Actress Sherri Shepherd Loses Appeal; Must Pay Child Support

A Pennsylvania court ruled that actress Sherri Shepherd has to pay child support for her child born of a surrogacy prior to her divorce. This is the first court ruling in Pennsylvania making surrogacy agreements binding. Shepherd appealed that ruling since she tried to void the surrogacy agreement when she filed for divorce. The court has denied that appeal and has upheld the lower court’s ruling.

sherri_shepherdThis decision is an important one not just for Pennsylvania, but for all states, because it reiterates and confirms the importance of upholding the validity and legality of parentage via surrogacy. By treating the child support issue as they would have had the child not been born by way of assisted reproduction, the court is sending the message that a parent of a child born via surrogacy is that child’s parent in all respects.

The result here brings attention to the fact that not only should individuals consider having a child via surrogacy carefully, the attorneys and professionals helping them through the surrogacy journey should take the time to make sure the individuals are aware of this responsibility. It is one of the many conversations that should take place before anyone takes this journey.

This is a positive step for the acceptance of parentage via surrogacy in our society, legitimizing this right to procreate.