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Ex-husband must pay child support after forged IVF signature
A German man has been told that he must pay child support for his son, who was born after his ex-wife forged his signature to become pregnant using their frozen embryos. The former couple, known only as Karl and Inge for privacy reasons, created frozen embryos by IVF during their relationship. After their separation, Inge used the embryos to become pregnant without Karl's knowledge, forging Karl's signature twice on the clinic's consent forms.
221. Are there implications where a partners signature is forged prior to treatment? [Forum/Discussion]
from: Administrator (office@fertaid.com), Australia on 9/05/2018 6:39:43 AM Profession:
Comment: A German man whose partner forged his signature prior to FET has been held liable to child support of a baby conceived after a unapproved FET transfer.
Submission Many clinics may have experienced a situation where the husband is not available for pre-treatment consultations and his signature appears on a consent form presented by his partner. In this German case, the couple separated and he withdrew his consent by telephone. The court ruled this was inadequate consent withdrawal. The clinic proceeded with a FET cycle based upon a consent form with his signature and a child was a result of that transfer. [At this point, the only information IVFDaily has available is from the Bionews article so it is unclear whether the clinic did not record his telephone withdrawal of consent or did not check their file].Regardless, he is the biological father of the child and the court deemed the clinic was not a fault since there appeared no reason to doubt the validity of his (forged) signature.
The issue is about consent and liability. IVFDaily suspects that the courts decision could easily go in either direction and in this case the clinic may have escaped sanction. It would seem prudent that each clinic recognises this situation and similar ones where a consent is provided without the client`s actual presence is a risk and should both seek legal advice and ensure processes and protocols are in place to match the advice. This case illustrates the action should cover both the documentation of withdrawal of consent and any procedure involving the movement of embryos.
Consider other situations such as where the female client brings her partners sperm sample for insemination or where embryos are to moved to another clinic (in the same or different country). One may argue that any withdrawal of consent must be in writing or physically delivered and the instruction placed in the file and on their computer record and the partner informed of the withdrawal of consent and the clinics position. Secondly, where the partner is not physically available, then confirmation prior to thawing and transfer be obtained and documented. Maybe such activity needs to be clearly documented in any initial consent. Many clinics may have had to compare signatures of a client between cycles and found it be very difficult. One could even say impossible. The cost of being burdened with child care and from loss of reputation should spur all clinics to at least do a risk assessment on the issue of withdrawal of consents.
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