05 November 2012
Family Law Solicitor Georgina Chase discusses Gay Sperm Donor chased by CSA
It has been reported by the Guardian that Mark Langridge is being pursued by the CSA after donating his sperm 13 years ago to enable a lesbian couple to have two Children. Mr Langridge was never named on the children’s birth certificates and had no role in their upbringing, however the CSA have demanded that he start paying £26 a week. Despite having had no contact with the Family since 2004, the CSA have reportedly told Mr Langridge to either pay up, or take a DNA test to show that he is not their biological father.
In the 90s, it was impossible for women to use official sperm banks unless they had a male partner – this is no longer the case. It is understood Mr Langridge and his partner met the lesbian couple in a nightclub and they became good friends. After apparently being given repeated assurances that the couple were financially secure and would not need any Financial Assistance from him at any stage, Mr Langridge agreed to donate his sperm to the couple. A year later, the couple asked him to donate again as they wanted a sibling for their child. He was told he was not named as father on both children’s birth certificates. It is reported that relations with the couple and Mr Langridge became distant and what he did not know was that the couple had split up, leaving one of the mother’s with both children, who later made an application for Child Maintenance through the CSA.
The non-biological mother apparently continues to live near the former family home and has regular contact with the two children, in the same way as a separated parent would do, however the CSA is not chasing the other mother for child maintenance payments. The Law has now changed with the effect that if the donation took place today, Mr Langridge would not be deemed the father and he wouldn’t be financially liable for the children. This is provided his donation was made through a licensed clinic or the consenting couple to which he was making the donation were in a civil partnership. Mr Langridge has called on the government to review the law governing this area in order that it is applied retrospectively. It does seem unfair that Mr Langridge is being chased by the CSA in relation to two children that he fathered over a decade ago in the circumstances detailed and I anticipate many other men may be caught up in the same position. However, the law at the time was clear and something which should have been fully investigated before committing to a sperm donation as part of a personal arrangement.
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