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Could DH just claim he is not the father?

(10 Posts)
irrationalfears Sun 28-Oct-12 14:41:00

Name changed for obvious reasons. DH and I had a stupid argument a week ago that I will admit to being mostly my fault. (I am 38 weeks pg, tired, only just managed to get on maternity leave from demanding job, not sleeping and very very grumpy). Argument escalated to where I claimed I would be better off being single which was very awful of me, mean and not true. Anyway we realised we were both being silly, I apologised and made up and everything fine.

Since then I have been (irrationally) brooding on something and wondered if anyone knows the legal answer. DH and I have one DC 2.5 and hopefully about to have 2nd DC. After years and years of fertility treatment as unexplained, a new clinic felt that DH had the infertility problem. We decided to use donor sperm and both DC were conceived using donor sperm IVF through a fertility clinic first time of trying. Obviously, DH was present throughout treatment and signed consent forms etc and is on birth certificate.

Having read on here about CSA paternity tests etc, if we were to split up, could DH deny any parental or financial responsibility for the DC? Or does his agreement to fertility treatment mean that he is legally the father and the biological element wouldn't matter?

I have no desire to split up (and pretty sure he doesnt). He is a brilliant father and is so excited about new DC and has never given any indication of being anything but completely devoted to DC1. I expect its pregnancy hormone paranoia, but I cant get wondering about this out of my mind. Can anyone reassure me at all?

NotaDisneyMum Sun 28-Oct-12 14:56:09

As far as I know, babies born into a marriage are the financial responsibility of the husband, regardless of DNA - a friend of mine ended up paying via the CSA for a child that his wife conceived during an affair, that definitely wasn't his !

I'm sure someone will be able to give you the legal details, though.

ChocHobNob Sun 28-Oct-12 15:49:29

That's not true NADM.

If a man is on the birth certificate then the CSA can assume paternity. But a man can get a DNA test done privately and if they are not the father, then they do not have to pay child maintenance and will have all moneys paid through the CSA refunded.

With an official donor clinic, did your husband sign any forms as well regarding the treatment? I am pretty sure because you both agreed to the treatment and are together at the time, that he is legally the father and need to pay child support if you split. But I'm not 100% on the legalities surrounding babies conceived using a donor. I hope someone comes along with the knowledge.

irrationalfears Sun 28-Oct-12 16:24:37

Hi, yes we were married six years before treatment. The particular clinic we went to only treat couples and required both signatures on all treatment consent forms both times. DH was present at all consultant appointments and during the treatment itself.

STIDW Sun 28-Oct-12 16:46:24

The CSA can presume parentage and make a child maintenance assessment if the person named as the parent was married to the child’s mother at any time between the conception and birth of the child, is named on the child’s birth certificate, has legally adopted the child or is named in a court order as the parent when the child was born to a surrogate mother.

When the CSA has no jurisdiction the courts can make an order for child maintenance for children who lived with a divorcing couple as family.

Xenia Sun 28-Oct-12 16:49:10

I believe children born in marriage by donor sperm are the responsibility of the father just as if they were adopted even though there is no genetic link. I suspect if someone had donor insemination without her husband's consent it would be different but not otherwise.

Assuming when you say husband you definitely are married.

Xenia Sun 28-Oct-12 16:50:25

Also David Blunkett whn in power introduced a new law which says if you are a father and you have an affair with a married women who conceives you can force a DNA test. He then benefited from that law as his married lover had his children, whom he now gets to see. It was not her husband's child (but was until proven otherwise).

meditrina Sun 28-Oct-12 16:54:17

He cannot claim he is not the father because it can be shown (from consent forms etc) that he knew that donor sperm was being used. He accepted legal paternity and his name appears on the BC.

If he had not known that the child was conceived by donor, then he might be able to disavow a child he believed he was father of by usual means. But that clearly does not apply here.

irrationalfears Sun 28-Oct-12 19:37:45

Thanks, thats quite reassuring. dont know why I am obsessing on this.

Xenia Mon 29-Oct-12 09:20:09

(re Blunkett I cannot remember if it were just the first child which is his or her second so I should perhaps have said child not children. I think it was only one).

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