This is absurd and appalling. The Kansas Department for Children and Families has filed a claim demanding that the sperm donor of two lesbian moms pay child support, even though neither of the women nor the man wants him to do so.
The couple, Angela Bauer and Jennifer Schreiner, found their donor through a Craigslist ad, reports the Topeka Capital-Journal. He agreed not to have any parental rights or responsibilities. The couple split in 2010, but continue to co-parent their children, several of whom they adopted, and one of whom is biologically the donor’s. When Bauer became ill last year and couldn’t work, Schreiner, legal mother of that child, applied for state health insurance. The state said it would not provide it unless Schreiner gave them the donor’s name so it could collect child support. The state claims that because the insemination wasn’t done by a licensed physician, the contract between the donor and the couple wasn’t valid, and the donor has a legal responsibility to the child. Bauer has offered to pay the child support, which the state refused, because to accept it would be to recognize her as a legal parent, and that is against state law.
The women are supporting the donor against the state.
Argh. The only good thing I can see in this morass is that it may create some visibility about how biased laws harm real families. Witchita’s KWCH reports on same-sex parents in the state who say marriage equality will help them and their children. True, to a point, although as I’ve warned before, marriage equality and parental rights are not coterminous.
Let’s hope the Department for Children and Families comes to its senses. Two people have been raising a child and consider themselves the child’s parents. They want to take financial responsibility for the child. To demand that a third person do so when none of the three want him to is the height of ridiculousness.