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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Sherri Shepherd Wants Nothing to do with Surrogate/Unborn Baby - But Legally, Can She Walk Away?

Sherri Shepherd Lamar Sally split

Sherri Shepherd is walking away from the surrogacy agreement and the unborn child that she planned to raise with her soon to be ex, Lamar Sally. 
Shepherd filed for divorce from her estranged husband Lamar Sally, who also filed for divorce from the 47-year-old.  TMZ reported Sally is preparing to file legal documents forcing Shepherd to meet her contractual obligations to the unborn baby. Sally is said to be the biological father of the unborn fetus. Shepherd is not the biological mother.
Now here's where this gets sticky.   The legal issue of whether Shepherd has an ethical obligation to support the baby (and Lamar Sally). Laws regulating surrogacy agreements vary from state to state.
Shepherd claims the surrogacy agreement is null and void because Sally defrauded her into signing the agreement while planning to divorce her and file for child support.
Sally filed for divorce in California while Shepherd filed in her home state of New Jersey which does not recognize surrogacy agreements.
From Fox News:
“Whoever served his or her case first will win on which state court will hear the matter. But I am inclined to believe that despite the fact that she did not carry the child and the egg is not hers, that in California she will still be on the hook for child support because she signed a contract and the court will find the payment of support is in the child’s best interest,” California-based divorce and family law attorney Jeffrey Hoffer said, adding that such a case is a rare. “You do not get to make babies by contract or otherwise and then get to walk away from your obligations.”
Hoffer also noted that the child could end up in the foster care system if social services were to get involved, but if the parents have the means to pay for support, they will be required to do so for a long time.
“This is a child, not a piece of property,” Hoffer continued. “And if Lamar wanted to use a baby to get support that would have been a stupid thing to do because the responsibility of raising a child vastly outweighs the amount of money he’ll receive in return.”
Leo Terrell of said a divorce court will rule that both husband and wife will have responsibility in taking care of the surrogate child, and given that Sherri is the biggest earner, she will most likely have to foot the child support bills.

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