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Child support in the midst of in vitro fertilization

For most families in Georgia, child support is relatively easy: if the parents of a child divorce, the noncustodial parent will need to pay the custodial parent some of his or her income for the care of the child. In some situations, however, things are a little more complex and attitudes are a little more divided on who should be paying child support. For example, can a sperm donor be forced to pay? One state is trying to say "yes."

To be clear, this is not happening in Georgia, but it could. There are couples and single women across Georgia who rely on sperm donors to get pregnant and it is important that all parties have a clear understanding of what they can expect regarding child support. For men to continue donating, they need to know for certain what their rights and responsibilities are to the children born of their donations and mothers need to understand that they will or won't be solely responsible for their children.

In this story, a 46-year-old man is trying to fight the state, which is ordering him to pay child support for a 3-year-old girl that was born of his sperm donation. Unlike most cases, however, the sperm donor and mother did not work with a fertility clinic. Rather, the man answered an ad on Craigslist and brought over his donation. The woman and her then-partner artificially inseminated herself without the use of a fertility clinic or doctor.

The state is arguing that the law is clear: for a sperm donor not to be responsible for child support (and to not be classified as the father), he must go through a fertility clinic. While the man says that he and the women drafted an agreement that resolved him of any financial responsibility, as well as agreeing that the child's birth certificate would not have a father listed, the state says that a contract does not supersede the law.

It remains to be seen what the court will eventually rule regarding whether the man should pay child support.

Source: Associated Press, "State trying to make sperm donor pay child support," Jan. 2, 2013

Find out more about Georgia's child support laws by visiting our website.

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