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  1. #1
    nextwife is offline Senior Member
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    ??? Father's Rights when spouse used sperm donor

    What is the name of your state? ANY

    Was just watching the TODAY Show discuss woman who used sperm banks (a good option for those single woman who want total control over raising their kids and no shared custody). Anyway, one woman interviewed had explained to her now older son that "...my husband AT THE TIME could not have children"...as her reason for using a donor. OK. Note, not "your father..."

    What surprised me is that this person, who she is no longer married to, appeared to have no rights whatsoever to a child concieved during the marriage. Seems that it would be no different than a child born using donor eggs and huband's sperm: wouldn't the child born during the marriage in a pregnancy both worked to achieve using fertility pills, etc (been there, costs some bucks) be presumed to be BOTH parents regardless of actual DNA???? Could the donor status be used by mom in a divorce to deny the father his rights? If so, then why couldn't a father whose wife used an egg donor deny HER maternity rights?

    Thanks for indulging my curiousity.
    Last edited by nextwife; 05-19-2003 at 08:07 AM.
  2. #2
    VeronicaGia is offline Senior Member
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    A sperm donor is just that, a donor. While I agree with your premise that the man who raised the child should have rights, the problem is he is not the father of this child, and he likely should have adopted the child if he wanted to be the legal father.
  3. #3
    nextwife is offline Senior Member
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    So, if a couple uses a donor, the spouse must adopt to maintain parental rights? Does that mean that if SHE had the fertility problem, and it were his sperm and a donor egg, she must adopt (as the same legal theory, that she shares no DNA could potentially be applied)?

    IF he were adopting the child born to the marriage from a donor egg, would it be a "step parent adoption", I wonder,, or would the whole home study, police clearance, letters of referal process that unrelated adoptors must go through apply (we also had FBI fingerprint and background checks)?
  4. #4
    CMSC is offline Senior Member
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    Well I know of someone who used a sperm donor and her husband was put down on the birth certificate. EVERYONE knew he was not the biological father, BUT because donor's give up all rights to their offspring when they donate, he was considered the legal father.

    I didn't see all of the TODAY show, what I did see, didn't make any mention of the one boys other father (the one who mom was married to during sperm donation), I must have missed that.

    As far as egg donations go, I see your point. But again, once egg's are donated the donor signs away all rights. And since the egg's become part of the other woman's body, I think they are considered her eggs now. Like if you had a kidney transplant, that kidney belongs to you not the donor any longer.

    Not sure if any of that made sense!LOL
  5. #5
    haiku is offline Senior Member
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    may be in this particular case it was the woman who really wanted the baby, without a mans help at all, and that was the agreement they came to.
    "It is easier to build strong children than repair broken men." Frederick Douglas
  6. #6
    nextwife is offline Senior Member
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    See, I, too, presumed that the spouse was the legal father to the child and had not needed to adopt. My ears perked up when the mom had spoken of explaining the situation to her son, and used the expression "my husband at the time.." to explain about the need to use donor sperm.

    But then, I thought about the situation, and wondered if a controlling mom who was divorcing could use the lack of a DNA match at a later date to deny paternal rights that had been presumed at birth. Would she NEED another father to be known (obviously not an option with an anonomous donor) or would DIS-PROVING paternity be enough to lock the ex out? Or would the use of a donor imply a presumption and pre-knowledge that the spouse was never the biological father? I was stunned that the husband at the time was not considered the father.
  7. #7
    haiku is offline Senior Member
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    what if the husband and the wife wanted it that way? You know she wanted the baby, he really didn't, so they agree she raises it on her own at the time of divorce? After all custody and support only have to be considered if sdomeone wants it, its not automatic.

    Seems plausible to me.
    Last edited by haiku; 05-19-2003 at 09:03 AM.
    "It is easier to build strong children than repair broken men." Frederick Douglas
  8. #8
    nextwife is offline Senior Member
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    Yes, but that would raise the question of why a woman who wanted to father to give up any and all rights to a child born of a marriage when she eventually divorced was allowed to do so with no step-parent adoption taking place? In other words if she could merely have him give up rights, then why can't other woman who do not have a step-parent adoption option?
  9. #9
    haiku is offline Senior Member
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    no, you are missing my point.

    for example, I have a baby with my husband, and a year down the line we divorce. we mutually decide that I am going to raise the baby on my own without a father. I am cool with this, am perfectly capable of raising the child without any outside financial help, etc.

    There is NO court for custody, visitation, support, the state has no idea of our arrangement.

    dad goes on his merry way never to be seen again. I have no need to terminate any of his rights because he has no desire to exercise any of them.
    "It is easier to build strong children than repair broken men." Frederick Douglas
  10. #10
    nextwife is offline Senior Member
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    Yes, but if it is only by verbal agreement, can't she change her mind down the road, AFTER she has been raising the child alone, and can then claim full custody (as the child has no realtaionship with the father) and later file for CS? I've seen this on these forums. The mom decides she'd rather have her BF be the father, then 11 years later they break up and she goes after the father for CS, and in some states he is held liable for years of "back support" for a child he never was treated as father of, because she wanted it that way (until it was not economically feasable).
  11. #11
    haiku is offline Senior Member
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    sure it could happen, but I am thinking that most times when you see these cases on TV, they are not typical people at all.

    The women in these cases are perfectly capable of supporting themselves, would never expect a new boyfriend to be dad, and will likely NEVER be in the position of falling back on thier word. Same as the man will NEVER pop back up in the kids life, and even if he does, they would all be really cool with it, and not running off to court to get support or rights to visitation etc...

    I occasionally have broken down and watched enough of these lifetime movies based on Danielle Steele books to know LOL
    Last edited by haiku; 05-19-2003 at 09:57 AM.
    "It is easier to build strong children than repair broken men." Frederick Douglas
  12. #12
    Boxcarbill Guest

    Re: ??? Father's Rights when spouse used sperm donor

    Originally posted by nextwife
    What is the name of your state? ANY

    Was just watching the TODAY Show discuss woman who used sperm banks (a good option for those single woman who want total control over raising their kids and no shared custody). Anyway, one woman interviewed had explained to her now older son that "...my husband AT THE TIME could not have children"...as her reason for using a donor. OK. Note, not "your father..."

    What surprised me is that this person, who she is no longer married to, appeared to have no rights whatsoever to a child concieved during the marriage. Seems that it would be no different than a child born using donor eggs and huband's sperm: wouldn't the child born during the marriage in a pregnancy both worked to achieve using fertility pills, etc (been there, costs some bucks) be presumed to be BOTH parents regardless of actual DNA???? Could the donor status be used by mom in a divorce to deny the father his rights? If so, then why couldn't a father whose wife used an egg donor deny HER maternity rights?

    Thanks for indulging my curiousity.
    Here are the answers to your questions under Texas law which has adopted the Uniform Parentage Act.


    160.703. Husband's Paternity of Child of Assisted Reproduction


    If a husband provides sperm for or consents to assisted reproduction by his wife as provided by Section 160.704, he is the father of a resulting child.


    Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



    160.704. Consent to Assisted Reproduction


    (a) Consent by a married woman to assisted reproduction must be in a record signed by the woman and her husband. This requirement does not apply to the donation of eggs by a married woman for assisted reproduction by another woman.


    (b) Failure by the husband to sign a consent required by Subsection (a) before or after the birth of the child does not preclude a finding that the husband is the father of a child born to his wife if the wife and husband openly treated the child as their own.


    Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



    160.705. Limitation on Husband's Dispute of Paternity


    (a) Except as otherwise provided by Subsection (b), the husband of a wife who gives birth to a child by means of assisted reproduction may not challenge his paternity of the child unless:


    (1) before the fourth anniversary of the date of learning of the birth of the child he commences a proceeding to adjudicate his paternity; and


    (2) the court finds that he did not consent to the assisted reproduction before or after the birth of the child.


    (b) A proceeding to adjudicate paternity may be maintained at any time if the court determines that:


    (1) the husband did not provide sperm for or, before or after the birth of the child, consent to assisted reproduction by his wife;


    (2) the husband and the mother of the child have not cohabited since the probable time of assisted reproduction; and


    (3) the husband never openly treated the child as his own.



    (c) The limitations provided by this section apply to a marriage declared invalid after assisted reproduction.


    Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



    160.706. Effect of Dissolution of Marriage


    (a) If a marriage is dissolved before the placement of eggs, sperm, or embryos, the former spouse is not a parent of the resulting child unless the former spouse consented in a record that if assisted reproduction were to occur after a divorce the former spouse would be a parent of the child.


    (b) The consent of a former spouse to assisted reproduction may be withdrawn by that individual in a record at any time before the placement of eggs, sperm, or embryos.


    Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.
  13. #13
    nextwife is offline Senior Member
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    Thank you! That same statute also appears to protect husband's donated sperm, if used by ex without his subsequent permission after dissolution of marriage, from being used to create a child for which he would have CS responsibilities.
  14. #14
    haiku is offline Senior Member
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    "It is easier to build strong children than repair broken men." Frederick Douglas
  15. #15
    sbaldwin is offline Member
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    I'm glad that BCB provided the actual "legal" aspect on this subject, because before getting to his response I could not believe what I was reading! Having to deal with infertility myself, I know first hand HOW MANY PAPERS have to be signed by BOTH the husband and wife consenting to this type of treatment. I would be anxious to find out how to get a transcript of the show, and find out EXACTLY how the "mother" was able to deny the "father" his rights!

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