Kansas high court delays tests in sperm donor case

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Supreme Court is delaying a decision on whether a Topeka man who provided sperm to a lesbian couple must undergo genetic testing.

Shawnee County District Court Judge Mary Mattivi has twice ordered William Marotta to be tested to determine if he is the father of a now 4-year-old girl who was born to the couple after he donated his sperm. The state is seeking to force Marotta to pay child support.

The justices issued an order Friday saying the testing should be delayed while they study the issue, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported (http://bit.ly/1o2qApG ).

Supreme Court justices “have said procedurally, stop, don’t do anything,” Marotta’s attorney, Benoit Swinnen said Monday. The justices are saying: “We’re considering. For now, we need time.”

Since October 2012, the Kansas Department for Children and Families has sought to have Marotta declared the father of a girl born to Jennifer Schreiner in 2009. The state wants Marotta to be responsible for about $6,000 in public assistance the state provided, as well as future child support.

Marotta has said he contacted Schreiner and her partner at the time, Angela Bauer, after seeing an ad they placed on Craigslist seeking a sperm donor. He said he signed a contract waiving his parental rights and responsibilities.

Mattivi issued a summary judgment in January concluding Marotta was the girl’s father. She ruled any contract he had with the girl’s parents was moot because it did not follow a state law requiring a licensed physician to perform artificial insemination if a sperm donor is involved.

Swinnen asked the Supreme Court in March to direct Mattivi to block the state’s request that he undergo paternity testing and to hold a hearing on whether genetic testing would be in the child’s best interests.

On April 30, Mattivi wrote to Marotta and the state that the Supreme Court had not ruled on Swinnen’s request and ordered them to consult with each other to arrange the genetic testing by May 14.

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Information from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal, http://www.cjonline.com

 

 

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