Two lesbian women in Kansas wanted a child and found their donor after placing an ad on craigslist. Now that donor, Thomas Marrotta, is being sued. Will the Kansas City sperm donor case affect private sperm donations?
It very well might. Private sperm donations are sought by many. It could be a traditional male-female couple who can’t have kids, it could be a lesbian couple or it could be two men in a committed relationship who want to be parents.
There are message boards across the United States that seek out sperm donors.
A popular message board is Voy. The forum is for couples or single women looking for healthy free sperm donors, and for healthy men to post their availability to be sperm donors. Some offer to provide artificial insemination (AI) while other will only provide their sperm by natural insemination (NI).
How will the Kansas City sperm donor case affect private sperm donations being peddled on Voy?
Will it make donors more apprehensive about donating for fear that they will be sued?
In the Kansas City sperm donor case, Angie Bauer and Jennifer Schreiner, a lesbian couple, wanted to add to their family. The couple were with each other for 8 years and had already adopted 8 children.
They placed an an on craigslist that said, in part,
We are foster and adoptive parents and now we desire to share a pregnancy and birth together.
A married man, William Marotta, answered the ad. After discussing the situation with his wife, he decided to provide his sperm to Angie and Jennifer and to forgo the $50 fee that they were offering.
The three of them signed papers, which they believe were legal. Those papers, they believed, clearly stated that Marotta would have no responsibility for the child that was born to Angie Bauer and Jennifer Schreiner.
He dropped off his sperm and the couple performed their own insemination.
Bauer ended up being out of work due to health issues and Schreiner applied for public assistance. That’s when the problems began.
There are allegations that Schreiner may have initially lied to Kansas City authorities saying she did not know who the father was.
The state did not recognize Bauer as the father and it is believed that pressure was put on Schreiner to reveal who the “biological” father of her child was, which really is standard operating procedure when someone seeks public assistance.
Now Marotta is involved in a court case since the state wants to recover the monies they have already paid out to care for the now 3-year-old-child.
Since the artificial insemination was not performed under a doctors care, the state does not recognize the relinquishment of parental rights.
There is a court date set for Tuesday and Marotta’s lawyer has petitioned for the case to be dismissed.
Will the Kansas City sperm donor case affect private sperm donations because donors will be concerned because they might get sued? Most likely it will, for some.
Another important question to address is why a couple, straight or gay, would add to their already very large family if they do not have the resources to sustain themselves in the case of an emergency – such as being out of work? They already had eight children.
Even after the couple split and even after the “mother” applied for financial assistance, another child was reportedly placed in the home with Jennifer Schreiner, long after Bauer was gone.
Is this reminiscent of the Octomom, Nadya Suleman, who had more children than she could reasonably handle and then expected financial assistance?
You know that there are people, unfortunately, who “milk the system” and that angle needs to be considered too.
Although private sperm donations can be free, or at low-cost, potential sperm donors and those seeking sperm donations should research the laws within their state and consider contacting an attorney so that they understand the legal risks and challenges of the actions they are considering since having a child, regardless of the method of conception, is supposed to be lifetime commitment.