According to a court in Indiana, one man going through a recent divorce must pay child support for his son and daughter even though they were conceived via artificial insemination from another man’s sperm. The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected the man’s argument that he should not have to pay child support given that his children were not his biologically.
The couple married in 2001 and began investigating artificial insemination after they learned the man’s vasectomy was not reversible. A family friend offered his sperm and they agreed because they felt he was a good match physically and morally. The procedure was then performed without a doctor and a boy was born in 2004. Two years later, a girl was born from the same procedure.
The husband spent years acting as the children’s father. Even after separating, he continued paying for daycare, clothing, and extracurricular fees. However, his tune changed after he filed for divorce in 2010, when he claimed that he should not be required to pay support because the children were not genetically his. He also claimed that he had not consented to the artificial insemination, though his wife claimed he had.
Last year a lower court in Indiana ruled that the kids were children of the marriage and thus the husband was required to continue to support them. The Court of Appeals agreed and found that the husband in this case gave his implied consent by not objecting within a certain period of time. Holding yourself out as the parent, and not biology, was seen as the critical issue in that case.
Indiana lacks any real laws regarding parenthood and artificial insemination. A website dealing with sperm donors says that 32 states have laws that state the husband, not the sperm donor, is the child’s legal father. Most of these states require the husband’s written consent before artificial insemination takes place in order to hold him liable for child support, but Indiana has no such requirement.
Source: “Indiana man must support artificially conceived kids,” by Charles Wilson, published at Courier-Journal.com.