The estate of
a now-deceased man who donated sperm to a lesbian
former couple will be required to pay child support, a
Pennsylvania state appeals court found last week.
Jodilynn Jacob and Jennifer Lee Schultz-Jacob, were joined
in a civil union in Vermont in 2002 after having lived
together for six years, according to the Associated
Press. During that time, Jacob gave birth to two
children with the help of Carl Frampton, a longtime
friend, and she also adopted her brother's two older
relationship fell apart in 2006, Jacob took the children and
moved out of the house. While dissolving the union, a court
awarded Jacob about $1,000 per month in child support
from Shultz-Jacob, who lost an effort to have the
court force Frampton to contribute support, the
article said. Schultz-Jacob appealed the case, and the
Pennsylvania superior court overturned the lower
court's ruling on April 30.
"Part of the
decision came down because he was so involved with
them," Jacob told the AP Wednesday. "It wasn't that he went
to the [sperm] bank and that was it. They called him
Frampton's sudden, fatal stroke in March provides a hurdle
for the case's legal counsel. In the court's written
opinion, Judge John T. J. Kelly Jr. said the decision
was based on Frampton's spending thousands of dollars
on the children, including toys and clothing.
and attentive solicitude seems widely at variance with
the support court's characterization of [his] having 'played
a minimal role in raising and supporting' the
children," Kelly wrote.
According to the
article, the children, ages 7 and 8, were aware that
Frampton was their biological father and they attended his
funeral. Attorneys fighting on his behalf argued,
during the trial, that only two adults can be held
liable for support in a child custody case.
Shultz-Jacob's lawyer called for Frampton's Social Security
survivor benefits to make up for retroactive payments.
supreme court is currently considering a similar case in
which a sperm donor, who was ordered to pay $1,520 in
monthly child support, wants to enforce the promise
made by the mother that he would not be involved in
the child's life. (The Advocate)