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Should Colorado sperm donors have parental responsibilities?

Families in Colorado are not always comprised of two heterosexual parents and their children. Many couples might even need the assistance of someone outside of the family to have children. Some rely on the kindness of surrogacy and egg or sperm donors. Generally, the people who assist couples with having children through these methods are not held responsible for child-rearing. However, one out-of-state man who donated sperm to a couple is being ordered to share parental responsibilities by making child support payments.

A few years ago, the man found an ad online requesting a donation of sperm to be used in assisting a lesbian couple with starting a family. That donation resulted in the birth of a little girl. The couple eventually separated and the biological mother was forced to apply for state assistance. When the state discovered that the biological father was a sperm donor, they requested that he pay back the amount of support they had given to the mother. He produced a contract that he'd made with the two women that waived his parental rights -- but because he and the women did not handle the donation via a physician, the state argued that the contract was invalid.

The man and his lawyer argue that the discrepancy is present because laws in the state do not currently reflect the circumstances that may surround same-sex couples. The state counters that because the parties in question did not use a physician to facilitate the sperm donation, the man should be held financially responsible for the little girl. The man alleges that the women were not able to use traditional avenues because they were a same-sex couple and that private donation was their only solution to have a family. The case could set a precedent around the country depending on the ruling.

Even though this case happened out of state, it is still good for couples in Colorado to take note of it if they are considering non-traditional means of starting a family. It would be best for those who are to become educated on the laws that surround sperm and egg donors to understand what could be expected. Potential donors may also want to learn about the possibility of parental responsibilities. Families may come in many forms but the love between them unites them all

Source: ABC News, Kansas Sperm Donor Ordered to Pay Child Support, Susan Donaldson James, Jan. 24, 2014

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