A recent case in another state made headlines when a sperm donor was required by a court to make child support payments. Sperm donation is one way that women or couples achieve pregnancy when they cannot conceive their own. With questions of child support hanging over donors, however, sperm donation may sound like a risky business.
Luckily for Florida residents, Florida law and court precedents protect sperm donors in the state from such situations. The case in the other state involved a man who donated his sperm to a lesbian couple. One of the women was then inseminated through an at-home process. According to that state’s court, insemination must be done in a medical setting for child support responsibility to be waved.
Florida law dictates otherwise. Specifically, the law says that a woman donating an egg or a man donating sperm to another couple or person waives all parental rights. This means the person does not have any parental responsibilities in the eyes of the state unless paperwork was prepared ahead of time to establish parental rights over the child.
Florida law has been upheld in court cases regarding sperm donation. In 2002, a court denied a father parental rights after the fact. The man was seeking rights to twins that were born using his sperm, but he had not established appropriate paperwork before the donation and birth. According to the Florida court, a person donating sperm is not necessarily a parent.
Florida couples can continue with insemination practices without worrying about future claims on their children from an outsider. Men and women in Florida can also donate viable sperm and eggs to assist others in having children without worrying about future financial responsibility.
Source: The Print Well, “Kansas sperm donor child support case unlikely to have Florida copycat” Meredith Rutland, Jan. 28, 2014