Sherri Shepherd recently announced she no longer wants ties to an unborn surrogate baby. The baby’s expected delivery date is estimated within the next few weeks.
Why the change of heart?
It all comes down to her recent marriage breakup with her soon-to-be ex-husband, Lamar Sally.
According to Mail Online, Judy Moult reported from her own sources, “The 47 year-old has no genetic connection to the infant who was conceived through IVF with an egg donor and her estranged husband’s sperm.” Moult went on saying, “Sources told the website on Saturday that she believes her TV writer ex defrauded her into having a child so he could get child support – knowing full well he was planning to file for divorce.”
The news article indicated that following a failed IVF attempt with Shepherd’s own eggs, the couple ultimately decided to choose an egg donor and a surrogate to carry their baby.
This mindful process takes time and dedication.
From her own sources, Moult wrote, “….the former, The View host, does not want to be considered a parent because she does not want to take financially responsibility…. she allegedly wants a judge to rule she has no parental rights for the baby due at the end of the month.”
Shepherd may not be granted this legal plea. There are cases and statutes that dictate something Shepherd does not want to hear: that she is the parent.
More on that later.
During a recent court hearing, the judge allowed Shepherd to speak of the divorce publicly, but was not permitted to divulge the name or location of the surrogate.
Interestingly, on May 2, it’s reported that when Shepherd filed for divorce she requested full custody of the unborn surrogate baby.
Now, she’s changed her mind.
According to Andrea Johnson of Minot Daily News, she said the unborn child’s right to the financial and emotional support of two parents trumps Shepherd’s right to back out of this arrangement and avoid future contact with her ex-husband.
“If she [Shepherd] intended to become the child’s mother when she arranged for its conception, she should be required to act as his or her mother when the child is actually born,” Johnson writes. She continued, “Presumably both the egg donor and the surrogate/gestational mother have no desire to be this baby’s mother and have signed away any parental rights they might have.”
I hate to break to to Sherri, but she’s a mom unless she can prove otherwise.
Across state lines, the laws vary regarding egg donation and surrogacy. And while Sally filed for divorce in California and Shepherd filed in New Jersey, what matters is the laws of the state where they signed their surrogacy and egg donation agreements.
As for this case, California has a very clear statutes and case law regarding surrogacy and the “intent to parent” controls. Genetics do not matter. So it does not matter that Shepherd said she used a donor. That argument won’t work. As mentioned earlier, we have cases and statutes that protect the parties and if she signed a contract saying she is the intended mother, she’s the mom when that baby is born.
While Shepherd is allegedly claiming fraud, this will be tough to prove, unless she can substantiate that she didn’t sign the contract and, that would mean she wasn’t involved in the egg donor and surrogacy contracts. It’s hard to believe she didn’t know what was going on, but stranger things have happened.
If her husband forced her to sign the contracts this would not be fraud, but rather, duress. And from the media reports, she’s not claiming that.
The consensus regarding Shepherd’s refusal to care for this unborn baby is rather unanimous. While the majority understand how she may not want to associate with her estranged husband, what’s hard to understand is her willingness to cut ties with this baby.
Heated controversy and emotion is often entangled in divorce. Let’s hope this gets resolved soon for the baby’s sake if no one else’s.