Known Donor Must Pay Child Support, Court Rules
In one of the more interesting recent cases involving same-sex parents, a Pennsylvania appellate court ruled that a lesbian couple’s known sperm donor must pay child support to the bio mom. The man was active in the couple’s life, and the two children he helped conceive called him “Papa,” according to an article in the Associated Press. He “spent thousands of dollars on the children,” even before the ruling. When the two mothers split, a court ordered the non-bio mom to pay support. She in turn sought to make the donor pay support as well.
A legal expert quoted in the article believes this could be the first time in the U.S. when a court has held three people responsible for child support and entitled to visitation. At the beginning of the year, a Canadian court named three people-a lesbian couple and the biological father-parents of the same child. The situation was different, however, in that all three were seeking to be legal parents.
The U.S. case gets more complicated because the man has just died, and it is unclear what impact this will have. Still, the ruling seems a small step towards recognizing that some of us choose to have a known donor in our children’s lives, and to ensure that with that involvement comes responsibility. As long as it doesn’t take away from the rights of either mom, it seems like a good thing.