In today’s tale of “no good deed goes unpunished,” a man in Kansas who provided sperm to a lesbian couple has been deemed the father of a child born to one of the women, and now he must pay child support, according to the judge who ruled on the case.
The man, William Marotta (pictured right), saw an ad the couple posted on Craigslist.com, which said they wanted to have a baby together. Marotta works as a mechanic, is married (to a woman), and has no kids but he and his wife raise foster children; not receiving any compensation for his handiwork, Marotta donated his swimmers to the couple just to be nice. In exchange, he signed an agreement with the two women that stated he did not want parental rights, nor would they hold him responsible.
The women never went after him for money, and have said repeatedly that they don’t want him to pay them anything. The lawsuit was filed by the Kansas Dept. of Children and Families, to force Marotta to be recognized as the legal father.
The lawsuit arose when the two women, Jennifer Schreiner and Angela Bauer, filed for public assistance after Bauer lost her job. Their baby was born to Schreiner; together they have a total of eight children, and Bauer supported the family financially. And before you raise a judgmental eyebrow because they are asking for welfare, please be aware that one child is from Schreiner’s previous marriage, one is Bauer’s nephew who she raises, and the rest are special-needs foster children who they adopted. Yes, they raise disabled kids. One has Down’s Syndrome, one is severely autistic, and the list goes on. As if this situation couldn’t get any more frustrating.
Needless to say, Kansas does not recognize same-sex relationships in any way. Because she had not legally adopted the baby born to Schreiner, Bauer was not recognized as the second parent, so the government sued Marotta to force him to pay the child support payments to reimburse the welfare money.
Kansas’ Dept. of Children and Families used a pathetic claim that stated because this sperm donation/impregnation situation happened via Craigslist, and was not performed by a licensed doctor, Marotta did not legally terminate his parental rights. (…which leads to a question: then what exactly did they do with Marotta’s sperm? Did they use a turkey baster? Can that actually work?)
But of course that is just the convenient excuse. This case is good old-fashioned bigotry against the couple because they are lesbians, and it is meant to discourage other same-sex couples from raising children. Backwards legislators in Kansas are fighting to have creationism taught in public schools, because evolution is just a myth! So of course the thought of gay and lesbian families is too much to bear.
Hopefully Schreiner will not file any more claims for public assistance, because Marotta is also responsible for future child support payments. He’s already had to pay his attorneys thousands of dollars. Yet another horrifying detail! This story keeps getting worse.