Sunday, June 07, 2009

You be the judge and jury - how did we do?

Good Day Readers:
We're registered with a new site ( which provides several no charge legal services including discussion forums for lawyers and non-lawyers. As part of that we received the following case study from so decided to take the challenge. Please keep in mind we have no formal legal training whatsoever. Here we go.

In Vitro Fertilization Fraud?

A friend in British Columbia just learned that his ex-wife is now three months pregnant thanks to in vitro fertilization. A few years ago they put his sample aside because she was having medical issues. When she got better he signed the papers to have his sample distroyed but she has now revealed that she did not submit those papers to the clinic. The clinic reports that they have his signature giving consent for the procedure that took place a few months ago. He claims that he did not sign for this. Meanwhile, the ex justifies her actions by saying that she thought they were going to reconcile after their divorce (which was finalized last year). To make matters more complicated, his ex-mother-in-law paid for the procedure. Whether or not she knew that this was going to happen without his consent has yet to be determined.

Abortion is not an option. But my friend feels betrayed by the clinic, his ex, and anyone else who contributed to the recent news which is changing the course of his life.

Does my friend have any grounds for legal action?
The Questions To Be Asked?
1. In the absence of more information we're assuming this is an actual scenario.
2. At the time, did the now ex husband exercise due diligence to ensure his wife submitted the documents to destroy his sample by confirming it with both her and the clinic? If not why not?
3. Can the clinic produce a signed copy of the the husband's consent for the procedure it claims to have? If not his argument has standing.
4. Can the wife's actions not to have the sample destroyed as requested by her husband be justified? Probably not.
5. What did the mother-in-law know and when did she know it? Prior to agreeing to pay for the procedure, did she confirm with both Parties they were in agreement or did she assume such?
If the now former wife and husband cannot aggree on a mutually satisfactory resolution, it seems to us the latter should take the matter to court otherwise he could be held responsible for 18 years worth of child support payments.
How did we do?
Clare L. Pieuk


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