December 8, 2021

Britain’s first IVF paternity case

Another dispatch from the Wild West of assisted reproductive technology.

Another dispatch from the Wild West of assisted reproductive technology. A British academic has been awarded £100,000 in damages and costs because his former wife tricked into believing that a son conceived with IVF was his, when the real father was her long-time lover. It is thought to be Britain’s first paternity suit involving IVF.

In 2004 the unnamed couple sought IVF in a Barcelona clinic. But instead of using her husband’s sperm, the wife used her lover’s. Over the next six years she continued with the charade, placing his name on the birth certificate, securing a generous maintenance payment after their divorce in 2010, and registering him as the father at the child’s school. Only in 2011 did she reveal the fraud. He said in the London Telegraph:

“It has deeply affected me and my family but importantly their own son – and my ex-son – which is absolutely appalling. This year-long litigation has been incredibly difficult and stressful and I have sometimes felt ‘I think I’m trapped in the wrong film’. “Not only did my ex-wife commit this deceit but she misled her own child too.”

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