Judge Rules Sperm Donor Is Legal Father Of Child Born To Lesbian Couple

In Topeka, Kansas a judge has deemed that a man who donated sperm to a lesbian couple is the legal father of the child produced because a licensed doctor was not involved in the insemination. Now the man, William Marotta, must pay child support. Marotta responded to a Craigslist add posted by Jennifer Schreiner and Angela Bauer in 2009. For $50 Marotta agreed to provide sperm to the lesbian couple. Without seeking legal advice, Marotta and the couple signed a document stating that Marotta was not to be responsible for the child.

Schreiner and Bauer separated within a year after the birth of their daughter. Schreiner sought financial aid from the state to help her support the child and listed “donor” as the child’s father. Determining that Marotta was not an anonymous donor, the Kansas Department for Children and Families demanded he pay child support.

Schreiner and Bauer purport themselves to be the child’s parents, but the judge disagreed. Because proper protocol was not followed in the insemination, the judge said Marotta cannot be considered just a donor. Specifically, they did not follow state law which requires the use of a physician for artificial insemination and the signing of certain documents. The judge stated, “The court is bound by the ordinary meaning and plain language of (state law) and it may not look the other way simply because the parties intended a different result than that afforded by the statute.”

It is unknown whether Marotta will appeal the ruling.

Children and Identity Theft

http://green-mom.com/topics/child-and-baby/international-adoption-at-all-time-low.html#.UlwDHRB4jmg

A new law, effective this New Year’s Day, will make it more difficult for children to become the victims of identity theft or credit card abuse.  Senate Bill 60 is the result of a recent rise in children being targeted for such offenses.

A child’s social security number can be used by identity thieves to apply for government benefits, open bank and credit card accounts, apply for a loan or utility service, or rent a place to live.

Children are an especially vulnerable population to identity thieves, who consider a child’s personal identifying information more valuable than that of an adult.  This is because adults are more likely to be keeping tabs on their information. Adults monitor bank statements, pay bills, shop with their credit cards, all of these things that are likely to alert someone to identity theft.

The new law allows parents to freeze the consumer and credit files of their children 16 year of age or younger.

According to the Federal Trade Commission there are warning signs that your child’s credit has been compromised. For example, you or your child might:

  • be turned down for government benefits because the benefits are being paid to another account using your child’s Social Security number
  • get a notice from the IRS saying the child didn’t pay income taxes, or that the child’s Social Security number was used on another tax return
  • get collection calls or bills for products or services you didn’t receive

Spanking and Later Aggressive Behavior in Children

Academic study links spanking to later aggressive and antisocial behavior in children according to researcher Murray Straus, PhD.  As reported by Rick Nauert, PhD, Senior News Editor for PsychCentral, spanking a child can have the exact opposite result of what a parent intends.  Straus’s research indicates that college students who were spanked as children are more likely to engage in criminal behavior.  Also found was that “even young adults whose parents were generally loving and helpful as they were growing up, showed higher rates of criminal behavior.”

In many cultures, parents have historically been regarded as having the duty of disciplining their children, and the right to spank them when appropriate.  Public attitudes towards the acceptability and effectiveness of spanking vary a great deal by nation and region.

Straus examined the criminality tendencies of university students from 15 different countries including the United States, Hong Kong, and Russia.  Nine dimensions of cr4iminality were measured. 

The study refutes the idea that spanking done by “loving and helpful” parents is somehow not harmful.  Rather, across cultures, spanking appears to be associated with child behavior problems regardless of the parents’ intent and demeanor toward the child.

“Straus found that positive parenting decreased the probability of subsequent crime but mainly for nonfamily crime. And even though positive parenting was associated with less crime by students, the relation of spanking to crime remained for all nine aspects of crime.”

This research suggests that parents should literally take a “hands-off” approach to parenting and find alternative methods of disciplining their children.   Even well-intended parents can negatively effect their children from the use of spanking.