Kansas donor wants Supreme Court to block testing

Gavel (KSN File Photo)
Gavel (KSN File Photo)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas man who provided sperm to a lesbian couple has asked the Kansas Supreme Court to direct a district court judge to block the state’s request that the man undergo paternity testing.

The motion was filed Friday on behalf of William Marotta of Topeka. It also asks that the high court instruct Shawnee County District Court Judge Mary Mattivi to hold a hearing to determine if genetic testing would be in the best interests of the 4-year-old girl born as a result of the sperm Marotta provided to the couple.

The Kansas Department for Children and Families filed the case in October 2012 seeking to have Marotta declared the father of a child born to Jennifer Schreiner in 2009. The state was seeking to have Marotta declared the child’s father so he can be held responsible for about $6,000 in public assistance the state provided, as well as future child support.

Marotta opposed that action, saying he had contacted Schreiner and her partner at the time, Angela Bauer, in response to an ad they placed on Craigslist seeking a sperm donor. He said he signed a contract waiving his parental rights and responsibilities.

“The state’s claim that this action is merely a collection action for child support belies the reality that the child’s emotional and physical well-being is being ignored,” Marotta’s lawyer, Benoit Swinnen, wrote in the motion.

Mattivi concluded their contract was moot because those involved didn’t follow a Kansas statute enacted in 1994, which Mattivi ruled requires a licensed physician to perform the artificial insemination in cases involving sperm donors. Mattivi issued a summary judgment Jan. 22 in favor of the DCF concluding Marotta is the child’s father.

Mattivi also issued orders March 13 granting the state’s request for an order requiring Marotta to undergo genetic testing.

Swinnen said during a district court hearing on March 14, he told Marotta to not voluntarily submit to the genetic testing. Swinnen gave those instructions to Marotta after he filed a motion that day asking the judge to stay all proceedings in the case for 14 days.

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