Who’s the Father?

As a rule, courts impose biological paternity on a man who has no biological ties to the child when he presents himself to the world as the father of a child.

The purpose of this action is to enforce support obligations.

Cultural changes have resulted in cases of men donating sperm to women who desire motherhood without marriage.

Courts hold men to a strict liability for a child that results from their sperm. A man cannot claim that he is but a contractor if he impregnates a woman at her request and then argue that he is without a responsibility to support the child. Nor can the woman who becomes pregnant in this arrangement waive child support. Courts have ruled that, outside of the jurisdiction’s statute on artificial insemination, a man cannot waive his parental rights (or the responsibility of child support), nor can a mother. To do so goes against public policy.

A woman’s fraudulent claims or deceit about birth control (or infertility) do not shield a man from support obligations in the event of pregnancy. Moreover, a woman may unilaterally refuse an abortion.

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