Court Rules in Favor of Texas Sperm Donor in Child Support Case

Can Sperm Donors Be Sued for Child Support?

A professional bodybuilder and former police officer from North Texas won his child support case on appeal. The man was sued for child support payments after he donated sperm to a friend.

Several years ago the man agreed to donate his sperm to a California sperm bank to help a friend wanting to have children. According to the man, he only agreed to be a sperm donor, and never agreed to financially support the children or be involved in their lives as a parent.

The woman gave birth to triplets, but one of the babies died shortly after birth. The mother then filed suit asking for child support for her two children.

“I kind of feel betrayed in a way. I thought we were the type of friends that once you have an agreement you can always work something out,” the man explained. Since 2008 he has been required to make child support payments, as much as $5,000 each month.

This month a California appeals court ruled he will no longer have to continue making those payments.

Generally, when a child is born through assisted reproduction, unmarried individuals only acting as donors through clinics are not considered parents. In both California and Texas, sperm donors usually are not granted parental rights or are required to make child support payments.

The man is now married with children of his own. He said he still thinks sperm donation “serves a good purpose,” but that he will never donate again.

Source: KDFW Fox Dallas-Fort Worth, Court: Sperm Donor Doesn’t Owe Child Support, Fil Alvarado, 10 April 2012

Do Sperm Donors Have to Pay Child Support in Texas?

There is legal language in the state of Texas that addresses whether sperm donors can acquire parental rights or whether they have to pay child support. A donor is not a party to a child's conception by means of assisted reproduction, as Texas and eight other states have lawfully stated since 2002.

The issue of paternity has not been handled in the same way by all states. The state of Kansas did not follow the recommendation of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws to not grant sperm donors parental rights or to require them to fulfill parental responsibilities.

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