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Custody battle in surrogate case

Massachusetts residents might have heard about a case in which a couple who hired a surrogate are now trying to get custody of the child she bore. The surrogate signed a contract and became pregnant with a child from her egg and the husband's sperm.

However, the couple says that the woman became less communicative as soon as she became pregnant. After three months, she stopped communicating with them completely. A lawyer advised the couple that they should continue to honor their portion of the contract to establish that they did not breach it.

When the child was born in 2009, the couple was not informed. The first judge they dealt with said that it was not possible to create a contract on a human life. The couple was granted shared custody with the surrogate mother, but they lost that in 2014 when the girl began attending kindergarten despite a recommendation from a court-ordered therapist that the child live with the couple. They continue to pay child support but have not seen the child since 2015.

While most child custody and support cases are not this complicated, there can be other situations in which having the assistance of a family law attorney might be advisable. For example, a father might need to establish paternity before he can petition for custody. A parent might need to go to court to enforce a child support order. A person might wish to gain visitation rights to a child that is not biologically theirs.

Source: People, "Heartbroken Parents Left Paying Child Support After Surrogate Keeps Their Baby Girl: 'I Spend Every Day Thinking of Her,' Says Mom," Caitlin Keating, March 7, 2016

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