We take a break this week from the story of Kate & Nate to discuss an interesting 2005 case that came to the forefront of our attention courtesy of a friend.
For any Glee lovers out there, here is a real life example of how Finn could have been Quinn’s baby daddy. Although there was no hot tub involved in this intercourse-free pregnancy, the case revolved around a man who suddenly found himself a dad after only having engaged in oral sex.
Back in January 1999, an Illinois physician meets a purportedly recently divorced doctor, they fall in love, get engaged and plan a life together. However, he is adamant that they do not find themselves parents outside of wedlock and insists that, if intercourse does occur, they must always use condoms. For some undisclosed reason, the parties do not ever actually have intercourse during their relationship, but do become sexually involved. It does not appear that he insists in condom use if intercourse does not occur.
Finding herself in possession of his semen, his lovely fiancée secretly inseminates herself alone in the bathroom. Not long after her self-insemination, she guiltily admits she is not yet actually divorced and he ends the relationship. Suddenly, in November 2000, he is served with a Petition to Establish Paternity and Child Support for a child he did not expect or know to exist.
Long story short, he fought the Petition but was ultimately found to be the biological father and was ordered to pay child support. He sued her under what our torts professor called the “always pled, but never won” Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress claim as well as some other torts.
Looking at this from the perspective of a family law attorney, the take-away of this case is this: parenthood is parenthood regardless of method.
Ultimately, the Court will always make a ruling that is based on the best interests of the child. Judges want two parents responsible for the support and maintenance of children. Even if the Illinois doctor never wants to meet the child, the Court will absolutely make sure that the child is financially supported. Which means child support must come from someone.
The only exceptions we can think of where a biological dad will not be found obligated to pay child support are anonymous sperm donor contributions or when a parent’s rights have been terminated.