Sperm donor or father - Is it always black and white?

Filed under: Your Pregnancy, Divorce & Custody, Work Life

When Janna Mintz wanted to become a mother, she turned to her friend Kevin Zoernig for help. Zoernig agreed to donate his sperm, and through artificial insemination, a boy was born shortly after. Zoernig found himself caught up in fatherhood and the two soon worked out a visitation schedule. It was all going so well, that he agreed to be a sperm donor for Mintz a second time, and a daughter was born.

But when Zoernig wanted a voice in their children's upbringing, including where Mintz could live, things started to go wrong. Eventually, Mintz took Zoernig to court for child support, and after an eight year battle, the court ruled in Mintz's favor.


Good Morning America
would have you believe that this case will be the death of sperm donations everywhere. I don't believe that to be true at all, and clearly this is a unique situation where both parties didn't feel like they could stick to the original agreement. Zoernig cared deeply for the children he helped create -- a feeling he possibly didn't anticipate. They called them dad, and he had visitation with them several days a week. But yet, when Mintz wanted him to contribute financially to their upbringing, conflict arose.

Do you think that the original contract, which named Zoernig as a sperm donor only and excluded him from any financial responsibility should have stuck? Or do you think that if he's going to play a dad, he needs to step up and be one by financially supporting his kids?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.