Thursday, April 13, 2006

Sperm donor sued for child support

April 12, 2006


Michael Wilford says he was simply a sperm donor.

Christin Harris says he was much more than that to her.

Now, the Glenview woman wants him to provide child support and a college fund and pay medical expenses for the 2-year-old twin daughters he fathered.

But the Downers Grove man says it's a case of "involuntary parentage," as he had no intention of doing anything more than provide his ex-girlfriend with the semen she needed to conceive.

"No good deed goes unpunished," his attorney, Enrico Mirabelli, said in court Tuesday.

'I just want your semen'

Wilford said he was asked to pay nothing toward the in-vitro fertilization or related pregnancy costs and the couple broke up three months after Harris gave birth -- and he was never asked to provide a thing or to act as a father.

But Harris' attorney said Wilford showered Harris with jewelry, coats and other gifts during their 15-month relationship, as they vacationed together and said they loved each other -- and he even proposed.

"Now he's concocted this story -- which is patently unbelievable -- to extricate himself from having to pay," attorney Belle Lind Gordon said before Cook County Judge Thomas Kelley.

At issue are documents Wilford signed admitting he's the parent.

He says he was duped into signing them at a local bank, believing Harris when she said they simply allowed her to establish savings accounts for the girls.

But the documents instead allowed Wilford's name to be put on birth certificates, setting the stage for these monetary demands.

"She was a lady with a plan -- and that plan wasn't marriage," Mirabelli said. "He trusted her. Why? Because she said 'I don't want anything from you. I just want your semen.' "

'This is payback'

The couple met on, a dating Web site, and Harris, 45, said she knew then she wanted a child. Wilford, 45, was divorcing and said he didn't want to be a parent again, but would help her.

Later, Harris made financial demands because "Michael had rejected her" and "this is payback," Mirabelli said.

But Gordon said Wilford visited with the girls three times after they were born, and his parents even flew in to see them.

Wilford said he never told his parents about the birth because he saw himself as a donor.

Harris, who failed to get pregnant in two earlier in-vitro attempts with anonymous donors, acknowledged that Wilford fit profiles of earlier donors she had sought.

Testimony is set to continue today and a ruling is expected later this month.