Tuesday, November 12, 2013

In the Interest of K.M.H. case brief

In the Interest of K.M.H. case brief summary
169 P.3d 1025 (2007)

Appellee mother filed a child in need of care petition in the Shawnee District Court (Kansas) to establish that appellant sperm donor had no parental rights under Kansas law. The donor sued for determination of his paternity. The district court sustained the mother's motion to dismiss, ruling that Kan. Stat. Ann. § 38-1114(f) was controlling and constitutional. The donor appealed.


The donor argued, inter alia, that the requirement of Kan. Stat. Ann. § 38-1114(f) that any opt-out agreement between an unmarried mother and a known sperm donor be "in writing" resulted in an equal protection violation.


  • The supreme court disagreed. 
  • Section 38-1114(f) envisioned that both married and unmarried women could become parents without engaging in sexual intercourse, either because of personal choice or because a husband or partner was infertile, impotent, or ill. 
  • It encouraged men who were able and willing to donate sperm to such women by protecting the men from later unwanted claims for support from the mothers or the children. 
  • It protected women recipients as well, preventing potential claims of donors to parental rights and responsibilities, in the absence of an agreement. 
  • The requirement that any such agreement be in writing enhanced predictability, clarity, and enforceability. 
  • If the parties desired an arrangement different from the statutory norm, they were free to provide for it, as long as they did so in writing. 
  • Therefore, the application of § 38-1114(f) to the donor did not violate equal protection.

The judgment was affirmed.

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