PHILADELPHIA CREAM – Tv personality and actress Sherri Shepherd has been found legally responsible for a child born to a surrogate mother she and her ex-husband hired before their divorce, a Pennsylvania appeals court ruled this week in confirming the surrogacy contract.
Shepherd had fought to have the contract canceled. The ruling means she must continue to pay $ 4,100 a month in child support, according to an attorney for ex-husband Lamar Sally, who is raising the 1-year-old boy in Los Angeles.
âShe doesn’t want to be a part of her life. It’s all right,â Sally told The Associated Press Tuesday. “I’m going to be parent enough for both of us.”
Shepherd has played roles in several sitcoms and films and co-hosted “The View” on ABC from 2007 to 2014. His lawyer did not immediately return a message on Tuesday.
She had paid over $ 100,000 and Sally $ 5,000 more to have a surrogate mother in suburban Philadelphia carry the child conceived through a procedure using her sperm and a donor egg.
The couple, who were then living in New Jersey, went to the surrogate’s medical appointments until Shepherd changed her mind in the second trimester, as her marriage faltered, according to the court ruling.
The original birth certificate listed the surrogate as the mother, prompting California officials to seek her help when Sally moved there, according to her lawyer Tiffany Palmer. Sally is a writer and a substitute teacher.
The owner of the surrogacy agency they used praised the decision, which makes Shepherd the legal mother listed on the birth certificate.
âSurrogate mothers don’t want to feel that someone might want a baby and then back off. The surrogate is not the mother,â said Melissa B. Brisman, owner of Reproductive Possibilities LLC in Montvale, NJ.
Pennsylvania courts have never ruled on the validity of surrogacy contracts, which some states have refused to confirm, Palmer said.
âIt’s a huge relief for a lot of people,â she said.
Monday’s ruling upheld an earlier ruling from Montgomery County, where the boy was born in August 2014.
“(Shepherd) does not dispute that she freely entered into the surrogacy contract,” the Superior Court ruling said. “Baby S. would not have been born without (his) actions and his express consent to be the legal mother of the child.”