Father whose ex forged his signature on an IVF form fails to win compensation from the clinic after Appeal Court judges rule it is ‘morally unacceptable’ to regard his beloved daughter as a financial liability
- Father sued fertility clinic IVF Hammersmith for the costs of child’s uprbringing
- His ex tricked doctors into impregnating her with an egg fertilised by his sperm
- Lady Justice Nicola Davies said the little girl was far from an ‘unwanted child’
A father whose ex partner forged his signature on an IVF form has failed to win compensation from a fertility clinic because his healthy daughter is a blessing to him.
The man’s former girlfriend simulated his signature to trick doctors into impregnating her with a frozen egg fertilised by his sperm.
The father is now devoted to his seven-year-old daughter, but sued fertility clinic, IVF Hammersmith, for the seven-figure costs of bringing her up.
Previously the father had expressed feelings of ‘profound guilt’ towards his child and lost a High Court claim for £1million to pay for the young girl’s upbringing.
A father whose ex girlfriend forged his signature on an IVF form and tricked doctors into impregnating her has failed to win compensation from fertility clinic IVF Hammersmith
Dashing his hopes today, Appeal Court judges ruled it ‘morally unacceptable to regard a child as a financial liability.’
Far from the little girl being an ‘unwanted child’, her father ‘wishes to treat her in the same way as his other children,’ said Lady Justice Nicola Davies.
The former couple, in their 40s but who cannot be identified for legal reasons, previously had a son together following treatment at the clinic.
But the court heard she later went back by herself after their ‘volatile and rancorous’ relationship ‘irretrievably broke down.’
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She forged her ex’s signature to secure the release of fertilised eggs which had been frozen after the earlier procedure in case they were needed later.
The mother gave birth to a daughter in 2011, who the father ‘understandably loves’.
He has since married another woman and blamed the clinic for implanting the embryo into his ex without his knowledge.
He sued the clinic for the costs of raising his healthy daughter, plus legal fees for a custody battle with her mother.
The seven-figure claim included the cost of the girl’s private education, plus funding for a nanny, ski holidays and other expenses.
The father, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had previously lost a High Court claim for £1million to pay for his daughter’s upbringing
The clinic had been duped by the mother’s forgery and had not been negligent, the court heard.
But, under its contract with the ex-couple, it owed a ‘strict’ duty not to thaw the eggs without the written consent of both of them.
The costs of bringing up the little girl were a ‘reasonably foreseeable’ consequence of the clinic’s breach of that duty, ruled the judge.
But she went on to pinpoint ‘public policy’ reasons why the father was not entitled to damages from the clinic.
It was, she said, ‘impossible to calculate’ his financial loss, ‘given the benefits and burdens of bringing up a healthy child.’
‘Added to this is the sense that it is morally unacceptable to regard a child as a financial liability,’ she added.
Lady Justice King and Lord Justice David Richards agreed that the father’s appeal against an earlier ruling should be dismissed.
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