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Man must pay child support for children conceived during marriage by artificial insemination

A man whose wife conceived two children by artificial insemination during their marriage must financially support the children, an appeals court ruled Jan. 15.
The court upheld an earlier Circuit Court ruling that each of the children is considered a "child of marriage," even though they both had been conceived by artificial insemination, and thus he had an obligation to pay child support for both of them.

The children, who were born in 2004 and 2006, were conceived using sperm from a friend of the family. According to court documents, the man encouraged the insemination because the sperm donor and he shared similar "'characteristics and morals.'" An earlier vasectomy made it unlikely that he could father children, the couple had told the court.

When the man filed for divorce in 2010 from his wife of nine years, he said that, although the two children were born during the marriage, they were not his biological children and he should not have to financially support them.

However, the appellate court agreed with the former wife, finding the man had provided support for both children, and raised them as if they were his own biological children - including sharing custody of the children after he and his wife separated.

After he filed for divorce, he claimed that he had not consented to the artificial inseminations, and he disputed the amount of time he had contact with the children after the couple separated. He stopped visitation last February, court documents said.

Last May, the husband was granted the divorce, but the judge ruled that the man had acknowledged and supported both children, and that he had consented to the artificial insemination. He was ordered to pay child support of $119 a week. The man filed an appeal of the ruling.

In agreeing with the earlier ruling that that each child was a "child of marriage," the appellate court said both parents are obligated to support the children.

Source: The (Muncie, Indiana) Star Press, "Court: Indiana man must support kids by sperm donor," Douglas Walker, Jan. 16, 2013

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