Friday, October 25, 2013

Should this sperm donor have to pay child support payments?

This is human sperm approaching a human egg:

After one sperm cell penetrates (enters) the egg, the egg becomes fertilized and will develop, ultimately, into a child.

In this story we read that a lesbian couple wanted to have a child but, obviously, a couple made of two women would not be able to provide any sperm.  Therefore, these women went on (where Americans tend to go if they need to do something illegal) and found a man who was willing to 'donate' (give) his sperm (illegally) so that the couple could have a baby.

So the man went over to their house, created the sperm :P :P :P , and they found a way to place the sperm inside one of the women artificially (not naturally) so that she would become pregnant.  This is called artificial insemination.  Usually a doctor performs artificial insemination.  In fact, in the state of Kansas (one of America's 50 states), there is a law that a doctor MUST perform artificial insemination.

Unfortunately, the women later broke up and both women are very poor.  Therefore, the state of Kansas is suing the man who donated the sperm.  If you sue a person, you take the person to court to try to get money from him. Kansas wants the man to provide money for the child until the child turns 18 years old.  Kansas seems to be claiming that he is the 'father' of the child and he should provide money for the child. The man, of course, disagrees.  

Basically, this is what the state of Kansas is arguing:  If a man has sex with a woman and a child results, that man is responsible for the child.  Kansas wants to make sure that men don't have sex, help create children and then abandon (leave) the children. So Kansas is arguing that unless a doctor performs the procedure to make a woman pregnant through artificial insemination, there is no way to really tell whether the child was due to artificial insemination or whether the man had sex to produce the child or not.  If a doctor does not do the artificial insemination, Kansas just assumes that there was sex involved and the man becomes responsible for the child.  Part of me agrees with Kansas and part of me agrees with the man who provided the sperm.

What do you think? What a sticky situation for the judge!  
(That's a joke, actually a 'pun' ---> 'a sticky situation' means 'a difficult situation' and sperm is kind of sticky.  A pun is when a word or phrase can have two meanings and when a person realizes the dual meaning, it is funny.)

The article:

Vocabulary to help you understand the article:

a judge - this is a judge:

contention - argument, claim, belief

child support - this is a monthly payment a father is supposed to pay the mother of a child if the father is not living with the child.  The amount of money depends on many factors - especially how much money the father makes.

to perform artificial insemination - to artificially and not naturally transfer the sperm to the egg

antiquated - out of date (basically the State of Kansas is arguing that this was not 'real' artificial insemination because a doctor was not there.  Therefore the state does not know for sure that 'artificial insemination' occurred.

to draw up a contract - this is a common way to say 'developed a contract' or 'wrote a contract'

summary judgment - I'm not a lawyer but this seems to mean the judge will make a decision without having a full trial.

does not dispute that - does not deny that, does not say it is not true

a catheter and a syringe - 

to impregnate - to make someone become pregnant

persecuting - deliberately attacking him and causing him stress

to send a message about traditional family values - the sperm donor's lawyer is saying the donor is being attacked by the state because the state does not believe in lesbian parents and wants to scare men from providing sperm to them.

to be appealed - whoever loses will take the case to a higher court

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