guy says he didn't consent to Ivf fatherhood
Posted on October 2, 2016
Guy says he didn’t consent to IVF fatherhood
Q. I was separated from my wife of 28 years when, three years ago, I met a 37-year-old woman on a business trip to Boston. After months of long-distance dating, she wanted us to marry. While willing to do that, I hadn’t yet started divorce proceedings in California.
A few months later, because of her age, she wanted to now try to have children with me and get married later. After months of having unprotected sex, she still hadn’t gotten pregnant. We went to a fertility clinic. The doctor who checked us out said my friend was fine, but my sperm were slow swimmers. At the doctor’s suggestion, I did “donate” my sperm to be held by the Clinic until I gave a written O.K. to use it.
Shortly after that I went to a family gathering of my wife, our children, and grandchildren for a birthday party at our former home. After the children left, we started to talk. We decided we’d try to reconcile.
Meanwhile, my Boston friend kept calling, saying she wanted to go ahead with the in vitro fertilization. I said that was OK if she used someone else’s sperm. She called six weeks later saying she got pregnant by using my sperm. I called the IVF doctor. He said she came in and said I was travelling. So while their protocol was to always see the male sign, they took the form on which she had signed my name!
When I told my now-former friend I’d not pay because the signature on that form wasn’t mine, she said I gave her the O.K. to sign my name.
Now, the baby has been born. And she filed a complaint to determine if I’m the biological father and, if so, to get a court order I pay her child support.
Will I have to pay?
A. First, you’ll be court-ordered to let the probation officer get a “swab” of mucus from the inside of your cheek. That and swabs from mother and child will be DNA tested. If the test results show, to a 99.9 percent certainty, you are the father, you’ll be ordered to pay temporary child support.
At a trial, you can try to prove that she fraudulently signed your name. Then it’s up to the judge to decide if she committed fraud. If you lose, even though the clinic is supposed to see you sign, you’ll be ordered to pay child support. Even if you don’t prove fraud you could sue the clinic for violating its own protocol on which you reasonably relied. If you win, the clinic will repay whatever you pay in child support, plus money for your pain and suffering. But your former female friend will tell the jury about your mutual love, and getting your O.K. to sign.
So while I can see the conclusions you’d want, I can’t
find a premise that’ll make them come true.