In California, several men no doubt may consider donating their sperm so that a childless couple can have a family. Doing so, however, may in some situations lead to unintended consequences.
For example, in California, a man who donates sperm will only be absolved of his parental responsibilities if he does so under the direction of a physician. Otherwise, the man may have to pay child support for a child he never intended to raise or, alternatively, face penalties for not paying as ordered.
A man from another state (which, incidentally, has a requirement similar to California with respect to sperm donors) now finds himself embroiled in a child support dispute because he some time ago donated his sperm to a mother. The mother and her lesbian partner had solicited sperm donors so that the couple could have a child. They did not go through a licensed physician to do so.
However, when the child's mother and her partner split, the mother had to apply for state benefits in order to make ends meet. Following their own regulations, state authorities then sought child support from the legal father, who in this case was the sperm donor because he did not donate his sperm under the supervision of a physician.
While the man seems to concede that the state authorities have correctly interpreted the law as it stands, he argues that it is simply outdated and impractical in today's family law environment.
Because California also requires sperm donors to go through a physician if they wish to avoid being financially responsible for the child's needs, men who wish to engage in this practice need to be aware of the nuances of California laws that cover these situations- at least, that is, until California also has an opportunity to re-visit these laws.
Source: New York Daily News, "Kansas man who donated sperm to lesbian couple being sued by state for child support," Jan. 3, 2013