On behalf of North Tampa Legal Group posted in child support on Wednesday, March 9, 2016.
Floridians who have been following the case of Sherri Shepherd, the former co-host of “The View” who refused to acknowledge her child born through surrogacy. In the case, Ms. Shepherd had signed a surrogacy contract with her then-husband to use his sperm and a donor egg for a baby. During the surrogate’s pregnancy, the couple separated and engaged in a nasty battle, resulting in Ms. Shepherd trying to negate the contract and disavow the child.
After she was initially ordered to pay child support , she refused. She also refused to sign the baby’s birth certificate and appealed the trial court’s ruling against her. The appeals court upheld the lower court’s decision in November 2015. She then appealed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, but it refused to overturn the lower court’s order.
Thus far, Ms. Shepherd has refused to see her surrogate son, who is currently residing with her ex-husband. It is unclear whether or not she will now try to seek visitation rights. She has no further remedies available regarding the child support order, and she will be required to pay it until the boy is 13 years old.
Courts consider the best interests of the child when making decisions like these. A person who has a child, either biologically, through adoption or surrogacy, is legally responsible for contributing towards the child’s support. When a court issues a child support order, the parent is required to comply with its terms. The failure to do so can result in sanctions, including wage garnishment, and a parent who is having trouble enforcing the order may want to have the assistance of an attorney.