A man whose estranged wife conceived twins thanks to in vitro fertilization is still responsible for making child support payments, even though he and the woman agreed beforehand that he would not be held financially responsible for any children conceived.
That’s the ruling from Massachusetts’ highest appeals court, according to a recent story by the Boston Herald.
According to the court ruling, by consenting to his former wife’s in vitro fertilization, the man became the legal parent of the twins.
The case becomes even more complicated when the man’s citizenship is taken into account. The man in this case is an immigrant to the United States from Nigeria. He claimed that he gave his consent for the in vitro fertilization under duress after his now ex-wife threatened to hinder his efforts to achieve U.S. citizenship.
In rejecting this argument, the appeals court said that the man, who did eventually become a U.S. citizen, didn’t offer sufficient proof to support his argument.
According to the Boston Herald story, the couple married in 1991 and tried unsuccessfully to have children. However, in 2001, one year after the couple separated, the woman had the chance to conceive a child with donor egg and donor sperm. The clinic that offered this chance, though, required the woman’s ex-husband to provide his consent before they could proceed with the process.
The man ultimately provided his consent, but made the woman sign a written agreement agreeing to not seek or sue for child support.
The children were born in 2003, and the couple divorced in 2009. Shortly thereafter, a judge ordered the man to begin making child-support payments. He has been appealing that decision ever since.
What are your thoughts on this decision?
Stay tuned for more from our Ft. Worth family law blog …
To learn more about child support arrears, paternity, fathers’ rights or post-divorce issues, contact an experienced and skilled legal professional.
This post is for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.
The Boston Herald, “Court rules man must support kids despite pact with ex-wife” March 7, 2012