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CASELAW UPDATE: Can I donate my sperm through intercourse and avoid paying child support?

Posted on February 16, 2018

In M.R.R. v. J.M 2017 ONSC 2655, a verbal agreement was sufficient to deem that the biological parent of a child conceived through sexual intercourse was not the legal parent.

In Ontario, a recent court decision (M.R.R. v. J.M) held that a man who was the biological parent of a child conceived through sexual intercourse was not the legal parent and was therefore not obligated to pay child support. Prior to conception, the parties agreed that the man would merely be donating his sperm to the woman through sexual intercourse and that he would not be the child’s legal parent. However, when the baby was born, the baby’s biological mother reneged on her agreement to the biological father and sought child support from him. Nonetheless, the court upheld their oral agreement.

In Ontario, such an agreement that the biological parent of a child to be conceived through sexual intercourse is not to be the legal parent must be made both pre-conception and in writing. While the parties in M.R.R. v. J.M. satisfied the first requirement, their agreement was not in writing. Nonetheless, the court decided that the oral agreement between the parties that took place pre-conception was sufficient to satisfy the parties’ intentions that the man would not be the legal parent. Ultimately, the court held that the law’s general principle of looking at pre-conception intentions must be upheld and that any change of intentions after birth should not change the outcome. Interestingly, the biological parent was held not to be the legal one.


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