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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sperm Donor Owes Lesbian Couple Child Support

Last week the Ohio Court of Appeals ruled that a gay man who had donated sperm to a lesbian couple for the purpose of having a baby and subsequently sought a declaration of paternity, was obligated to pay child support.

Domestic partners Laura Prince and Vicki Griffin had asked their gay friend Curtis to donate sperm so they could have a baby. After some resistance, Curtis did agree, and a child was born to Laura Prince in July 2002. The lesbian couple and the sperm donor had signed a written agreement providing that the donor's name would not appear on the birth certificate and he would not be designated as the father, but that he could babysit the child from time-to-time.

After the birth of the child, Curtis instituted an administrative proceeding before the local Child Support Enforcement Agency to determine his paternity. And in November of 2002, an administrative paternity determination that he was the father was issued. Several months later, the agency ordered Curtis to pay child support of $282.56 per month, but he successfully appealed to a trial court, which found that the mothers had waived the support. That court’s records also showed that Curtis had sought an order for parenting time with the child, but was told he would have to file a separate motion on that issue, which he never did.

Curtis subsequently moved from Ohio to Florida, where he currently lives. Prince, later decided that she needs child support for her baby, and so the Summit County agency filed an administrative action seeking child support on her behalf in December 2008. A magistrate who heard the case in April 2009, with both Curtis and Prince appearing without lawyers, rejected Curtis’ argument that as a sperm donor he should not be held liable for child support. And consequently was ordered to pay $533.22 a month.

Curtis then attained an attorney and tried to appeal the support through a trial court. And after much back and forth from a trails court to an appeals court, Judge Moore of the appeals court stated that, “Any challenge regarding artificial insemination should have been raised at that time.” Having failed to do that in 2003 precluded Curtis, six years later, from mounting that defense against a child support claim.

So, Curtis will be responsible to pay the child support, $533.22 a month, to Prince, and this ruling is enforceable in Florida.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds to me like he brought the whole thing on himself by wanting to be designated as the "father." Should have left well enough alone; You get waht you ask for, dumbass!


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