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Opting for natural insemination — what about child custody?

On Behalf of | Dec 8, 2014 | Child Custody |

Texas couples or women who have been unable to conceive and carry a child, or those who are without a male partner, may be exploring artificial insemination as an alternative to adoption. According to an Internet forum, natural insemination is gaining popularity, as it avoids the invasive procedures of artificial insemination. Natural insemination involves women seeking donors on the Internet to fertilize them through intercourse, and men offering this service at no cost. While this may sound like the ideal money-saving solution, compared to the fees charged by sperm banks, it can become a legal nightmare. Child custody and child support claims are but some of the issues that may arise.

While the offer of a perfectly healthy man to have sexual intercourse with a complete stranger, while receiving no fee, is already suspect behavior, many other negatives are present. Donors of sperm to sperm banks are typically carefully screened, and an interested woman has the opportunity to select one of many donors. The donors who offer their services on the said forum are not screened and may only be taken by their word. One of the dangers women may be exposed to is a sexually transmitted disease.

There may also be legal repercussions for both recipient and donor. Although the two parties may draft an agreement to ensure no contact or responsibilities after fertilization, the applicable state laws may precede such an agreement. Despite the existence of such an agreement, one man was ordered by a Kansas court to pay child support for a child born after he privately donated sperm to a couple. On the other hand, a man may change his mind and seek custody of a baby born from his sperm, despite waiving all rights previously.

Although the website states that good intentions of both parties are not enough, and that there should be a clear understanding by both parties of all aspects — pre- and post-conception — before any contract is signed, this may not be a road to travel without legal assistance. Misunderstandings between recipients and donors are not uncommon. People in Texas who are considering natural or artificial insemination may benefit from consulting with an experienced family law attorney to gain an understanding of their rights and the possible legal issues that may arise in the future, such as child custody or support claims.

Source:, “‘Natural Inseminators’ Are Replacing The Sperm Bank As Non-Traditional Babymakers“, Aria Bendix, Dec. 1, 2014