Kansas wants blood from William Marotta – in the form of child support – and they want it deposited at the Kansas Payment Center in Topeka.
Angela Bauer and her former partner Jennifer Schreiner were like any other same sex couple who wanted a child. Absent the ability to procreate the hot, steamy way, they turned to outside assistance. In this case, in the form of a Craigslist ad seeking a sperm donor.
Enter William Marotta, a local, Topeka body shop dude, who saw their cause as a valid one and felt he could insert a solution.
He did, They did. A star appeared in the East, and a child was born.
At this stage of the game, Bauer and Schreiner had been together for eight years and had already adopted several other children ranging from 3 months to 25 years. They had no financial issues, Schreiner was a stay at home mom, and life was good.
But like half the straight population, their love hit the rocks.
So in December of 2010 the two decided to go their separate ways but continued to successfully and amicably co-parent their kids.
Then March rolled around and Bauer was diagnosed with “a significant illness” and could no longer work. Schr
einer, without Bauer’s financial support, turned to the State of Kansas. In the process, the State demanded the donors name, claiming if she didn’t provide the info they would deny any health benefits because she was “withholding information.”
Bauer describes her conversations with the state as “threatening.”
“One gentleman told me he wasn’t going to discuss anything with me because I’m not the parent or legal guardian,” Bauer said. “Therefore, I had no existence.”
The Kansas Department for Children and Families filed the case in October 2012 seeking to have Marotta declared the father of a child so he could be held responsible for about $6,000 in public assistance the state had provided, as well as future child support.
Marotta opposed the action, stating that he’d signed a contract waiving his parental rights and responsibilities. Next attorneys for the state contended the parties didn’t follow a 1994 Kansas law requiring a licensed physician to perform the artificial insemination when donors were involved, leaving the contract little more than verbal masturbation.
On Wednesday the DCF argued that the contract overlooked ‘‘the well-established law in this state that a person cannot contract away his or her obligations to support their child.’’
I wonder if straight adoptees should begin to worry, or is this just another jab at gay parents in Kansas?
Regardless, we continue to do all we can to make Texas look good!
Kansas wants $6,000 and ongoing support from Mr. Marotta, not the couple. The couple is 100% on Marotta’s side, supportive and eternally grateful for the gift he gave them.
At the going rate for a midrange Topeka attorney, that gives them 30 hours to invest in the case before it becomes a circle jerk. How far past that do you think they already are?
Marotta is represented by Ben Swinnen of Topeka. I talked to a woman in his office this morning and am getting on his schedule for an interview. In the meantime, what’s your well coifed Scribe’s opinion?
Never fear, I have a few:
- To collect support from Bauer would require Kansas to recognize her as the “parent;” what would that do to gay and lesbian rights in Kansas?
- Sam Brownback oversees DFC – Sam Brownback opposes gay marriage; you do the math
- Topeka City Councilman Chad Manspeaker, posted on Twitter a photo of an anti-gay sign in front of Topeka’s Westboro Baptist Church and wrote, “Right now Kansas’ Department of Children and Families looks a lot like this.” I agree with the Chadmiester.
- If gay marriage rights move forward, child support needs to be paid and adjudicated in the same manner it would for a straight couple, paid by the “parents” based on income distribution and State provided child support standards.
- Is there a subliminal message Kansas is trying to send; gay couples can’t take care of their kids and we need to hunt down the real, straight “dad” to get support?
- This is a 3rd party contract, plain and simple; why isn’t the State honoring it in the same way they would in any other case?
I have a sneaking suspicion our Governor, who likely thinks the world is 5000 years old, is more involved in this than some low level dweeb at the DFC.