According to The Daily Mail, the trouble began three years ago when lesbian Angela Bauer, 40, placed an ad on Craigslist looking for a man willing to help her and her partner, Jennifer Schreiner, 34, conceive a child by donating sperm.Bauer, who has adopted a total of eight children ranging in age from three months to 25 years, wrote: "We are foster and adoptive parents and now we desire to share a pregnancy and birth together."
A mechanic named William Marotta responded to the ad. He and his wife Kimberly wanted to help the couple. They even went so far as to decline their payment of $50 for the sperm which was used to artificially inseminate Ms. Schreiner.
The threesome signed a legal agreement in which Marotta gave up all parental rights, including financial duties, for the child.
"If you are two women, it's difficult without a man there, so I donated," Marotta told the Today Show.
He added: "No good deed goes unpunished."
A few years later, Bauer and Schreiner split up. They continued to co-parent their children, but when Bauer lost her job due to ill-health, Schreiner was forced to apply for welfare in order to support her daughter.
The Kansas Department of Children and Families provided cash assistance to Schreiner along with $6,000 in medical expenses.
Not long after this, attorney Mark McMillan filed a petition on behalf of the Department seeking a ruling that names Marotta as the father of Schreiner's child and that he has a duty to support her. As a result, Marotta received a bill for $6,000 in child support.
Marotta is asking that the case be dismissed, arguing that he is not the child's legal father.
However, a spokeswoman for the Department, Angela de Rocha, says the legal document the threesome signed is invalid because the insemination was not performed by a medical doctor.
She also said that when a single mother signs up for benefits for a child, the department routinely looks for the father to require him to pay support in order to lessen the burden on taxpayers.
Marotta is hoping that a court will dismiss the state's case against him when it will be heard in Shawnee County District Court on January 8.
The ambiguous situations that arise from alternative family arrangements are becoming more prevalent by the day. These cases are trying to force a legal system and social assistance programs that are based on natural law to confront unnatural scenarios that can only lead to more clogged courts, cash-strapped public coffers, and an ever-eroding concept of the moral good.
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