Across this blog we have detailed disputes involving donor sperm and eggs that arise from a variety of circumstances. There have been disputes in Texas and elsewhere across the country involving surrogates, parents trying to collect child support from donors, parents trying to claim they did not have parental obligations for children conceived via donor sperm and so much more.
In most instances, this relatively uncharted territory is left up to the decision of a family law judge. The latest Texas family law dispute of this nature begins with a couple that decided to save sperm samples when the man was going to have a vasectomy. The couple signed a contract with the fertility clinic stating that if the couple split up, the samples would belong to the woman and if both parties died the samples should be discarded. The couple did have a child together prior to splitting up.
After splitting up, the man began dating a woman that wanted to explore fertility options. She was aware that the man had sperm samples saved, and in a happening where the circumstances remain unclear, the woman was impregnated using the man's sperm and had a child.
The man says he never approved of this. Now, the Texas man and his first partner are suing the fertility clinic for what they say was a broken contract. The second woman refuses to let the biological father of this child see the now-2-year-old.
The outcome of this case remains to be seen. Related but separate is the matter of the child. It remains unknown if the mother of the child will seek child support, or if the father will seek parental rights. This is another instance that demonstrates the manner in which the use of donor sperm and eggs opens doors for many couples, but can also create complex family law issues. In similar circumstances, the assistance of a family law attorney is crucial.
Source: The Houston Chronicle, "Lawsuit: Woman got pregnant by ex's sperm at clinic," Erin Mulvaney, Feb. 28, 2013