Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Is the Kansas Sperm Donor Case A Lesson Against Do-It-Yourself Artificial Insemination

TrustsAs I have previously discussed, the State of Kansas claims that William Marotta should have to provide financial aid to a child that was conceived from the sperm that he donated to a lesbian couple. The state agency that deals with child support claimed that the contract Marrotta signed with the couple was not valid, which would have relieved of his duty to provide for the child, because the sperm donation and insemination were not performed by a licensed physician.

Some would argue that the problem for Marotta was largely self-inflicted, in that he is paying for his decision and the couple's decision to ignore Kansas law. Others would argue that the situation Marotta has found himself in is likely the product of financial considerations. The costs of following the proper procedure of self-insemination is expensive and many women choose to avoid doctors. Artifical Reproductive Technology (ART) can cost on average between $2,000 and $3,000, and is not covered by most health insurance providers. This means people seeking ART are looking for alternatives, such home insemination kits, that are much cheaper than the official option. The law here does not help either. Marotta and his attorney believe the law is most likely the product of a conservative state that is trying to maintain the traditional family by reducing the number of  the options that others have to become a parent in an alternative family.

Still, it is important to remember that do-it-yourself (DIY) options often result in these types of problems, regardless of whether it is a DIY will or trust or now DIY ART. According to MySA.com, "Corey Whelan, who runs workshops for lesbian couples interested in having children...said avoiding professionals is 'a buyer-beware proposition.'"

See John Hanna, Kan. Case Highlights Legal Issues For Sperm Donors, Nation/World, MySanAntonio, Jan. 4, 2013.

Special thanks to Laura Galvan (Attorney, San Antonio, Texas) for bringing this article to my attention.  


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At the very least a lesson on not to use Craig's list.

Posted by: brian j. cohan | Jan 5, 2013 6:12:01 AM

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