Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Kansas Case re Donor Parental Rights

no. 298

This Kansas case will be an interesting one to follow. In short it involves a single woman who used a known donor to conceive her twin children. Immediately following their birth she filed papers so she would be considered the sole parent. Problem was that the donor believed he would have a role as their father and there was nothing memorialized in any agreement protecting his belief.

The case involves a 1994 Kansas law that sperm donors have no parental rights without an agreement. The plaintiff donor's attorneys are arguing the unconstitutionality of that law. Amicus briefs filed on behalf of the defendant mother, lead by Joan Holinger (a UC Berkley law professor) argue that to set aside the 1994 law could result in donors uninterested in being parents to have such responsibilities (financial and otherwise) thrust upon them without such protection.

The case has no applicability to unknown donor arrangements but it has longer range effects regarding the establishment or not of donor parental rights. In our case NYS treats social fathers as the natural father if we are married to the biological mother at the time of a DI child's birth.

A great site with info and links regarding the laws in every US state is the Human Right Campaign Foundation. The links have not been updated in some time (please let them know) but it's a great starting point for info on any state you are researching.

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