Meet Angela Bauer, 40, and ex partner Jennifer Schreiner, 34, of Kansas City, Kansas.
About 3 years ago, this couple placed an ad on Craigslist for a sperm donor.
‘We are foster and adoptive parents and now we desire to share a pregnancy and birth together,’ Bauer wrote in the online posting.
William Marotta read the ad and was the lucky chap selected.
Mr Marotta provided sperm which was used for artificial insemination by Ms Schreiner. In return, he gave up parental rights including financial duties for the child.
The three signed a legal document which stated Mr Marotta, a married mechanic who fosters children with his wife, would have no rights to the child.
Bauer and Schreiner updated Marotta on their daughter’s well-being occasionally but he has had little contact, according to the Kansas City Star.
The arrangement changed earlier this year when Ms Schreiner, the only parent registered on her daughter’s birth certificate, applied for social welfare.
Bauer had been supporting the child but was left unable to work due to ill health.
On October 3, 2012, attorney Mark McMillan filed a petition on behalf of the Department of Children and Families seeking a ruling that Marotta is the father of Schreiner’s child and owes a duty to support her.
It said the department provided cash assistance totaling $189 for the girl for July through September 2012, and had paid medical expenses totaling nearly $6,000.
Schreiner had allegedly been put under pressure to reveal Mr Marotta’s name so that her daughter could continue to have health care.
The legal agreement that the three made in 2009 was deemed invalid by Kansas state because they did not use a certified doctor for the insemination.
Bauer and Schreiner who separated in 2010, plan to help Mr Marotta fight the state’s decision, saying they are ‘forever grateful’ for the child he gave their family.
Bauer states, ‘We’re kind of at a loss. We are going to support him in whatever action he wants to go forward with.’
Hannah Schroller, Mr Marotta’s attorney, argued that the case was consistent with a 2007 case in which the Kansas Supreme Court denied parental rights to a man who sought them after providing a sperm donation under similar circumstances.
A licensed physician performed the insemination in the 2007 case.
Schroller wrote that Marotta took the same actions as the man in the 2007 case did, and he – like that man – should be considered a sperm donor, not a father.
Bauer and Schreiner had been together for eight years and adopted eight children. They ended their relationship in 2010 but continue to co-parent their sons and daughters who range from three months to 25 years old.
The state of Kansas does not recognize same-sex unions, so each of their children was registered for adoption by a single parent.
A motion to dismiss the state’s case will be heard in Shawnee County District Court on January 8.
Angela de Rocha, spokeswoman for the Department for Children and Families, said that Kansas law prevented her from commenting on the case.
This is a sad and confusing case…
I hope the best for all parties involved…
Read more here.