I don’t know about the rest of you straight menfolk, but one of my first sexual fantasies was about being asked to father a child the old-fashioned way and being absolved of later responsibility for the child, as though I were donating at a sperm bank. All the classic elements are there, of course: the ego stroke of being chosen as having the best genes, the no-strings guilt-free sex, no need for a condom, no need to use even the rhythm method or the hope-and-pray method.
Lest you think this is a raunchy MPSIMS post which found its way to the wrong forum, I’d like to ask a legal question regarding this hypothetical situation. I would donate sperm the old-fashioned way to one member of a lesbian couple. The couple would then raise the child as theirs and I would be considered basically a sperm donor.
Here’s my question: Can I later be legally mandated to support the child with my time and/or money? (I plan on having none of either for a long time.) If I signed a contract with the couple before going through the motions, which stated that I was considered a donor only and would never be held legally responsible for the welfare of the child, would that hold up in court should they fall upon hard times and try to run me for child support later?
Please, no moral weighings-in or legal/medical advice; just straight-up facts on California and federal law relevant to the hypothetical described above. Thanks!
This topic has come up before here, regarding CA interestingly enough. One of the responses quoted a CA law that said you would be off the hook regarding a non-anonymous sperm donation only if it was done by a suitable doctor using the medical equivalent of the turkey baster method. (In addition to filling out forms.) Sperm banks are covered separately.
As to the “contract ahead of time” issue: Courts in several states have ruled that a mother-to-be does not have the right to sign away the financial rights of her child-to-be. So you could sign all the papers you want and still end up paying.
I just doubt that a lesbian couple would have sex " the old fashioned way" with a donor.
A friend of mine (we both live in the Netherlands) currently seeks a sperm donor, and she does so outside of the medical circuit. But with her donor(s), it was always: “Hi, here’s your bowl, I’ll wait for you to fill it and then I’ll apply this little plastic syringe”.
What ftg said. Lesbians can go broke or become homeless just like anyone else. If a child is in need the state wants that daddy money, and can enact collection legislation that will shred any “hold harmless impregnation” type contracts or agreements into confetti, as long as it’s not unconstitutional to do so.
With universal DNA marking coming on strong I think the day of the anonymous sperm donor will soon come to a close.
Generally speaking, this is consistent with my understanding of the law in most states.
Please note that I am not an expert in this area, and have done no research to confirm that this is still the law in any particular state. This is a general comment, and not reliable legal advice. See a lawyer licensed in your state for that.
There is one interesting angle that I’m not sure has been tested. Although it’s clear (in most states, anyway) that a parent may not sign away ongoing support rights that belong to the child, I wonder how a court would view a contract to indemnify the father for any support payments? (For non-lawyer Dopers, think of an indemity agreement as akin to a liability insurance contract – the indemnified party still owes the obligation, but someone is obligated to reimburse him for what he has to pay.) Would it make a difference if the indemnitor was the mother/custodial parent rather than a third party?
Or maybe the OP remembered a fantasy he had when he was just barely postpubescent and he was curious about the relevant law, and maybe “not even the rhythm method or the hope-and-pray method” meant what it said: “not even”, meaning nothing at all, which includes orthotricyclen. Maybe you’re too concerned about problems the OP doesn’t even have.