Woman seeks to intervene in Kan. sperm donor case

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- A Topeka woman filed a motion Wednesday seeking the right to co-parent a 3-year-old girl who is at the center of a state effort to have a sperm donor declared a father so he can be forced to pay child support.

Angela Bauer, whose former partner, Jennifer Schreiner, gave birth to the child in 2009, cited a recent Kansas Supreme Court decision in seeking to intervene in the child support case, The Topeka Capital-Journal (http://bit.ly/WjGksk) reported.

In Friday's first-of-its kind ruling, the state's high court ruled that the non-biological mother of children in a same-sex relationship can have the same parental rights as the biological mother. That case involved two Johnson County women, Kelly Goudschaal and Marci Frazier, who separated after they become parents of two children, now 10 and 8.

Benoit Swinnen, an attorney representing sperm donor William Marotta, also noted the recent Supreme Court ruling in a motion Wednesday seeking to have Bauer added as a "necessary party" in the case.

Marotta has said he signed a contract waiving his parental rights and responsibilities when he answered a sperm donor ad from the two women on Craigslist. But because no doctor was involved in the artificial insemination, the state sought to hold him financially responsible when the women split and Schreiner sought public assistance.

Bauer's attorney, Joseph W. Booth, wrote that it is the child's constitutional right to have both Schreiner and Bauer named as co-parents.

"The Frazier case also found that a co-parent in the position of Angela Bauer has standing under the Kansas Parentage Act," Booth added.

Booth indicated in Wednesday's motion that Bauer and Schreiner intend to enter into a parenting plan and wish to have it approved by the court that is hearing the state's case against Marotta.

"The parenting plan resolves the custody and support issues for the benefit of the minor child," Booth wrote.