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Topeka sperm donor honors twins with tattoo

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 27, 2013 at 10:16 am •  Published: April 27, 2013
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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court five years ago sided with the Kansas high court that Topekan Daryl Hendrix couldn't be a part of the lives of two children conceived by artificial insemination using his sperm.

But The Topeka Capital-Journal (http://bit.ly/ZIjWVt ) reports that Hendrix said every day he thinks of the two children — twins, a boy, identified in court records only as K.C.H., and a girl, identified as K.M.H.

"I haven't seen them since the day after they were born," Hendrix said. "Holidays are terrible for me and my family. It's been a roller-coaster ride."

And with recent stories in the media about sperm donor William Marotta, Hendrix thinks about the twins even more. Last week, he had the twins' names and birth date — May 18, 2005 — tattooed on his arm at Fine Line Tattoo.

Marotta, of Topeka, donated sperm in a plastic cup to a Topeka lesbian couple after responding to their ad on Craigslist. The couple, Topekans Angela Bauer and Jennifer Schreiner, and Marotta signed an agreement saying Marotta wouldn't have parental rights.

Marotta doesn't want to be a father. The state of Kansas wants him to step up.

The Marotta case is "irritating," Hendrix said.

"It's making Kansas look very stupid," he said.

In Hendrix's case, he said he had every intention of being a part of the twins' lives.

Hendrix, who was 45 at the time, and Samantha Harrington, who was 32, had been friends for about 10 years when they discussed Hendrix being a sperm donor. In September 2004, Hendrix provided sperm and Harrington was inseminated in Kansas City, Mo., by a licensed physician.

The pair agreed that Hendrix would have a part in raising the children, Hendrix said previously. The Capital-Journal's telephone calls to Harrington weren't returned.

When the twins were born, Hendrix tried to visit them in the hospital, but he wasn't allowed to see them. The next day, Harrington filed a petition with the Shawnee County District Court to terminate Hendrix's parental rights. Hendrix countered by filing a paternity action seeking a finding that he was the father. Both were dismissed in December 2005 by a district court judge.

Hendrix appealed the case to the Kansas Supreme Court. In October 2007, the court ruled 4-2 that Hendrix should have had a written agreement with Harrington.

Hendrix continued his battle by trying to get the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case. In October 2008, a year after the Kansas Supreme Court ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court decided not to hear the case.

"I'm angry on what they missed out on, the things I've missed out on," Hendrix said of the twins. "The things my family has missed out on."

The words "sperm donor" also angers him.

"I'm more than that," he said. "I despise that term for me."

In 2008, Hendrix began working with Fine Line tattoo artist Jennifer Bohlander on a tattoo design to honor the twins.

"I wasn't ready to do it then," he said.

The twins will turn 8 on May 18, and Hendrix said he felt it was time to add their names so they will always be with him.

"It makes me happy when I look at it," he said.

Hendrix said he knows the twins are living in Lawrence and are doing OK. He hasn't tried to contact them, but he does buy birthday cards for them and is saving each one.

"I want their lives to be as smooth as possible," Hendrix said. "I just want to be a part of it. I know one day they will contact me."


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