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Court Rules Sperm Donor Not Liable for Child Support

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Tagged As: Legal and Society

In an agreement between the interested parties, Joel McKiernan donated his sperm to a friend wishing to have children under the condition he would have no legal responsibility for them. After the birth in 1994, the woman, Ivonne Ferguson, decided to change her mind and sue Joel for support. The courts ruled in her favor forcing Joel to pay more than $66,000 in back payments, due in part to a Pennsylvania policy that does not allow parents to "barter" a child's right to support. Not backing down, Joel appealed the decision [pdf] and subsequently won [pdf]. The decision was reached after Justice Eakin reasoned all "sperm bank donors would be legally responsible to support all the children conceived from their sperm" if the suit was not overturned.

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