A father has lost his High Court action against a London IVF clinic yesterday over the conception of his daughter by his ex-partner after their split.
The man, who can only be identified as ARB, had sued IVF Hammersmith Ltd.
He said that his ex, R, had tricked doctors into impregnating her with a frozen egg fertilised by his sperm in October 2010, and claimed damages for the cost of the upkeep of the child, born the following summer.
Yesterday, Mr Justice Jay said ARB had succeeded on all issues “save the issue of legal policy”.
“It follows that there must be judgment for the clinic on the claim,” he said. The judge added: “Although he has lost this case, my judgment must be seen as a complete personal and moral vindication for ARB. The same, of course, cannot be said for R.”
He granted ARB permission to appeal.
ARB broke up with R, with whom he already had a son by IVF, in May 2010. Embryos had been frozen with the parties’ consent and they signed agreements for these to remain in storage.
In October 2010, R handed the clinic a consent to thaw form, signed by her and purportedly signed by ARB and an embryo was thawed and successfully implanted.
The judge said that ARB’s case, denied by R, was that the form was not signed by him and must have been forged by R. ARB said that there were no circumstances in which he would have signed the form and it followed that the daughter, E, was an “unwanted child” and that the clinic must bear the financial consequences.
The judge said: “In October 2010, R well knew that, which explains why she resorted to desperate, dishonest measures.”
The judge said that E lived most of the time with R, with ARB discharging his parental duties in a separate household. Describing it as an “extraordinary case”, he said that E was born in “extremely fraught, possibly unique, circumstances”.
Jude Fleming, of IVF Hammersmith, which denied liability, said: “We are pleased the court has found in our favour, and dismissed the claim.”
ARB said: “We welcome this judgment, which has found in our favour in respect of all issues relating to our primary case. This claim has never been about money; it is about justice.”