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In re K.M.H.

October 26, 2007

IN THE INTEREST OF K.M.H., A CHILD UNDER AGE EIGHTEEN, AND K.C.H., A CHILD UNDER AGE EIGHTEEN.
IN THE MATTER OF THE PATERNITY OF K.C.H. AND K.M.H., BY AND THROUGH THEIR NEXT FRIEND, D.H., APPELLANT,
v.
S.H., APPELLEE.



Appeal from Shawnee district court; ROBERT J. SCHMISSEUR, assigned judge.

SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

1. When reviewing an appeal from summary judgment, an appellate court must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. A judgment for the moving party should be affirmed on appeal if there remains no genuine issue of material fact for trial and the case is appropriate for disposition in that party's favor as a matter of law.

2. The factors relevant to a constitutional choice-of-law determination include the procedural or substantive nature of the question involved, the residence of the parties involved, and the interest of the State in having its law applied. As long as Kansas has significant contact or a significant aggregation of contacts to ensure that the choice of Kansas law is not arbitrary or unfair, constitutional limits are not violated. To the extent a case involves a contractual dispute, Kansas courts apply the Restatement (First) of Conflict of Laws § 332 (1934), and the doctrine of lex loci contractus, i.e., the law of the state where the contract is made governs. A contract is made where the last act necessary for its formation occurs.

3. Generally the party seeking to apply the law of a jurisdiction other than the forum has the burden to present facts sufficient to show that other law should apply. Failure to present facts sufficient to determine where a contract is made may justify a default to forum law.

4. On the facts of this case, where the parties are Kansas residents; any agreement that existed between them was arrived at in Kansas; promises supported by consideration were exchanged in Kansas and delivered upon in Kansas; and the subject children were born in Kansas and reside in Kansas, Kansas law applies, despite the fact that the artificial insemination resulting in the children's conception was performed at a Missouri clinic.

5. An appellate court's review of whether a statute is constitutional raises a question of law reviewable de novo. The constitutionality of a statute is presumed; all doubts must be resolved in favor of its validity, and it must clearly appear that the statute violates the Constitution before it can be invalidated.

6. The guiding principle of equal protection analysis is that similarly situated individuals should be treated alike. A statutory gender classification is subject to intermediate, or heightened, scrutiny. In order to pass muster under the federal and state equal protection provisions, a classification that treats otherwise similarly situated individuals differently based solely on the individuals' genders must substantially further a legitimate legislative purpose; the government's objective must be important, and the classification substantially related to achievement of it.

7. The requirement of K.S.A. 38-1114(f) that any opt-out agreement between an unmarried mother and a known sperm donor intended to avoid the statutory bar against the paternity of the donor must be in writing does not result in an equal protection or due process violation.

8. When called upon to interpret a statute, an appellate court first attempts to give effect to the intent of the legislature as expressed through the language enacted. When a statute is plain and unambiguous, the court does not speculate as to the legislative intent behind it and will not read the statute to add something not readily found in it. The court need not resort to statutory construction. It is only if the statute's language or text is unclear or ambiguous that the court moves to the next analytical step, applying canons of construction or relying on legislative history to effect the legislature's intent.

9. K.S.A. 38-1114(f) does not require a sperm donor to provide his sperm directly to a physician performing an artificial insemination.

10. Under the facts of this case, a child in need of care petition and a paternity petition did not, either individually or together, satisfy the K.S.A. 38-1114(f) requirement of a written agreement between the parties.

11. A specific statute controls over a general statute. Likewise, a specific provision within a statute controls over a more general provision within the statute. K.S.A. 38-1114(f) is more specific to cases involving artificial insemination using donor sperm than the general presumption of paternity set out in K.S.A. 38-1114(a)(4).

12. Under the facts of this case, the sperm donor may not pursue equitable arguments not pursued in the district court or in his opening appellate brief. Moreover, the appellate record contains no evidence to support his assertions of nefarious conduct by the recipient.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Beier, J.

Affirmed.

This appeal from a consolidated child in need of care (CINC) case and a paternity action arises out of an artificial insemination leading to the birth of twins K.M.H. and K.C.H. We are called upon to decide the existence and extent of the parental rights of the known sperm donor, who alleges he had an agreement with the children's mother to act as the twins' father.

The twins' mother filed a CINC petition to establish that the donor had no parental rights under Kansas law. The donor sued for determination of his paternity. The district court sustained the mother's motion to dismiss, ruling that K.S.A. 38-1114(f) was controlling and constitutional. That statute provides:

"The donor of semen provided to a licensed physician for use in artificial insemination of a woman other than the donor's wife is treated in law as if he were not the birth father of a child thereby conceived, unless agreed to in writing by the donor and the woman." K.S.A. 38-1114(f).

Factual and Procedural Background

Many of the underlying facts are undisputed. The mother, S.H., is an unmarried female lawyer who wanted to become a parent through artificial insemination from a known donor. She was a friend of the donor, D.H., an unmarried male non-lawyer, who agreed to provide sperm for the insemination. Both S.H. and D.H. are Kansas residents, and their oral arrangements for the donation occurred in Kansas, but S.H. underwent two inseminations with D.H.'s sperm in Missouri.

D.H. accompanied S.H. to a Missouri clinic for the first procedure and provided the necessary sperm to medical personnel. The first procedure did not result in a pregnancy. D.H. did not accompany S.H. to Missouri for the second procedure. Instead, he provided the sperm to S.H., and she delivered it to the Missouri physician responsible for the insemination. The second procedure resulted in S.H.'s pregnancy and the birth of the twins.

There was no formal written contract between S.H. and D.H. concerning the donation of sperm, the artificial insemination, or the expectations of the parties with regard to D.H.'s parental rights or lack thereof.

The twins were born on May 18, 2005. The day after their birth, S.H. filed a CINC petition concerning the twins, seeking a determination that D.H. would have no parental rights. The petition identified D.H. as "[t]he minor children's father" and alleged that the twins were in need of care "as it relates to the father" and that "the [f]ather should be found unfit and his rights terminated." The petition continued to refer to D.H. throughout as the twins' father.

On May 31, 2005, D.H. filed an answer to the CINC petition and filed a separate paternity action acknowledging his financial responsibility for the children and claiming parental rights, including joint custody and visitation. The CINC and paternity actions were consolidated. S.H. filed a motion to dismiss the paternity action, invoking K.S.A. 38-1114(f). After the motion was filed, the district judge raised questions concerning choice of law and the constitutionality of the statute and ordered the parties to brief these issues along with the other issues arising out of the motion to dismiss.

In her brief, S.H. argued Kansas law should apply because her original oral agreement with D.H. took place in Kansas; the parties reside in Kansas; the sperm resulting in the pregnancy was given to her by D.H. in Kansas; and the children reside in Kansas. In her view, the single fact that the procedure was performed by a doctor in Missouri did not constitute a significant contact with that state, and Missouri did not have a sufficient ongoing interest in the parties or in the subject matter of their dispute.

On the merits, S.H. principally relied upon K.S.A. 38-1114(f). S.H. argued that her CINC petition did not constitute her written assent to D.H.'s parental rights under K.S.A. 38-1114(f). She also asserted that the mutual preinsemination intent of the parties--as a single mother-to-be and a sperm donor only, not as co-parents--was clear from their actions during the pregnancy. According to S.H., she sought out fertility tests and treatments on her own; D.H. did not attend the second procedure or sonograms or other prenatal medical appointments; and he did not provide emotional support or financial assistance during the pregnancy or after the twins' birth. She also argued that D.H. was morally, financially, and emotionally unfit to be a father.

In his arguments in the district court, D.H. maintained that he had standing to file his paternity action as the biological father of K.M.H. and K.C.H. On choice of law, D.H. argued that Kansas conflict principles required the court to look to the place of either contract formation or contract performance. He asserted that the "more sensible" approach in this case would be to apply the law of the state where performance occurred, which was, according to him, where the artificial insemination was performed. D.H. said Missouri has no statute barring a presumption of paternity for a known sperm donor for an unmarried woman; paternity is proved by "consanguinity or genetic test." D.H. also asserted that no doctor would perform an insemination on an unmarried woman in Topeka, Lawrence, or Kansas City, Kansas, and suggested a Kansas doctor could have had a duty to discuss the legal implications of the procedure under Kansas law while a Missouri doctor would not.

In the event the court held that Kansas law governed, D.H. argued that K.S.A. 38-1114(f) unconstitutionally deprived him of his right to care, custody, and control of his children and violated public policy "support[ing] the concept of legitimacy and the concomitant rights of a child to support and inheritance." If the statute is constitutional, he asserted, its dictate of non-paternity of a sperm donor should not apply to him because he had provided his sperm to S.H. rather than to a licensed physician. He also cited the CINC petition's identification of him as the twins' "father" and its faulting of him for failing to do things consistent with parenthood. D.H. asserted the wording of the CINC petition was evidence of the parties' mutual intent to take themselves out from under the statutory provision for non-paternity. He also contended that he had offered financial assistance and attempted to visit the children in the hospital after their birth and on subsequent occasions, but that he was prevented from doing so by S.H.

The district judge ruled that Kansas law governed, that K.S.A. 38-1114(f) was constitutional and applicable, and that the CINC petition did not constitute a written agreement departing from the provision for non-paternity set forth in the statute. The judge therefore granted S.H.'s motion, concluding as a matter of law that D.H. had no legal rights or responsibilities regarding K.M.H. and K.C.H.

Issues on Appeal

On appeal, both parties reiterate the arguments they made to the district court, and D.H. alleges for the first time that another statutory provision and equity favor his side of the case. We therefore address six issues: (1) Did the district judge err in ruling that Kansas law would govern? (2) Did the district judge err in holding K.S.A. 38-1114(f) constitutional under the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Kansas and the federal Constitutions? (3) Did the district judge err in interpreting and applying the "provided to a licensed physician" language of K.S.A. 38-1114(f)? (4) Did the district judge err in determining that the CINC petition did not satisfy the requirement of a writing in K.S.A. 38-1114(f)? (5) Did K.S.A. 38-1114(a)(4) grant D.H. parental rights? and (6) Does equity demand reversal of the district court?

On this appeal, we also have the benefit of briefs from two amici curiae--one from the Washburn University School of Law's Children and Family Law Center (Center), which argues that K.S.A. 38-1114(f) is unconstitutional as applied to known sperm donors, and one from family law professors Joan Heifetz Hollinger, et al., who argue that K.S.A. 38-1114(f) is constitutional and that it should be applied consistently with its plain language to bar D.H.'s assertion of paternity.

Standing and Standard of Review

The parties do not appear to dispute D.H.'s standing to bring a paternity action at this stage in the proceedings, but we note briefly as a preliminary matter that his standing is not in serious doubt. K.S.A. 38-1115(a)(1) permits a child "or any person on behalf of such a child" to bring a paternity action "to determine the existence of a father and child relationship presumed under K.S.A. 38-1114." It is D.H.'s position that his fatherhood of the twins should be presumed under the statute.

Regarding standard of review, each of the issues raised on appeal presents a pure question of law reviewable de novo by this court. Kluin v. American Suzuki Motor Corp., 274 Kan. 888, 893, 56 P.3d 829 (2002). Although S.H.'s motion was titled "Motion to Dismiss," the district judge considered materials beyond the pleadings, essentially treating the motion as one for summary judgment. We are therefore mindful of our often stated standard of review following summary judgment in the district court: We must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party, D.H. See Wachter Management Co. v. Dexter & Chaney, Inc., 282 Kan. 365, 368, 144 P.3d 747 (2006). The district court's judgment for the moving party, S.H., should be affirmed on appeal if there remains no genuine issue of material fact for trial and the case is appropriate for disposition in her favor as a matter of law. See K.S.A. 60-256; Scott v. Hughes, 281 Kan. 642, 644, 132 P.3d 889 (2006); Kluin, 274 Kan. at 893.

Choice of Law

The United States Supreme Court has held:

"In deciding constitutional choice-of-law questions, whether under the Due Process Clause or the Full Faith and Credit Clause, this Court has traditionally examined the contacts of the State, whose law was applied, with the parties and with the occurrence or transaction giving rise to the litigation. [Citation omitted.] In order to ensure that the choice of law is neither arbitrary nor fundamentally unfair [citation omitted], the Court has invalidated the choice of law of a State which has had no significant contact or significant aggregation of contacts, creating state interests, with the parties and the occurrence or transaction." Allstate Ins. Co. v. Hague, 449 U.S. 302, 308, 66 L.Ed. 2d 521, 101 S.Ct. 633 (1981).

Various factors are relevant to a choice-of-law determination, including the procedural or substantive nature of the question involved, the residence of the parties involved, and the interest of the State in having its law applied. Sun Oil Co. v. Wortman, 486 U.S. 717, 736, 100 L.Ed. 2d 743, 108 S.Ct. 2117 (1988) (Brennan, J., concurring). "'As long as Kansas has "'significant contact or [a] significant aggregation of contacts' . . . to ensure that the choice of Kansas law is not arbitrary or unfair," constitutional limits are not violated.' [Citations omitted.]" Brenner v. Oppenheimer & Co., 273 Kan. 525, 534, 44 P.3d 364 (2002); see Phillips Petroleum Co. v. Shutts, 472 U.S. 797, 818, 86 L.Ed. 2d 628, 105 S.Ct. 2965 (1985) (citing Allstate Ins. Co. v. Hague, 449 U.S. at 312-13); Dragon v. Vanguard Industries, Inc., 277 Kan. 776, 790, 89 P.3d 908 (2004). Also, to the extent this case is viewed as a contractual dispute, Kansas courts apply the Restatement (First) of Conflict of Laws § 332 (1934), and the doctrine of lex loci contractus, i.e., the law of the state where the contract is made governs. See ARY Jewelers v. Krigel, 277 Kan. 464, 481, 85 P.3d 1151 (2004); Wilkinson v. Shoney's, Inc., 269 Kan. 194, 209-10, 4 P.3d 1149 (2000); Foundation Property Investments v. CTP, 37 Kan. App. 2d 890, Syl. ¶ 4, 159 P.3d 1042 (2007); Layne Christiansen Co. v. Zurich Canada, 30 Kan. App. 2d 128, 141-42, 38 P.3d 757 (2002). A contract is made where the last act necessary for its formation occurs. ARY Jewelers, 277 Kan. at 481-82; Wilkinson, 269 Kan. at 210; Foundation Property Investments, 37 Kan. App. 2d at 894-95; Layne Christiansen Co., 30 Kan. App. 2d at 141-43.

"Generally the party seeking to apply the law of a jurisdiction other than the forum has the burden to present sufficient facts to show that other law should apply. Failure to present facts sufficient to determine where the contract is made may justify a default to forum law." Layne Christensen Co., 30 Kan. App. 2d at 143-44. In addition, we note that Kansas courts have often leaned toward a lex fori, or law of the forum, approach, opting to apply Kansas law absent a clear showing that another state's law should apply. See Dragon, 277 Kan. at 790; Systems Design v. Kansas City P.O. Employees Cred. Union, 14 Kan. App. 2d 266, 269, 788 P.2d 878 (1990). Moreover, our Court of Appeals has recognized in a case focused on the legitimacy of a child that, "[i]n our current mobile society, place of conception of child carries little weight [in choice of law determination]." In re Adoption of Baby Boy S., 22 Kan. App. 2d 119, 126, 912 P.2d 761, rev. denied 260 Kan. 993, cert. denied 519 U.S. 870 (1996). Instead,"[w]hether a child is legitimate is determined by the local law of the state which, with respect to the particular issue, has the most significant relationship to the child and the parent"; considerations include "the relative interests of those states in the determination of the particular issue," "the protection of justified expectations," "the basic policies underlying the particular field of law," and the "certainty, predictability and uniformity of result." Restatement (Second) of Conflict of Laws § 6, § 287 (1) & comment d (1969).

D.H. urges us to follow the lead of the Illinois Supreme Court in In Re Marriage of Adams, 133 Ill. 2d 437, 447, 551 N.E.2d 635 (1990), which applied the law of the state where an insemination was performed because it would "fulfill the participants' expectations and . . . help insure predictability and uniformity of result."

In Adams, a husband and wife had been Florida residents; their consultations concerning fertility options occurred in Florida; the artificial insemination from an anonymous donor was performed by a Florida doctor in his Florida clinic; and the baby was born in Florida and was a Florida resident until the wife moved herself and the child to her parents' home in Illinois and then filed for divorce. The husband sought a determination of non-paternity, and the court determined that Florida law should govern because Florida had a more significant relationship than Illinois to the parentage dispute. 133 Ill. 2d at 447.

The facts of this case bear little resemblance to the facts of Adams. Here, the parties are Kansas residents. Whatever agreement that existed between the parties was arrived at in Kansas, where they exchanged promises supported by consideration, and D.H. literally delivered on his promise by giving his sperm to S.H. The twins were born in Kansas and reside in Kansas. The only fact tying any of the participants to Missouri is the location of the clinic where the insemination was performed.

Under these circumstances, we hold that Kansas law applies and that significant contacts and a significant aggregation of contacts with Kansas make application of our law to the parties' claims not only appropriate but also constitutional. This choice is neither arbitrary nor unfair; neither party would have been justified in expecting Missouri to have a controlling interest as to any dispute between them.

Constitutionality of K.S.A. 38-1114(f)

In his brief, D.H. makes a general allegation that K.S.A. 38-1114(f) offends the Constitution. The cases he cites in support discuss both the Equal Protection Clause and the Due Process Clause; we thus presume his challenge relies upon each of these provisions. See U.S. Const. amend. XIV; Kan. Const. Bill of Rights, §§ 2, 18. At oral argument before this court, D.H. conceded that his rights under these provisions do not differ as between the federal and state Constitutions. He also acknowledged that he no longer challenges the statute as unconstitutional on its face; rather, he argues it cannot be constitutionally applied to him, as a known sperm donor who alleges he had an oral agreement with the twins' mother that granted him parental rights. The amicus brief filed by the Center further clarifies that the constitutional challenge before us is only to the statute as applied to D.H.

The Center insists the statute deprives D.H. of parental rights without due process of law and without a required finding of unfitness. It urges us to dispense with a literal reading of the statute's language, invoking the purported purpose of the Kansas Parentage Act, K.S.A. 31-1110 et seq., to encourage fathers to acknowledge paternity and child support obligations voluntarily. It also emphasizes that courts should seek a result geared to the best interests of the child, in this case advancing a public policy favoring the right of every child to two parents, regardless of the means of the child's conception.

As mentioned in summary above, our review of whether a statute is constitutional raises a question of law reviewable de novo. In re Tax Appeal of CIG Field Services Co., 279 Kan. 857, 866-67, 112 P.3d 138 (2005). In addition,

"'[t]he constitutionality of a statute is presumed. All doubts must be resolved in favor of its validity, and before the act may be stricken down it must clearly appear that the statute violates the constitution. In determining constitutionality, it is the court's duty to uphold a statute under attack rather than defeat it. If there is any reasonable way to construe the statute as constitutionally valid, that should be done. A statute should not be stricken down unless the infringement of the superior law is clear beyond substantial doubt.' [Citations omitted]." State v. Rupnick, 280 Kan. 720, 736, 125 P.3d 541 (2005).

Given the relative newness of the medical procedure of artificial insemination, and thus the newness of K.S.A. 38-1114(f)'s attempt to regulate the relationships arising from it, it is not surprising that the issue raised by D.H. is one of first impression, not only in Kansas but nationally. We therefore begin our discussion of the constitutionality of the statute by surveying the landscape of various states' laws governing the rights of sperm donors for artificial insemination. This landscape and its ongoing evolution provide helpful context for our analysis of K.S.A. 38-1114(f).

The majority of states that have enacted statutes concerning artificial insemination state that the husband of a married woman bears all rights and obligations of paternity as to any child conceived by artificial insemination, whether the sperm used was his own or a donor's. See, e.g., Ala. Code § 26-17-21(a) (1992) ("If, under the supervision of a licensed physician and with the consent of her husband, a wife is inseminated artificially with semen donated by a man not her husband, the husband is treated in law as if he were the natural father of a child thereby conceived."); see also Cal. Fam. Code § 7613(a) (West 2004) (same); Colo. Rev. Stat. § 19-4-106(1) (West 2005) (same); Ill. Comp. Stat. ch. 750 40/3(a) (West 1999) (same); Minn. State § 257.56 Subd. 1 (2007); Mo. Rev. Stat. 210.824(1) (2000) (same); Mont. Code Ann. § 40-6-106(1) (2005); Nev. Rev. Stat. § 126.061(1) (2005) (same); N.J. Stat. Ann. § 9:17-44(a) (2002) (same); N.M. Stat. Ann. § 40-11-6(A) (Michie 2006) (same); Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 3111.95(A) (Anderson 2003) (similar); Wis. Stat. § 891.40(1) (2005-06) (same). Further, several of these states' statutes provide that a donor of semen used to inseminate a married woman will not be treated in law as the father of any child conceived, if he is not the woman's husband. See, e.g., Ala. Code § 26-17-21(b) (1992) ("The donor of semen provided to a licensed physician for use in artificial insemination of a married woman other than the donor's wife is treated in law as if he were not the natural father of a child thereby conceived."); Minn. Stat. § 257.56 Subd. 2 (2007) (same); Mo. Rev. Stat. § 210.824(2) (2000) (same); Mont. Code Ann. § 40-6-106(2) (2005) (same); Nev. Rev. Stat. § 126.061 (2) (2005) (same). One court has observed that these two rules protect the expectations of the married couple, the best interests of the child, and the expectations of the donor. See People v. Sorensen, 68 Cal. 2d 280, 284-88, 66 Cal. Rptr. 7, 437 P.2d 495 (1968).

The 1973 Uniform Parentage Act, promulgated by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, 9B U.L.A. 377 (2001), provided the model for many of the state artificial insemination statutes that incorporate these two rules. See, e.g., Cal. Fam. Code § 7613; N.M. Stat. Ann. § 40-11-6. Section 5 of the original uniform Act provided:

"(a) If, under the supervision of a licensed physician and with the consent of her husband, a wife is inseminated artificially with semen donated by a man not her husband, the husband is treated in law as if he were the natural father of a child thereby conceived. The husband's consent must be in writing and signed by him and his wife. The physician shall certify their signatures and the date of the insemination, and file the husband's consent with the [State Department of Health], where it shall be kept confidential and in a sealed file. However, the physician's failure to do so does not affect the father and child relationship. All papers and records pertaining to the insemination, whether part of the permanent record of a court or of a file held by the supervising physician or elsewhere, are subject to inspection only upon an order of the court for good cause shown.

"(b) The donor of semen provided to a licensed physician for use in artificial insemination of a married woman other than the donor's wife is treated in law as if he were not the natural father of a child thereby conceived." (Emphasis added.) Uniform Parentage Act (1973) § 5; 9B U.L.A. at 407-08.

The wording of this original Act and statutes that imitated it did not address the determination of a sperm donor's paternity when an unmarried woman conceived a child through artificial insemination. The earliest case to address this particular question arose in a state that had not yet adopted any statute regarding the effects of the procedure.

In that case, C.M. v. C.C., 152 N.J. Super. 160, 377 A.2d 821 (1977), a sperm donor filed a paternity suit, seeking parental rights to a child born when the child's unmarried mother artificially inseminated herself with the donor's sperm. In that case, the mother and the donor had been in a long-standing romantic relationship; the donor testified they were contemplating marriage; the mother wanted a child but did not want to have sexual intercourse before marriage; and the insemination procedure was performed at the mother's home. Three months into the pregnancy, the mother ended her relationship with the donor, and she refused him access to the child after its birth.

The New Jersey court relied upon a common-law presumption of paternity to award visitation rights to the donor as the "natural father" of the "illegitimate child." Had the mother and the donor been married and conceived the child through artificial insemination, the court said, the donor would have been considered the child's father. Given the evidence that the parties had intended to parent the child together, the court believed the same result should follow, despite the absence of wedding vows. 152 N.J. Super. at 165-68.

Certain states other than New Jersey either anticipated the need for their original statutes to govern the relationship of a sperm donor to the child of an unmarried recipient as well as a married recipient or modified their original uniform Act-patterned statutes to remove the word "married" from the § 5 (b) language. This meant these states' statutes contained complete bars to paternity for any sperm donor not married to the recipient, regardless of whether the recipient was married to someone else and regardless of whether the donor was known or anonymous. An example of such a provision reads: "The donor of semen provided to a licensed physician for use in artificial insemination of a woman other than the donor's wife is treated in law as if he were not the natural father of a child thereby conceived." See, e.g., Cal. Fam. Code § 7613(b) (West 2004); Ill. Comp. Stat. ch. 750 40/3(b) (West 1999); Wis. Stat. § 891.40(2) (2005-06) (same); see also Colo. Rev. Stat. § 19-4-106(2) (West 2005) (substantially similar); Conn. Gen. Stat. § 45a-775 (2007) (similar); Idaho Code § 39-5405 (2002) (similar); Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 3111.95(B) (Anderson 2003) (same); Va. Code Ann. § 20-158(A) (3) (2004) (substantially similar).

Four cases interpreting one of these types of statutes covering both married and unmarried recipients and establishing an absolute bar to donor paternity were decided before a 2000 amendment to the uniform Act made it applicable to unmarried as well as married recipients of donor sperm. See Uniform Parentage Act (2000); 9B U.L.A. 295 (West 2001).

The first of the four arose in California in 1986. In that case, Jhordan C. v. Mary K., 179 Cal. App. 3d 386, 224 Cal. Rptr. 530 (1986), a donor provided sperm to one of two unmarried women who had decided to raise a child together. California had adopted the language of the 1973 Uniform Act with the exception that it had omitted the word "married" in the second subsection. Jhordan C., 179 Cal. App. 3d at 392 (citing then-existing Cal. Civ. Code § 7005 [West 1979], which now appears, substantially unchanged, in Cal. Fam. Code § 7613 [West 2004]). As the court put it:

"[T]he California Legislature has afforded unmarried as well as married women a statutory vehicle for obtaining semen for artificial insemination without fear that the donor may claim paternity, and has likewise provided men with a statutory vehicle for donating semen to married and unmarried women alike without fear of liability for child support. Subdivision (b) states only one limitation on its application: the semen must be 'provided to a licensed physician.' Otherwise, whether impregnation occurs through artificial insemination or sexual intercourse, there can be a determination of paternity with the rights, duties and obligations such a determination entails." Jhordan C., 179 Cal. App. 3d at 392.

Because the parties had no doctor involved in the donation or insemination and thus the sperm was never "provided to a licensed physician," the court ruled that the case before it fell outside the statute. It therefore affirmed the lower court's recognition of the donor's paternity. Jhordan C., 179 Cal. App. 3d at 398. Although the court addressed its ruling's impact on the constitutional rights of the two women, ...


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