Starting a family does not come easy for all parents. Some struggling parents and many same-sex couples rely on sperm donor and sperm banks to start their families. Typically, when a man donates his sperm, he relinquishes all parental rights for any child born using his genetic material at the time of donation. This also applies to a friend providing sperm as a donation to another friend. However, it is important for sperm donors to understand their rights and obligations as well the proper method of donating sperm. Education yourself can prevent future problems for all parties involved.
California Law Regarding Sperm Donors
California Family Code § 7613 specifically deals with sperm donors and the issue of paternity. Subdivision (b) states that a sperm donor is not considered the natural parent unless otherwise agreed upon in writing by the donor and woman prior to conception of the child.
This law makes practical sense in most cases – especially in situations where a man’s sperm could be anonymously used to impregnate multiple women. Without such a law, a sperm donor to a sperm bank could potentially be on the hook for paying child support to multiple children even though neither he nor the child’s mother intended such a relationship.
Exception to the Rule
In August 2017, a California Court of Appeals for the Fourth District ruled that a sperm donor who has established a familial relationship with the child and has demonstrated a commitment to the child and the child’s welfare, can be found to be a presumed parent even though he could not establish paternity based upon his biological connection to the child.
The court held that the original law was intended only to allow women to receive sperm donations without having to fear a paternity test in the future and that men could donate sperm without being forced to pay child support.
Call an Experienced Central Valley Child Custody Attorney
If you are dealing with a child custody issue or any other family law related matter, it is important that you have a knowledgeable attorney fighting for your rights. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with a Central Valley child custody attorney, please call Gurjit Srai (209) 323-5558 or (559) 449-1447, or complete our online form.