Child custody cases are frequent and can be intense between two parents. A majority of the time, Colorado parents who are in these cases are battling for more time with their child. In one recent rare child custody case, however, a sperm donor has sued a lesbian couple for parenting time.
The couple was able to have a son with the help of artificial insemination at home. The couple had another small child who had also been conceived through means of artificial insemination. In both cases, both of the donors had waived their paternal rights. Eventually, both of the donors filed documents in court asking for visitation rights for the children. In the case with one of the children, the couple lost, and the donor is now able to visit with the child.
With the second child, the couple also lost their case, and the donor was granted a time span of a few hours on weekends. The donor will also pay $83 per week for child support. Under state law, if the insemination process is not under the administration of a doctor, then the non-biological parent is not treated as the child's natural parent. The couple is filing an appeal with the Superior Court and says that the location of the insemination should not be a factor in this case.
The couple is hoping that they will have a successful appeal in the child custody case and that the current law will change because of that. Due to the contract that was signed, the couple was under the assumption that the donors were only donors -- nothing more. Couples that are considering having artificial insemination or any other assisted reproduction may want to speak with an experienced family law attorney in Colorado to become more educated on their rights.
Source: nj.com, "N.J. gay couple's custody battle with sperm donor could set precedent", Andy Polhamus, Feb. 9, 2015