Appeals court rules man responsible for child support

A Nigerian immigrant was recently ordered to pay child support for twins who were conceived through in vitro fertilization. The father claims that the twins were conceived well after he and his spouse split up, and he should not be held financially responsible to pay child support for the two 9-year-old girls.

According to sources, the couple had married in 1991 and tried unsuccessfully for several years to get pregnant. Eventually, the two decided to get put on a waiting list for a donor egg to be matched with the husband’s sperm.

But, after being put on the list, the couple ended up separating in 2000. More than a year later the woman went through the process of in vitro fertilization with the donor egg. She gave birth to twins in May 2003.

However, the father claims that even though he gave his consent to use his sperm for the in vitro fertilization process, the agreement should actually be voided since he gave this consent under duress. His claim is that his ex-wife had basically forced him to agree by saying that she would interfere with his U.S. citizenship application if he did not agree to the process.

Regardless, the state’s highest appeals court ruled that the man must still pay child support for the two twin girls.

Of course this case is quite complicated and came down to issues regarding timelines and duress. However, the issues surrounding child support and who should be held responsible highlight the unique situation that men can find themselves in, and why it’s important to always be thinking ahead to any of the possible complications that could arise in separation and divorce.

Source: CNN, “Court: Husband must pay childcare for twins conceived after couple’s separation,” March 7, 2012

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