A father whose ex-partner had an embryo implanted without his consent has lost a claim for damages in the High Court.
The couple had created a number of fertilised embryos following an earlier successful round of IVF treatment, which had led to the birth of a son. They stored these at a fertility clinic in London, under an annually renewable agreement. But then, in 2010, the relationship broke down and they went their separate ways. Later the man, referred to as ‘ARB’, received a text message from his ex informing him that she was pregnant.
She had reportedly forged his signature on a form requesting the implantation of one of the embryos. As the father his consent had been required. A daughter was subsequently born, to the father’s dismay.
He promptly sued the clinic for damages, arguing that they should pay for her upbringing, including school fees, holidays and even her wedding, the BBC reports.
But the High Court has now ruled that the clinic was not negligent under law. Nevertheless, noted Mr Justice Jay:
“Although he has lost this case, my judgment must be seen as a complete personal and moral vindication for ARB. The same, of course, cannot be said for [the mother].”
The clinic, naturally, welcomed the ruling, and insisted it had since changed its procedures so similar deceptions could not result in the birth of a child.
ARB, meanwhile, plans to take his case to the Supreme Court, explaining:
“This claim has never been about money; it is about justice.”
Photo by Raymond Bryson via Flickr