Court voids ruling that sperm donor must pay child support

Jun 16, 2021, 10:54 AM | Updated: 12:04 pm

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — When it comes to deciding whether a sperm donor should pay child support, a judge should follow the paternity laws of the state where the child is conceived, a North Carolina appeals court ruled this week.

The case involved Anthony Garrelts, a North Carolina man who agreed by a “verbal contract” to provide artificial insemination for Ericka Glenn, who wanted to raise a child with her partner. Glenn and Garrelts met in Virginia, and the insemination and pregnancy occurred there before the child was born in late 2011. Glenn — the only parent mentioned on the birth certificate — moved with the child in 2014 to California, where she received public benefits.

In 2019, the Department of Social Services in Warren County, North Carolina, went to court to get Garrelts to pay child support to Glenn, stating he was the child’s father.

Garrelts’ lawyer argued that under Virginia law, a sperm donor is not a conceived child’s parent. But District Court Judge Adam Keith applied North Carolina law, which he said appeared to provide no such exception. He ordered Garrelts to pay more than $13,600 in back child support, $50 per month going forward and to provide the child health insurance. Garrelts appealed.

Writing Tuesday’s unanimous opinion by a three-judge panel, Court of Appeals Judge Darren Jackson said paternity laws are substantive matters rather than just procedural, so the proper choice is Virginia, where all of the pre-delivery activity occurred and where Glenn and the child lived together.

“Following the paternity laws of the state where the child is conceived not only fulfills the parties’ natural expectations, but helps ensure predictable and equitable results,” Jackson wrote, calling the case a “novel choice-of-law issue.” Judge Richard Dietz and Allegra Collins also chose to reverse Keith’s decision. Given the unanimous decision, any appeal to the state Supreme Court would not be automatic.

The appeals court said other unknown facts could affect the lower court’s ensuing ruling. They include whether the insemination occurred with the assistance of a medical facility, and a 2012 Virginia court appearance by Garrelts, Glenn and her partner for Garrelts to “sign over his parental rights” so the partner could adopt the child. The appeals court said documents it received didn’t show the outcome of that hearing.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - A sales associate talks with a prospective buyer of a Cooper SE electric vehicle on the show...
Associated Press

Most electric vehicles won’t qualify for federal tax credit

DETROIT (AP) — A tax credit of up to $7,500 could be used to defray the cost of an electric vehicle under the Inflation Reduction Act now moving toward final approval in Congress. But the auto industry is warning that the vast majority of EV purchases won’t qualify for a tax credit that large. That’s […]
8 hours ago
Associated Press

Turkey sends off new drill ship into eastern Mediterranean

ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkey’s president inaugurated the country’s newest and largest undersea hydrocarbon drill ship Tuesday that he said would head for a spot northwest of Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean, which is not claimed by any other country. “Our exploration and drilling in the Mediterranean is within our own sovereign dominion,” President Recep Tayyip […]
8 hours ago
FILE - Lt. Gen. Michael Langley speaks during a Senate Armed Services hearing to examine the nomina...
Associated Press

Marine general takes over Africa Command, sees challenges

STUTTGART, Germany (AP) — Marine Gen. Michael Langley took over as the top U.S. commander for Africa on Tuesday, heading U.S. military operations on a continent with some of the most active and dangerous insurgent groups and a relatively small Pentagon footprint. Langley, who made history on Saturday when he became the first African American […]
8 hours ago
FILE - This photo combo of images provided by the Kent County Sheriff and Delaware Department of Ju...
Associated Press

Jury selection begins in 2nd trial in Whitmer kidnap plot

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Jury selection started Tuesday in the second trial of two men charged with conspiring to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in 2020. Prosecutors are putting Adam Fox and Barry Croft Jr. on trial again after a jury in April couldn’t reach a verdict. Two co-defendants were acquitted and two more […]
8 hours ago
Associated Press

Kia recalls sedans because plates in ceiling can come loose

DETROIT (AP) — Kia is recalling nearly 260,000 older midsize cars in the U.S. because plates in the ceiling can come loose if the side curtain air bags inflate in a crash. The recall covers certain 2012 and 2013 Optima sedans. The automaker says headliner pates on both sides of the cars may not be […]
8 hours ago
Trade union and civil society activists led by leftists' People Liberation Front shout slogans deno...
Associated Press

Sri Lankans rally against crackdown on protesters

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Hundreds of Sri Lankans on Tuesday rallied against a government crackdown and the use of emergency laws against peaceful protesters demanding answers to the country’s worst economic crisis. Protesters led by religious and trade union leaders marched to the Independence Square in Colombo and made several demands to the government […]
8 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
...
CANVAS ANNUITY

Best retirement savings rates hit 4.30%

Maximize your retirement savings with guaranteed fixed rates up to 4.30%. Did you know there is a financial product that can give you great interest rates as you build your retirement savings and provide you with a paycheck for life once you retire? It might sound too good to be true but it is not; this product is called an annuity.
Court voids ruling that sperm donor must pay child support