AP

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

Israeli Embassy...

Associated Press

US airman dies after setting himself ablaze outside Israeli Embassy in Israel-Hamas war protest

An active-duty member of the U.S. Air Force has died after he set himself ablaze outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C.

1 day ago

Biden and Trump to visit Mexico border Thursday immigration...

Associated Press

Biden and Trump both plan trips to the Mexico border Thursday, dueling for advantage on immigration

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump will make dueling trips to the U.S-Mexico border on Thursday.

1 day ago

Arizona and New York attorneys feud over extraditing suspect...

Associated Press

Why Alvin Bragg and Rachel Mitchell are fighting over extraditing suspect in New York hotel killing

Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell says she isn't into extraditing a suspect due to her lack of faith in Manhattan’s top prosecutor.

5 days ago

A Gila monster is displayed at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Dec. 14, 2018. A 34-year-old Color...

Associated Press

Colorado man dies after being bitten by pet Gila monster

A Colorado man has died after being bitten by his pet Gila monster in what would be a rare death by one of the desert lizards if the creature's venom turns out to have been the cause.

6 days ago

Police clear the area following a shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs NFL football Super Bowl celebr...

Associated Press

1 dead, many wounded after shooting at Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory parade

One person died after 22 people were hit by gunfire in a shooting at the end of the Kansas Chiefs' Super Bowl victory celebration Wednesday.

13 days ago

This image from House Television shows House Speaker Mike Johnson of La., banging the gavel after h...

Associated Press

GOP-led House impeaches Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas — by one vote — over border management

Having failed to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas the first time, House Republicans are determined to try again Tuesday.

14 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.

Court voids ruling that sperm donor must pay child support