In 2014, former “The View” co-host Sherri Shepherd came under fire after reports surfaced showing she wanted “nothing to do” with her unborn child now that her marriage is ending. Shepherd and husband, Lamar Sally used IVF to conceive a child but is apparently uninterested in caring for the baby, who is being carried by a surrogate mother.
As LifeNews previously reported, Sally said in an interview that Shepherd has removed the newborn baby boy she had via surrogate from her health insurance. Shepherd tried to force the surrogate mother to pay child support.
But, today, a judge ruled that Shepherd is financially responsible for her child, according to People magazine:
Former The View co-host Sherri Shepherd lost her fight to have her name removed from the birth certificate of the son she had via surrogate, and she must continue paying child support for the 1-year-old boy being raised by her ex-husband, according to court documents obtained by PEOPLE.
Monday’s ruling by a Pennsylvania court of appeals was hailed by the owner of the agency who arranged the surrogacy as ” a victory for all families formed through assisted reproductive arrangements.”
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“This will allow parents and carriers to feel secure,” Melissa Brisman, owner of the New Jersey-based Reproductive Possibilities, tells PEOPLE. “A great decision for the surrogacy community.”
The ruling upholds a lower court’s April decision that Shepherd is the legal mother of the baby, named LJ, she had with ex-husband Lamar Sally. Shepherd and Sally used a donor egg for the pregnancy, which was carried by surrogate Jessica Bartholomew. Months into the pregnancy in May 2014, Shepherd and Sally split.
Shepherd’s attorney and manager did not return requests for comment on Monday’s ruling. But in August, the star told PEOPLE she went through with the surrogacy despite her marital problems because she feared Sally would break up with her.
“My situation was a sense of, I didn’t state what I needed and what I wanted and what I didn’t want for being scared of somebody leaving the relationship,” she said. “There are consequences to everything, but I was scared to say, ‘That’s not going to work for me. I don’t want that.’ “
In a previous report, the surrogate mother said, “I could not believe this is happening. When I decided to do this for them, I didn’t think ever that this could happen. I just don’t understand how she could do that and act like this baby is non-existent. It just blows my mind….I’m angry at Sherri because she never once contacted me to tell me what was happening. She would call and check up on me during the pregnancy in the beginning. At the 20 week appointment she seemed so excited.”
This ragic situation demonstrates one of the many problems with IVF. If an egg donor changes her mind about the baby, then legal questions can arise about who will raise the child and if they will be held financially responsible after the child is born. The second problem with IVF is that unused or unwanted embryos are often discarded or destroyed.
Unfortunately in 2011, a study in the journal of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine revealed that 19% of unused embryos are discarded and 3% are donated for scientific research.
Additionally, a technique called “selective reduction” is sometimes used after in vitro fertilization. This is because to increase success rates IVF practitioners often implant more than one embryo in the woman’s uterus in hopes that at least one will take. Then if more embryos than are desired implant, doctors “reduce” the pregnancy down to the desired number.