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Divorcing Sherri Shepherd wants out of surrogate contract

With the advances in reproductive sciences in Ballantyne, North Carolina, child custody and support can become much more complicated. No longer is it such a clear cut case about who is responsible for the child, especially when there are sperm donors, egg donors and surrogates involved.

This is the case for 47-year-old Sherri Shepherd and Lamar Sally. Sally cited irreconcilable differences when he filed for legal separation from Shepherd in May. In the court documents, Sally is asking for custody of the couple’s unborn child which is due later this month. They both have since filed for divorce.

The child was conceived through a surrogate mother with Sally’s sperm. Shepherd’s egg was apparently not used after a failed attempt at in-vitro fertilization. Both Shepherd and Sally signed a contract with the surrogate mother.

Shepherd is currently trying to get out of the contract by saying that Sally defrauded her and was only trying to get child support payments from her. Because the two filed for divorce in separate states with different laws regarding surrogate mothers, it is yet to be seen what will happen. Sally filed in California, a state that typically honors surrogacy agreements, but Shepherd filed in New Jersey where they are usually not recognized.

This is definitely an unusual case, but may not be all that uncommon. If you are facing divorce and are worried about issues related to child custody or support, you may wish to consult with an attorney who has experience handling family law cases.

Source: The Blaze, “His Sperm, Her Child –But Not Her Egg. ‘The View’ Host Could Face Bizarre Child Custody Battle Over Unborn Baby,” Zach Noble, July 6, 2014

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