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Sperm Donor Deemed 'Father' and Must Pay Child Support

Agreement Absolving Donor of Financial Responsibilty Not Enforcable

A sperm donor, with the equivalent of a prenuptial agreement, has been ordered to pay child support, by a New Mexico Court of Appeal, after an eight year court battle. The judge in the case said that the pre-existing agreement between the sperm donor and the mother of two children resulting from the artificial inseminations is not valid in their circumstances, as the sperm donor took an active role in parenting.

The donor was friends with the mother, and was allowed to become involved in the children's lives, and a visitation schedule was even established. However when the father began to make demands, including where the children live, the mother decided to have his role defined legally, and also address the question of child support.

The man's lawyer said his client should not be responsible for child support because his client is a sperm donor. However, the court ruled that the agreements absolving the sperm donor of any responsibility to pay are not enforceable.

Legal experts agree that cases like this are becoming more common, and the courts are trending in this direction. Further, anonymous donors may also be liable for child support, if it is deemed to be in the best interest of the child. For example, records may be unsealed in critical medical situations. And, in extreme cases where the mother becomes too sick to look after the child, she may want to seek out the anonymous donor for financial support.

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Last updated on Aug-4-08


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