Advancements in reproductive technology have resulted in miracle babies for many families. However, they have also created issues within family law that have never been addressed in the past.
For example, a former co-host of the television show “The View,” Sherri Shepherd, is currently going through a bitter divorce from her husband of nearly three years, Lamar Sally.
But what’s really complicating matters is that the former couple commissioned a surrogate to carry a child for them, and that child was delivered this week amidst the messy divorce proceedings.
According to reports, the child is biologically related to Sally but not Shepherd. Sally reportedly asked for full legal and physical custody of the child in his divorce proceedings along with child support and alimony from 47-year-old Shepherd.
Other reports have indicated that Shepherd is accusing Sally of defrauding her when they signed the surrogate documents. She reportedly claims that Sally was merely trying to obtain child support from her by arranging for a surrogate to carry their child.
However, back in April, Shepherd told a magazine that the fertility process to conceive the child had been a “difficult journey” but she was “ready” for parenthood. She added that her son from a previous relationship would “love being a big brother.”
In his divorce filings, 43-year-old Sally asked for the couple’s prenuptial agreement to be thrown out because of fraud.
The court presiding over the divorce will need to sift through both parties’ fraud allegations and determine who should have custody of the baby as well as who should be financially responsible for the baby’s upbringing.
This is definitely an interesting case that brings up issues that are mostly unchartered within family law.
Source: Parade, “Sherri Shepherd’s Surrogate Gives Birth to Baby Boy Amidst Custody Battle,” Jessica Wozinsky, August 6, 2014