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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan 14, 2013/ 3 Shevat, 5773

Who's your daddy? Or in this case, who's your donor?

By Mitch Albom








http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | At first I thought I was hearing it wrong. A lesbian couple who had a daughter through artificial insemination was chasing the sperm donor for child support.

"That can't be right," I said.

It wasn't. Actually, the government was chasing the sperm donor for child support.

Sound crazy? Read on. The lesbian couple split up after the child was born. The mother -- by that I mean the partner who carried the child -- lost her job and applied for public assistance to help pay for her little girl. The state of Kansas (where this is all happening) said, OK, we'll give you some funds, but only if you tell us who the father is so that we can hit him up for support.

Next thing you know, the Baby Daddy Donor gets a phone call from the state, telling him he owes $6,000 for his "daughter." Needless to say, the guy was surprised. He'd had nothing to do with the child, wanted nothing to do with the child, signed a contract with the women agreeing he'd have nothing to do with the child and they'd have nothing to do with him.

But apparently because they didn't go through a licensed physician, none of it mattered. As far as the state was concerned, somebody was the father. And the father is on the line when a kid's needs are at stake.

And thus does a guy named William Marotta, 46, get hit up for $6,000, and tell the Huffington Post that "no good deed goes unpunished."

Now, I don't want to pass judgment on this case, largely because I don't fully understand this case. The lesbians live in a state that obviously allows two women to raise a child together, yet, in at least some cases, does not recognize two women as adequate for financial responsibility.

Had Marotta and the couple worked through a licensed doctor, then somehow the state would not hold him responsible. The idea is obviously to make artificial insemination a more government-monitored activity.

But while that may help clarify things, can it really be the difference between a lifetime of responsibility or not? Either sperm makes you a father or it doesn't. The fact that he handed off his "legacy" to a certain doctor first seems a pretty thin pencil with which to draw a line.

But then the lines are already fuzzy. I don't mean to sound like an old fuddy-duddy, but let's consider this story through how it would be viewed 50 years ago, in 1963.

An out-in-the-open lesbian couple (hardly common) goes to Craigslist (doesn't exist yet) and posts an ad seeking a sperm donor (no one back then would run such an ad). Marotta contacts the couple via e-mail (doesn't exist yet), signs a contract (I don't think so) and four years later, his story is all over the Internet (doesn't exist yet).

And you wonder why people are nostalgic.

I knew a guy a few years ago who had a baby with a woman. He was happy to be a father. Overjoyed, really. Then he discovered he was not the biological dad, that the woman had misled him. Nonetheless, largely because his name was on the birth certificate, he was responsible for the costs of the child. It took a long time to legally untangle that mess.

The thinking there -- and to some degree the thinking in the Kansas case -- is that the child's needs are more important than the adult's rights. And a child can't go without while grown-ups argue with each other.

But let's admit it. When it comes to families, we are all over the map now. We've created a country where marriage varies from state to state, where insemination rules vary from state to state, where two men, two women, one of each or just one constitute a parental unit, where you can advertise to create a child, advertise to carry a child, advertise to adopt a child, yet insist that a man's seed is connected to his bank account.

I don't know what will happen in the Marotta case. I suspect it may reach the Kansas Supreme Court. All I know is the older I get, the less I think it's my hearing that's the problem. It's believing what I hear.




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