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Should gay sperm donor now contribute financially to lesbian mothers family?

The rise in non-traditional families brings with it unique legal and social issues for the families concerned.
Recently, the media reported that a lesbian mother who used her gay friend as a sperm donor is now pursuing him to contribute financially for the children he conceived.
Mark, who is now 49, met Mandy in a gay nightclub in 1998, and they both have different stories to tell about their decision to have two children together.
Mark maintains that he was only donating his sperm to enable Mandy and her long-term partner to have children together. Mandy contradicts him by saying that his wish was to be a ‘Dad’ to the two children, and to offer financial support too.
There was no sexual contact between Mark and Mandy – she had self-inseminated for both her children,  who were born two years apart.
Mark’s name is not on either birth certificate. He says that he felt under pressure from Mandy to be involved, which had never been his intention.
In 2012, Mandy contacted the Child Support Agency (CSA), who ordered Mark to pay £26 a week in child maintenance. He is not disputing the amount of money, but the very fact that he should pay at all. Sperm donors who donate through a clinic are protected from paying maintenance, but because his arrangement was informal, he felt he was not provided the same protection.
Sadly, this dispute has been ongoing for 10 years and the real losers in this situation appear to be children. Their attendance at school is said to be around 65% and both girls feel sad, upset and confused by the situation.
If you are considering taking a step towards starting a family in circumstances similar to those above,  it would be worth first seeking advice from a family lawyer who will be able to advise you on how you can protect you and you children in the long-term.

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