Sperm Donor Hearing Set To Determine If Genetic Testing Needed

TOPEKA, Kansas (WIBW) -- The Kansas Supreme Court will determine if genetically testing a Topeka sperm donor is in the best interest of the child born from his donation.

William Marotta, wrapped up in a child support case with the state of Kansas, had been ordered by Shawnee County court Judge Mary Mattivi to undergo genetic testing, to rule if he should be the presumed biological father of a now four-year-old girl born from his sperm donation to a lesbian couple. If he were to be the presumed father, he would have to pay child support to the Department for Children and Families, after the child's mother filed for state assistance a few years back after she and her partner separated.

Marotta's attorney Ben Swinnen told 13 News on Tuesday the Kansas Supreme Court granted their request for a Ross hearing before any genetic testing is done, to determine if testing Marotta and naming him the biological father is in the best interest of the child.

Marotta and Swinnen maintain that he is not the father of the child, because he and the two women, Angela Bauer and Jennifer Schreiner, had signed a contract waiving him of all parental rights. Judge Mattivi ruled in January that he is the father, because the women did not use a licensed physician to inseminate, making the contract moot.

Swinnen told 13 News that the child has been raised by Bauer and Schreiner her entire life, and naming Marotta as her father would not be in her best interest.

Chief Justice Lawton Nuss stated in the Ross hearing order that Bauer "fills the presumptive-parent position considered in Ross. And reading Ross in gender-neutral terms, we find that when genetic testing has the potential to disrupt the core family by possibly displacing a presumptive parent, a Ross hearing must be held."

Swinnen said the Ross hearing date has not been set yet.


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