as the folks who have chosen that lifestyle claim to be just as normal as hetrosexuals, these circumstance claearly refute that claim. As to this particular case, if the man is held financially liable, he should sue for custody of his offspring, or at a minimum visitation rights. Pretty sure the "mother" will not wish for either as it will ultimately expose to the child, the false relationship it was born into.
I agree with Ron, the man should file for custody of his offspring if he is found financially liable. Unfortunately, this suit will also cost $$$ and the man is already financially in trouble. Could he sue the "mothers" because they did not follow the law by not having a licensed doctor? Did the "mothers" void the contract with Marotta when they failed to have a licensed doctor? Is the state also going after the "fathers" of the other 7 children?
What a complicated mess!!! I wonder how much tax money will be spent before this case is resolved.
I agree with everything ou folks said. In the first place, the woman should have refused to say where the child came from. That was the honorable thing to do. Why people always put a buck ahead of their honor I will never know.
And the State of Kansas can't have it both ways. If they say that someone who signs a contract like that has no parental rights--which they have said in the case I cited--then they have to live with the fact that he also has no parental responsibility. They, too, are just after a buck.
Want to hear some social service excuse-making? Read this: "Speaking generally, all individuals who apply for taxpayer-funded benefits through DCF are asked to cooperate with child support enforcement efforts," Angela de Rocha, a spokeswoman for the Kansas Department for Children and Families, said in a statement. "If a sperm donor makes his contribution through a licensed physician and a child is conceived, the donor is held harmless under state statue. In cases where the parties do not go through a physician or a clinic, there remains the question of who actually is the father of a child or children. DCF is required by statute to establish paternity and then pursue child support from the non-custodial parent."
"... there remains the question of who actually is the father of a child or children."
Tell me how that makes any difference. If the insemination was made through a doctor they then know who the donor was, so they don't ask him for support money? But if the insemination was NOT made through a doctor they don't know who the donor was, so they look him up and ask him for support money?
Excuse me, but where is the logic in that statement? What conceivable difference does it make? A contract is a contract.
I think we are going to have some fun with this one--or you folks are, anyway. Even the media can how stupid all this is, and they are going to have a field day with it. You'll no doubt see it on Inside Edition.
Here's a simple argument that shoots the State of Kansas righ between the eyes. Comes from Marotta's lawyer. To understand what she's saying, remember that sperm banks regularly ship sperm donations for the intended purpose of artificial insemination within the United States and abroad to both residential and medical facility addresses.
Schroller argued in court documents that if a donor is free of parental responsibility only when a doctor performs an insemination, “then any woman in Kansas could have sperm donations shipped to her house, inseminate herself without a licensed physician and seek out the donor for financial support because her actions made him a father, not a sperm donor.”
I'd like to see anyone beat that argument.
Tom, I believe this is going to cause a ton of questions to arise, heterosexual or homosexual - forcing donors of any kind to question if they should donate or not. I don't think it should matter whether the couple is gay or not - what the bottom line is that there are a ton of hetro couples that go to donator sperm because THIS is the only way they can have a child. This case is going to ruin it for anyone that wants to have a baby, in my opinion.
Your argument above cannot be beat - this is a ridiculously stupid case. A turkey baster does not make a father.
"This case is going to ruin it for anyone that wants to have a baby, in my opinion."
Typical greedy state, with typical bongo-brained social workers, making typical idiotic decisions. The media will turn it into a circus, just as you imply, and make problems for everyone. If the case makes it to Inside Edition the number of donors will drop like a shot. Why take chances? There's no profit in donating, so why do it? In this case the donor was offered money and turned it down. He just did something he thought would be good, and look at what it has earned him.
Was it Ron who said that no good turn goes unpunished?
"A turkey baster does not make a father."
I'd hate like hell to try to prove you wrong on that one. :-)
Update for you as of 12 April 2013:
Remember now, it was Jennifer Schreiner who gave birth to the child and who applied to the state for health insurance for her, causing all this ruckus. Her partner, Angela Bauer, has filed a suit to be able to intervene in the case, saying she has the same parental rights as any other parent. The state disagrees. The judge says that it is too early to make a decision.
At long last, the judge in this case has given attorneys for the State of Kansas until May 17 to file a motion asking him to issue a partial judgment on the validity of the sperm donor contact.
Marotta's lawyer says, “The decision that the court wishes to make on the validity of the sperm-donor agreement has far-reaching implications. If the contract were to be found invalid this whole exercise would be for naught because we’ll still have several people claiming a parenting role in the life of the child.”
In other words, if the contract is found to be valid Marotta is off the hook. If it is found to be invalid then Bauer, who is making claim to parental rights becomes part of the lawsuit, and her rights may override those of a guy who just gave something away.
I'll let you know what the decision is.
It would be simple enough if the %$#@! State of Kansas would realize that under the Constitution a legal contract trumps some dum-adze state law because states are specifically prohibited from passing "... any ... Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts."
U.S. Constitution - Article 1 Section 10.
Their law says that a contract for sperm donation is not valid if it does not pass through a physician's hands. That is obviously arbitrary and cannot stand.
Why doesn't the law go after all the sperm "donors" of unmarried mothers who didn't have a doctor involved until delivery time. Now we are paying to support them.
I am tired of paying for all the children that don't have parents that pay for them.
Schools and all the extras they need and Payson wanting to sell a school at discount to build something else. I have paid my dues and never ask any govt. to pay for anything.
If it doesn't stop, we will all be starving.
Yes, I am in a foul mood today. I want all able bodied people out and working or looking for a job. Let them pay taxes for awhile.
This is a social issue...I know the answer...I am thinking like a progressive (science is the answer) individual and liberal (I'm smarter than you I have been educated on a higher level) individual and the answer is.......wait for it......Make masturbation illegal. Problem solved.
If we took a straight up and down vote of all working Americans they would say exactly what you are saying. Pay for what you do. Support your kids. Get a job.
I know this will shock you, but believe it or not the wonderful State of Connecticut once passed a law that said that a married couple could not use any kind of contraceptive when they had sex. That's right. No kind of contraceptive. And they probably have passed the law you mention too if they could have gotten away with it.
The law was taken to court a couple times, but the Supreme Court couldn't hear the cases because no one had actually been harmed by the law as yet and the CT Supreme Court (believe it or not) upheld the law. But when two people were fined $100 each for just telling married people how to keep from getting pregnant, the Supreme Court finally took the case.
The outcome was predictable, a 7-2 decision that the law was clearly unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment, which applies the 1st through 9th Amendments to the states and local governments--one of the best amendments we ever passed, because without it some of the more progressive states could get away with anything short of murder--and maybe even that.
What gets me is that two justices voted against the ruling. Can you imagine that? Justice Black said that the 14th Amendment didn't cover the case. Justice Stewart called the statute "an uncommonly silly law" but said that it was Constitutional.
It isn't, of course. Can you imagine the State of Connecticut claiming that it had the right to come right into your bedroom to make sure what you are doing? Here's what the 14th Amendment says in part:
"...no state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law...nor deny any person the equal protection of the laws."
One thing that is taken to mean is that the 4th Amendment applies to state laws as well as federal laws. The 4th Amendment says:
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
I love those first few words, "...secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures..."
That covers a lot of ground. It affirms a right of privacy to be one of our "inalienable rights."
Big Brother is watching!
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