Whether a sperm donor is legally bound to pay child support depends on state law, as well as the facts specific to his situation. About two-thirds of states have adopted the Uniform Parentage Act UPA , which gives protections to sperm donors in cases where a mother has sued them for child support. The version of the UPA provides that any man that gives his sperm to a physician for purposes of artificially inseminating someone other than his wife is not the legal father of the child borne out of the insemination. Since the donor is not the legal father, he is not legally bound to pay child support. However, these protections are limited, as the states that have adopted the version of the UPA have generally not been willing to extend these protections to a donor when there has not been a physician involved in the insemination process.
Same sex couples should always consult with an attorney who can advise them of how to best protect the rights of both mothers and also the child. Artificial insemination is a cheaper and physically easier procedure to achieve pregnancy. Same-sex couples using any form of IVF need to be certain to consult with an attorney early in the process as medical clinic consent forms are not typically designed to accommodate such family building options and the use of consent forms designed for heterosexual couples can create legal complications down the road. Some states require that a physician perform the insemination procedure; other states permit at-home insemination.
Sperm donation laws vary by country. Most countries have laws to cover sperm donations which, for example, place limits on how many children a sperm donor may give rise to, or which limit or prohibit the use of donor semen after the donor has died, or payment to sperm donors. Other laws may restrict use of donor sperm for in vitro fertilisation IVF treatment, which may itself be banned or restricted in some way, such as to married heterosexual couples, banning such treatment to single women or lesbian couples.
The rise of consumer genetic tests — which allow people to connect with relatives they never knew they had, including some who never intended to be found in the first place — is forcing sperm donation clinics to confront the fact that it is now virtually impossible to guarantee anonymity to their clients. Instead, sites like 23andMe and Ancestry. That, clinics and outside experts say, has forced a reckoning for the industry.