Kansas High Court Rules Against Sperm Donor

David Klepper, Topeka correspondent to the Kansas City Star reports on the decision last Friday denying a sperm donor any rights to the child, as there was no written agreement.

In a 4-2 decision, the court held that the state law is justified and clear: if Hendrix wanted a relationship with the children, he should have put it in writing. “Generally speaking, mere ignorance of the law is no excuse for failing to abide by it,” reads the decision, written by Justice Carol Beier.

“He (the donor) can unilaterally refuse to participate unless a written agreement on his terms exists,” Beier wrote. “After donation, the male cannot force the fatherhood issue.”

The story continues

Most states, including Missouri, have laws prohibiting donors from having parental rights over children conceived through artificial insemination. The challenge to the Kansas law was watched by family law attorneys across the country.

Twenty-two family law experts submitted friend of the court briefs. All but one sided with the woman and the state law, saying it was necessary to protect the rights of children and their mothers, as well as the donor, from custody and child support lawsuits.

Linda Henry Elrod, a family law professor at Washburn University who submitted a brief in Hendrix’s favor, said a better state law would require donors to sign a contract waiving their rights as parents.