The mother of a boy conceived through In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) has been ordered to pay her ex-husband over $75,000 in damages, after it came to light that she had misled him into thinking the sperm used for the treatment was his.
Judge Deborah Taylor, of Central London County Court, made the groundbreaking award, on Friday March 20, 2015. The man, known only as “Y” (to protect the identity of the child) was awarded 40,000 British Pounds ($75,000 CDN) to compensate him for past child support payments, his distress and humiliation, and compensation for lost earnings. He was also awarded 60,000 Pounds ($112,000 CDN) to cover his legal costs in the case.
The couple married in 2002. They attended an IVF clinic in Barcelona in 2004, and “Y” provided a sperm sample at that time. A few months later the woman, known as “X”, attended the clinic with her former boyfriend, and he provided a sperm sample. The treatment involving the former boyfriend’s sperm was successful, and “X” gave birth to a son in 2005.
The couple separated when the baby was approximately 6 months old, and they divorced in 2008. “Y”, who believed that he was the boy’s father, cared for the child while “X” worked, and payed over 80,000 Pounds in child support.
The boy’s true parentage came to light after “X” and “Y” had an argument in 2011. In the heat of the argument over “Y”s parenting time with the boy, “X” told “Y” he was not the boy’s real father. “Y” did not believe her, but took a DNA test to prove it, and instead found out that he was not the child’s biological father.
“I am satisfied that (the woman) intended (her ex-husband) to believe that he was (the boy’s) father,” said Judge Taylor. “I reject her suggestion that she believed (the boy) may not be (her ex-husband’s) child.”
During the proceedings, “Y” told the court that he no longer had contact with the child, and expressed concern for the fact that “I live in the hope that when he is 18 he looks for me … He is truly missed.”
Jayne Embree, M.A.