Sperm donor wants to be a father. Legal case will help determine the future of donor rights

Daryl Hendrix donated his sperm to Samantha Harrington, who conceived twins. Now Hendrix believes he has a constitutional right to parent the children.

Mr. Hendrix initially petitioned the Shawnee County District Court in Kansas with hope of winning parental rights. Ms. Harrington countered by filing a paternity action. Hendrix testified that he and Harrington had an oral agreement to co-parent their children together. Both of those cases were dismissed by a district court judge, prompting Hendrix to appeal the decision in the Kansas Supreme Court. The Kansas Supreme Court decided, 4-2, that a sperm donor must have a written agreement with the mother in order to exercise any parental rights.

On Monday, March 17, 2008, attorneys for Hendrix appealed to the United States Supreme Court, asking for the ruling of the Kansas Supreme Court to be overturned. This appeal will be a landmark case and determine the future of reproductive technology, alternative child conception, and donor rights.

In a similar case in Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that the verbal agreement between the sperm donor and the mother was “valid on its face” and that ‘Biological parents cannot waive the interests of a child – a third party – who has an independent “right” to support from each one of them.’ The Court ordered the sperm donor to pay over $1500 a month in child support, even though he was not named as the father on the birth certificate of the children. A British Court had a similar finding in the case of a man who donated his sperm to a lesbian couple.

Article adapted by ProudParenting.com from original press release
Source: U.S. Newswire

One thought on “Sperm donor wants to be a father. Legal case will help determine the future of donor rights

  • I agree that there would have to be written agreement with the mother in order for a donor to exercise any rights. If I were going to be inseminated and my wife and I were planning to raise that child, I would hate to think any man could suddenly claim ‘ownership’ of any sort for his 5-minute contribution.

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