The Associated Press just reported in Sperm Donor Case Heads for U.S. Supreme Court that a Topeka, Kan., man seeking parental rights to children conceived with sperm he donated is petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court to take his case. For those of you who like your news served up on TV, [click here] for a local-news piece reporting on the same story.
The case reported on in the AP piece arises out of a Kansas Supreme Court ruling holding that a Kansas state law that doesn’t give sperm donors any parental rights unless there’s a written agreement is indeed constitutional. As I noted when I first wrote about this case, the result would have been the same under Florida law [click here].
From a probate/inheritance-law viewpoint, I see this case as yet another example of the challenges our society (and by extension probate courts and lawyers) will have to confront as technology races ahead in the development of new forms of assisted reproductive technology, a point I’ve written about before and that is receiving quite a bit of academic/media attention lately [click here].
My bet is that the U.S. Supreme Court will take a pass on this case opting to allow more state courts to take a crack at the issue before weighing in with it’s own conclusions. But then again, you never know. If the U.S. Supreme Court does take this case the ramifications could be huge, and not just with respect to inheritance rights. Although I can’t point to them exactly, I would imagine that somewhere in this case lurking in the underbrush are issues relevant to the abortion debate. Any time the U.S. Supreme Court steps into that minefield (no matter how obliquely), the stakes are always sky high.