TOPEKA (KSNT) – It may be one of the most bizarre Craigslist transactions. It involves a lesbian couple desperate for a sperm donor and a Topeka man willing to help.
Little did he know his act of kindness would lead to a lengthy child support battle that remains unsettled. Recently, this controversial case led to a court-ordered DNA test that revealed he is the biological father.
“I’m the sperm donor, I’m not the father,” William Marotta said.
If Marotta had a nickel for every time he has said that in the past three years, he’d have enough money to pay off the amount the state of Kansas wants in back child support.
“It would be really easy for me to just pay off the money and be done,” Marotta said. “But that’s not the point, (it) shouldn’t have been done in the first place. It’s wrong.”
The person he believes is responsible for the wrongdoing is Governor Sam Brownback.
“I believe he’s sat down with a group of his people and said ‘OK, this is what I want to do. How do we accomplish that?’” Marotta said.
This all started when he donated his sperm to the lesbian couple in 2009 after seeing their post on Craigslist. Marotta accepted to help the two women, and later that year, the couple had a little girl.
“Angie and Jennifer are the parents,” he said.
However, the state of Kansas won’t accept that, despite a contract signed by the couple and Marotta, surrendering all parental rights to the child.
“Angie at one point called the department of child services and said, ‘You shouldn’t be asking this guy for child support. I’m the other parent,’” Marotta said. “They literally, truly told her, this is none of your business, go away.”
At that point, Marotta knew something was fishy. Why would the state want to take someone to court, instead of someone who is willing to pay, he pondered.
“I know what my legal bills are. It’s easily ten times what the amount is,” Marotta said.
He also finds it odd that a lawyer from Brownback’s administration is involved in the case.
“Somebody in the administration somewhere said I want to make an example,” he said.
Brownback’s administration said they can’t comment on case specifics, but did say, “If an individual wants to have the protections of a sperm donor, he needs to follow the law. In addition, parental rights cannot be signed away without following adoption laws,” Theresa Freed, DCF spokesperson said.
Said Marotta: “I still think I did the right thing, I think the state’s doing the wrong thing.”
And he vows to keep fighting all the way to the state supreme court.
According to Marotta, his lawyer has only found one other case in the United States where this has happened, but in that case the sperm donor had changed his mind and requested visitation with the child – something Marotta has never wanted or requested.