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Father's appeal denied over forged IVF consent

7 January 2019
Appeared in BioNews 981

A man whose ex-partner forged his signature on consent papers to become pregnant using their frozen embryos after they had separated has lost his appeal for damages. 

The man, named as ARB in court documents, had sued IVF Hammersmith for allowing his former partner to use their frozen embryos without his consent. The embryo transfer resulted in a daughter (referred to as E), born in 2011. The couple already had a son together, born during their relationship.

The man previously lost his case at the High Court where, although the judge agreed the signature was forged, and that the clinic was in breach of its strict contractual obligations not to proceed without valid consent, he could not recover damages as a matter of legal policy, following case precedent refusing damages for the costs of raising a healthy child.

Delivering that judgment, Mr Justice Jay said: 'Although he has lost this case, my judgment must be seen as a complete personal and moral vindication for ARB.'

The appeal was heard by Lady Justice Davies, Lady Justice King and Lord Justice Richards, who delivered their verdict on 17 December. Dismissing the appeal, the judges upheld the policy argument that 'it is morally unacceptable to regard a child as a financial liability.'

Lady Justice Davies said: 'Whatever the circumstances of E's birth, her father has accepted his share of responsibility for her upbringing; he wishes to treat her in the same way as his other children.'

ARB has since told The Times that he is considering appealing to the Supreme Court.

SOURCES & REFERENCES
Father loses damages claim over forged IVF signature
The Guardian |  17 January 2019
Father tells of guilt after suing over IVF girl he never wanted
The Times |  7 January 2019
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