California Sperm Donor Stalks Lesbian Mother


Daniel's identity could not be revealed because the case was a closed paternity suit. But according to Trabolsi, his lawyers argued that because Karen had signed a voluntary declaration of paternity and Daniel's name was on the birth certificate, he should be considered the legal father.

Karen said she was handed the so-called "POPS" agreement "drugged" while on pain medicine after the Caesarian birth and had no idea what she was signing.

These hospital forms are typically used by the state to protect mothers from "deadbeat dads" and are invoked in child support cases. But in Karen's case, the agreement was used against her, according to Trabolsi.

From the beginning, Karen said she didn't want her child's father to be a "mystery."

"I have a female friend who is the product of sperm donation and they didn't keep records," she said. "Every single day of her life, she was bothered by the identity of her father."

When she met Daniel, who worked in retail, he "seemed sincere," according to Karen. "He brought me a big bag of groceries and all his diplomas and childhood pictures. He wanted me to know he was a decent guy."

In their agreement, she absolved Daniel of any financial obligation. He agreed that her partner could adopt the child.

"I saw red flags and a number of white lies," she said. "But it didn't dawn on me until I was pregnant and past the point of no return."

And when her son was only eight months old, Daniel pressed upon her to let him take the child to Brazil.

"It was ridiculous. I was still nursing," she said.

Karen said she tried to placate him, but days later Daniel served her with legal papers.

David Crosby Gave Sperm to Melissa Etheridge

In one of the more famous cases of acquaintance donors, rock star David Crosby, 69, donated his sperm to friend and singer Melissa Etheridge and her former lesbian lover Julie Cypher, who had two children born in 1998 and 2000.

"It's very kind of them both to let me spend time with the kids, because our official deal was that I signed papers relinquishing parental rights of any sort after I made my gift," he has told People magazine. "They're great kids, they're very special people in my life."

The couple has subsequently divorced and Crosby has said he would not have donated sperm, had he known his friends would split up.

Linda Elrod, director of the Children and Family Law Center at Washburn University Law School, testified in a similar case in Kansas in 2007 when a sperm donor sued a single mother who was a friend, after she gave birth to twins.

The donor wanted to share parenting, but the court ruled that sperm provided for artificial insemination is not the legal father without the mother's agreement in writing.

But Elrod, who argued on behalf of the children, said that a "known genetic father" who wants to accept parental responsibility should have those rights.

Until there is more regulation in the reproductive industry, "We are going to see more of this" and the law "isn't quite ready" to accept more than two parents, she said.

"What is the power and control stuff?" said Elrod. "Why not do what's best for the kids, rather than what's best for the parents?"

"We do violence to children to drive out or not allow them to have relationships that can help them financially or emotionally," she said. "Why not allow for more than two parents? Having a psychological parent and a biological parent expands their horizons."

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