Man Is Responsible for Child Conceived After He Left Wife

Judge rules in case of post-separation in vitro fertilization
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 15, 2017 6:34 PM CST
Man Is Responsible for Child Conceived After He Left Wife
   (Getty Images/DNY5)

A Japanese court is holding a man legally responsible for his biological child—despite her being born long after he was in any way involved with her conception. The Japan Times reports the Nara Family Court on Friday dismissed a lawsuit from a 46-year-old foreigner seeking to avoid legal responsibility for his now 2-year-old daughter. The man and his then-wife married in 2004, had a son through in vitro fertilization in 2011, and separated in 2013. But in 2014, the woman used a frozen embryo to impregnate herself. She gave birth to a daughter in 2015. The staff of the clinic handling the woman's in vitro fertilization believed the man had consented because he had never asked them to destroy the frozen embryo, according to the BBC.

The court dismissed the man's lawsuit because the girl was born while he and his wife were still technically married—they didn't divorce until 2016. The judge also based her ruling on the fact that the man was spending time with his estranged wife and son post-separation, Japan Today reports. His lawyer argues he was only doing that to preserve his relationship with his son. The man plans on appealing the ruling and says new laws are needed to prevent this kind of thing from happening in the future. In a separate lawsuit, he's seeking $178,000 from his ex-wife and the clinic for mental suffering. (An NYPD officer became a father more than two years after his death.)

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