All parents are obligated to financially support their biological children regardless of whether or not they are married to the child’s other parent. However, in order to obtain an enforceable child support order for the child of an unmarried father in Texas, it is first necessary to obtain a decree of paternity from the family court. The evidence required to prove legal fatherhood is typically a paternity test.
Once a positive paternity test and decree of paternity have been granted, the father is responsible for paying child support even if he didn’t want or even know about the child.
But what if a biological father says that the child was created through in vitro fertilization (IVF) using stolen sperm? Sound impossible? Apparently not.
In a recent case in Houston, the biological father of twins is claiming that his girlfriend saved the condoms he wore during sex and then took them to a fertility clinic, where she allegedly pretended she was donating sperm on the man’s behalf. This was all in an effort, the man claims, to have herself inseminated through IVF even though he had told her he did not want to have children.
He initially discovered the fraud, according to reports, when a receipt was mailed to him saying he had been a patient at the fertility clinic.
The ex-girlfriend gave birth to the twins nearly a year after the couple broke up. She then sued him for paternity and child support. The DNA test showed that he was the father and child support was ordered. The man is now suing the IVF clinic for using his sperm without his knowledge and consent.
The fertility clinic says the woman told them that the sperm belonged to her husband, although the woman in question had not been married to him. Should this man be held financially responsible for the children he “fathered” without his permission? Should the fertility clinic be responsible for the child support if they were grossly negligent in failing to obtain his permission and consent for the fertilization? Should the family court order that the man should not have to pay child support?
Daily Mail, “Unwitting father sues fertility clinic after his girlfriend ‘stole his sperm and got pregnant with twins via IVF’ – then sued him for child support,” Paul Thompson, Nov. 23, 2011