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Father owes support to children conceived via artificial insemination

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A father who contested a trial court order that he must pay child support for two children failed to convince the Court of Appeals that he did not consent to their conception through artificial insemination.

In Steven Engelking v. Amy Engelking, 18A02-1206-DR-495, the Delaware Circuit Court ordered the father to pay child support as part of the marriage dissolution decree.

On appeal, he argued that he didn’t owe support because neither their 9-year-old son or 6-year old daughter born via artificial insemination was a “child of the marriage,” citing Levin v. Levin, 645 N.E.2d 601, 605 (Ind. 1999), for the proposition that a child conceived through artificial insemination is a child of the marriage only when both parties knowingly and voluntarily consent to the artificial insemination.

“Here, Mother testified that Father knew of the artificial inseminations that led to the conception of both children, helped her conduct research to determine the paraphernalia used to facilitate the first artificial insemination, talked with S.P. and his wife about the use of S.P.’s sperm as a component of both inseminations, and consented to both inseminations,” Judge Rudy Pyle III wrote for the court.

“The trial court’s findings are supported by Mother’s testimony, and the findings support the trial court’s ultimate conclusion that each child was a child of marriage. Accordingly, both Father and Mother “have an obligation to support the child[ren].”

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