This time, however, a DNA test and a lie detector weren't necessary to determine the father of a lesbian couples' child. Mark Langridge from Essex in the United Kingdom agreed to donate sperm in 2000 to a lesbian couple and friends.
The couple, who have since broken up, promised that Langridge would not be named on the birth certificate and he wasn't. Since, the mother of the child has fallen on hard times and has applied for benefits from the government. Now, England's Child Support Agency (CSA) wants restitution and has ordered Langridge to pay child support in the amount of £26 per week (that's about $42).
Some could say the amount isn't much to care for a child, but the question remains why Langridge as a donor is responsible for the child at all? He's petitioned the CSA, but their decision stands.
According to the CSA, Langridge's new responsibility is a matter of timing. The law on sperm donation and paternity in England was changed in April 2009. Under the now applicable Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act of 2008, anyone who donates to a couple in a civil partnership (marriage) or through a licensed clinic is not legally responsible for the child's wellbeing. Langridge made his donation before the law was enacted and via a private arrangement.
£26 per week may seem like a small amount to pay for child support, but Langridge says he can't afford to make the payments.