Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Sperm donor gets sympathy,still must pay - PA

Philadelphia Daily News 05/18/2005 Sperm donor gets sympathy,still must pay

I hate to say it men, but if I were you I think I would stay away from women all together...

Excerpts:

Several justices said they were concerned by the wider public-policy implications of the case, which arose after a woman who convinced her ex-boyfriend to help her conceive by in-vitro fertilization later changed her mind and sued for support.

A Dauphin County judge excoriated the mother, Ivonne V. Ferguson, but awarded her up to $1,520 a month from the biological father, Joel L. McKiernan. The decision was upheld last year by the Superior Court.

Justice Ronald D. Castille asked Ferguson's attorney, Elizabeth A. Hoffman, whether letting Ferguson renege on her deal would make it harder for couples to obtain sperm donors. Castille offered the example of a lesbian couple who needed a donor to conceive.

"What man in their right mind would agree to that if we decide this case in your favor? Nobody," Castille said.

Ferguson and McKiernan had a two-year affair while they both worked at Pennsylvania Blue Shield in Harrisburg, although according to court records it had "waned" before the twins, now 10 years old, were conceived. Their birth certificates list her ex-husband as the father, although DNA tests later confirmed that McKiernan is the biological father.

McKiernan later moved to the Pittsburgh area, married and fathered two other children.

In exchange for his sperm, Ferguson released McKiernan from "any obligation, financial or moral," according to the Superior Court ruling. She filed for support in 1999, five years after the twins were born and three years after her most recent contact with Mc-Kiernan.

The county and Superior courts both sympathized with McKiernan and called Ferguson's actions "despicable," but they also ruled against him, saying "legal, equitable and moral principles" made it impossible to enforce their contract.

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