Friday, January 04, 2008

The Surrogate Who Changed Her Mind

Last year, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania handled a heart wrenching case wherein a woman who was hired to give birth to a couple’s triplets, took the babies home from the hospital, violating the biological father’s rights and the terms of the contract she had signed. The case was litigated extensively and the children initially remained with the surrogate mother. Eventually, the Superior Court overturned the trial court and the biological father was awarded full legal custody of the children.

Apparently, however, during the time that the case was pending, while the gestational surrogate maintained custody of the children, she received child support from the biological father. After the biological father won custody of the children, he filed a Complaint for Support, seeking to recover all child support that he had paid the gestational carrier. The case wound its way through the court system, and the trial court ultimately denied his request. He appealed the case to the Superior Court, who affirmed the trial court’s decision.

It appears that the biological father in this matter felt that the gestational carrier had been unjustly enriched by receiving child support for three children that she had essentially illegally withheld from him, which was really tantamount to kidnaping. However, the right to child support belongs to the children. In this case, the court found that the father had a financial obligation to his children, and would have had that obligation no matter where the children were residing. You can read more about the decision here.

1 comment:

Tzepah Zarmi said...

what is the original case that they ruled he can have full custody, can you e-mail me a link please?