Father ordered to pay child support for twins born via IVF
If you read the title of this article, you may be wondering why this story justifies a post in our Las Vegas family law blog. It seems fairly common: a father was ordered to pay child support for twin children that were born via in vitro fertilization (IVF) while he was still married to the children’s mother.
Upon closer examination, it seems that this case is unique for many reasons. First, the parents of the children were separated at the time of the children’s conception. Second, the children were the product of donor eggs and sperm. And third, the couple signed a written arrangement in which they agreed that the father would be absolved of all financial responsibility for the children.
According to court documents, viable eggs became available about a year after the couple separated. The mother asked for the father’s consent to begin the IVF process. He gave his consent, predicated on the fact that he would not be legally or financially responsible for any children that resulted from the IVF procedure.
The couple signed an agreement in which the father gave his consent to the IVF in exchange for the mother’s support for his citizenship application. The agreement absolved the father of any responsibility for the children.
A few years after the children were born, the mother sought child support from the father. He refused to pay, citing the agreement both parents had signed. However, a court recently ruled that he was financially responsible for the children simply because he had consented to the IVF procedure that resulted in their birth. Those actions resulted “in the creation of a child,” the court decision stated, “and the law will attach parental responsibilities as a result.”
Source: Boston Globe, “Court says father owes support, despite deal,” Peter Schworm, Mar. 7, 2012