Welcome to the future via the Topeka Capitol-Journal.
We are living in a science fiction universe.
That headline reminds me of some of the headlines that appear in Robert Heinlein's "The Door into Summer," after the protagonist Dan Davis awakes from a cryonic sleep that has taken him from 1955 into the unimaginable future of 1980. Some of the headlines are absolutely incomprehensible, others are mildly so, but gesture at developments that make no sense to someone from 1955. Imagine for example, someone from 1980 reading this headline - What's a Craigslist? Lesbian couples? Sperm donors?
Give this article a cute, surprising ending and you have a short story for Analog, circa 1972.
Here's a clip from the story:
Topekan William Marotta sought only to become a sperm donor — but now the state of Kansas is trying to have him declared a father.Too bad for him, but my money is on the state favoring a rule that says that it can outsource its welfare obligations on guys who donate sperm into a plastic cup.
Nearly four years ago, Marotta donated sperm in a plastic cup to a lesbian couple after responding to an ad they had placed on Craigslist.
Marotta and the women, Topekans Angela Bauer and Jennifer Schreiner, signed an agreement holding him harmless for support of the child, a daughter Schreiner bore after being artificially inseminated.
But the Kansas Department for Children and Families is now trying to have Marotta declared the 3-year-old girl’s father and forced to pay child support. The case is scheduled for a Jan. 8 hearing in Shawnee County District Court.
Hannah Schroller, the attorney defending Marotta, said the case has intriguing social and reproductive rights implications.
She said Marotta, a mechanic who has taken care of foster children with his wife, Kimberly, answered a Craigslist ad placed by Bauer and Schreiner seeking a sperm donor in March 2009.
In an email to Marotta that is part of court records, Bauer described herself and Schreiner as a “financially stable lesbian couple,” with Bauer working outside the home and Schreiner being a stay-at-home mom with their other children.
“We are foster and adoptive parents and now we desire to share a pregnancy and birth together,” Bauer wrote.
Schroller, an attorney with Topeka-based Swinnen & Associates, said the state became involved after the mother fell on hard times and applied for financial assistance through the state.It seems that if the lesbian had the courage of her convictions, she would have named the other lesbian, biology be damned.
She said of Schreiner: “My understanding is that after being pressed on paternity of the child, she gave them William’s name as a sperm donor. The state then filed this suit to determine paternity.”
Also, it suggests why marriage is male and female - and why the number two is so important. This baby has two parents, not three, although it may well be the case that if same-sex marriage becomes the law of the land, the biological fact that a baby has two parents will be supplanted by a new politically correct invention that permits babies to many more parents.
Then, let the law sort out the resulting custody issues.
Welcome to the future.