From my co-authored column ‘Sperm Theft” Ruling a Step Forward for Men”s Reproductive Rights (Houston Chronicle, 3/6/05):
“All”s fair in love, war, and paternity cases. When child support is sought, there is scarcely any deceit that courts won”t push aside under the “best interests of the child’ test.
“Courts have ruled that boys who were statutorily raped by older women must pay child support. Courts have ruled that when a woman has taken the semen from a condom a man used for sex with a different woman and has inserted it in herself, the man must still pay child support. Courts have ruled that when a woman has concealed her pregnancy (denying the man the right to be a father) and then sued for child support a decade later, the man must still pay child support. Courts have ruled that when a woman has deceived her husband into believing that her baby is his child, he must still pay child support. Few if any men are relieved of child support obligations due to the circumstances of the pregnancy, no matter how bizarre or unjust.”
A good new ruling from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. From the Associated Press’ Sperm donor wins Pa. appeal to not pay child support (1/3/08):
“A woman who promised a sperm donor he would not have to pay child support cannot renege on the deal, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled (pictured).
“The 3-2 decision overturns lower court rulings under which Joel L. McKiernan had been paying up to $1,500 a month to support twin boys born in August 1994 to Ivonne V. Ferguson, his former girlfriend and co-worker…
“Ferguson and McKiernan met while working together at Pennsylvania Blue Shield in Harrisburg and had a sexual relationship that had waned before Ferguson persuaded him to donate sperm for her. Courts found that the two agreed McKiernan would not have to pay child support and would not have visitation rights, but Ferguson later changed her mind and sued. Ferguson’s lawyer has disputed that the agreement existed in the first place, but courts have agreed with McKiernan on that issue.
“Between the time of the donation and when Ferguson sought support in 1999, McKiernan moved to Pittsburgh, got married and had a child.
“A county judge called Ferguson’s actions despicable but said it was in the twins’ best interests that McKiernan be required to support them. In addition to monthly payments, McKiernan also was ordered to come up with $66,000 in back support…”
Thanks to Judge Rufus Peckham, a reader, for the story.