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Sperm donors may be liable for child support

Child support issues in Michigan and throughout the country are often handled by the courts when it becomes confrontational between the parties involved, and it is evident that they cannot come to agreement on child support. In dealing with circumstances surrounding child support, the court takes all of the relevant, available information into consideration before making a final determination on child support. At the end of the day, the court wants to ensure that the child's needs are taken care of and addressed. This, of course, includes financial needs as well as emotional needs.

A case in Topeka, Kansas is addressing sperm donors, and their rights and responsibilities toward the child they helped to create. Kansas state law says that when a doctor is involved with the artificial insemination processes, it is documented that the sperm donor has no obligation to the child and is not the father. However, the argument being put forth in this new case is that since no doctor was involved, then the Kansas state law does not apply, and a sperm donor can be held as the father. Thus, he would be required to pay child support.

Although this case is happening in Kansas, Michigan law on this topic is murky at best. In Michigan, it is widely held that surrogacy contracts are void, and that the sperm donor can be held as the father and be made to pay child support. Much like the case in Kansas where a surrogacy contract was utilized and deemed void, Michigan laws regarding sperm donors and child support operate in the same way. In these types of situation, child support enforcement is a viable option against sperm donors.

Issues of child support become that much more complex and complicated when having to take into consideration sperm donors and their responsibilities as fathers. This gives the courts another added element to look at when making child support decisions where appropriate.

Source: The Flint Journal, "Kan. case highlights legal issues for sperm donors", Heather Hollingsworth, John Hanna, Jan., 2013.

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