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The issue of consent to sexual activity under the Kansas criminal statutes is irrelevant in a civil action to determine paternity and for support of the minor child of such activity.
The child of the mother and the father was conceived when the mother was 17 years old and the father was 13. The mother subsequently stipulated to the offense of contributing to a child's misconduct. Thereafter, the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services (SRS) filed a petition on behalf of the mother requesting reimbursement for ADC assistance and child support. Upon judicial review of a hearing officer's decision, the trial court granted the SRS a joint and several judgment against the father and mother and ordered the father to make monthly child support payments.
Was the issue of consent to sexual activity under the criminal statutes of the State relevant in a civil action to determine paternity and for support of a minor child?
The court held that the issue of consent to sexual activity under the criminal statutes of the State was irrelevant in a civil action to determine paternity and for support of a minor child of such activity. Further, the State's interest in requiring minor parents to support their children overrode its interest in protecting juveniles from their improvident acts, even when such acts might include criminal activity. Finally, the trial court properly found that the father and mother were jointly and severally liable, under Kan. Stat. Ann. § 39-718b (Supp. 1992), for the monies previously paid by SRS.