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When a woman goes to the trouble and expense of arranging a surrogate to carry a baby for her, she usually wants a kid pretty bad. Often, this follows many other less extreme efforts to have a child, and many in this situation fear that the surrogate will change her mind and decide that the baby she carried for nine months is hers. But the case of Sherry Shepherd shows that you just never know how things will go.
The actress and former hostess of "The View," Sherri Shepherd, lost her quest to appeal a Pennsylvania court ruling that she is responsible for the child she commissioned. According to The Daily Mail, Shepherd will continue to have to pay $4,100 a month in child support to her now ex-husband, as Pennsylvania's Court of Appeals refused to hear the claim.
What Went Wrong
Sherri Shepherd and her ex-husband Lamar Sally filed for divorce when the surrogate carrying their child was seven months pregnant. Shepherd reportedly tried to disavow the child and kill the deal at that point. But she failed before and now has again.
Now, although she is divorced from the child's father and has no biological link to the kid, she must continue to pay child support for little Lamar Jr., a baby she has reportedly never seen. The child is now about a year old and Shepherd has been ordered to support and insure the kid until he is 18.
Shepherd's case is especially controversial because surrogacy is a touchy issue and lawsuits like this one certainly do not make it seem promising for parents trying to have a child through a surrogate. According to Lamar Sally's lawyer, Sherri Shepherd doesn't care as long as she doesn't need to share responsibility for the child.
Tiffany Palmer, Sally's lawyer, told reporters, "[A]mazingly, Sherri brought this case to Pennsylvania, instead of New Jersey where she lives, because there are no laws on the books for or against surrogacy here, so Sherri is trying to get it outlawed in this state just to avoid paying child support. This case is setting a standard for everyone and Sherri doesn't care if she destroys the chances of thousands and thousands of people here to be able to get a surrogate as long as she doesn't have to pay a dime to Lamar for that baby."
Whether or not that assessment is correct, one thing is undeniable. This case has confirmed the worst fears of many would-be parents and surrogates.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.