Ind. man must support artificially conceived kids

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 16, 2013 at 2:28 pm •  Published: January 16, 2013

"We're gonna have to find ways to deal with these new issues as they come up," he said. "There's a lot of bioethical issues that are coming before the legislatures and the courts."

An attorney who specializes in reproductive issues agreed.

"Indiana's in a legal vacuum," said Steve Litz, a Monrovia attorney who connects childless couples with surrogate mothers. "It screams for some kind of legislation."

The Known Donor Registry, a website that helps connect would-be parents with sperm donors, says 32 states stipulate that the husband, not the sperm donor, is the legal father. Virtually all those states require the husband's consent — generally, in writing.

"Most states require the husband to have consented to the AI before they will hold him liable for child support," Michael J. Higdon, an associated professor at the University of Tennessee College of Law, said in an email Wednesday.

"However, the courts are quite flexible in finding such 'consent,'" he added.

In a research paper published in 2011, Higdon said a handful of states maintain that a husband's consent is implied as long as he does not object within a certain amount of time.

Litz said the appellate court made the right decision.

"The Court of Appeals correctly said we don't care about biology; If you are going to hold yourself out as a parent, we are going to impose parental rights on you," he said.

The husband's attorney declined comment.

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