After living many years unmarried, Janet decided that she didn’t want to wait any longer to have a baby. After all, she had a successful career and felt that she could give a child all the advantages that she had growing up. Still, she wasn’t sure how she was going to go about this.
She consulted with a local sperm bank, but all of that seemed so impersonal. On the one hand, it was an anonymous proposition, and she would never have to know who the father was. On the other hand, that was kind of a scary thing, for many reasons.
She and her good friend, Marcus, had discussed this topic many times. Marcus was also unmarried, but had never thought about having a child with a surrogate mother. They had discussed, however, the possibility of Marcus donating his sperm to Janet, and eventually decided this was the way to proceed.
According to Marcus, they had agreed that if Janet became pregnant, the two of them would share custody of the child.
Nine months after the sperm donation was implanted inside Janet, a baby boy was born. Marcus hurried to the hospital only to be told that he wasn’t allowed to see the baby. Janet’s attorney had filed a petition to sever his parental rights because he gave her no emotional or financial support during the pregnancy.
Marcus maintained that Janet had never asked for anything during the nine months, and that he was now more than willing to pay for his share of the expenses, as well as reimburse Janet for some of her prenatal expenses.
Marcus also filed his own petition to establish his paternity status. He requested joint custody and a visitation schedule with the child.
The two of them could agree on very little except for the fact that they had nothing in writing, which was turning out to be an awful mistake.
Should Marcus be allowed to share custody of his child?