After months of tabloid headlining and heated exchanges of he-said, she-said, “The View” co-host Sherri Shepherd has been declared the mother of a surrogate child she agreed to have over a year ago. As reported by Time, a Pennsylvania judge made the declaration this week, despite Shepherd’s lack of attendance at the hearing, thus setting up what will undoubtedly become a hotly contested alimony and support battle. For now, however, the primary question of custody has been established and the birth certificate of the 8-month-old baby now lists Ms. Shepherd as his mother.
But how did it get to this point to begin with? After all – if she is in fact the child’s mother – shouldn’t it simply be a question of DNA? In this instance, no. In 2011, Sherri and her husband Lamar Sally decided to use a surrogate mother to conceive a child after it was determined that Ms. Shepherd’s eggs were not viable. Shortly thereafter they found a donor mother and along with Mr. Sally’s sperm conceived a baby. Six month’s into the pregnancy, Shepherd said she wanted a divorce from Lamar and that the child was not hers. This left the donor mother having to foot the bills for the entire pregnancy and potentially raising a child that was not hers to begin with. But Pennsylvania courts decided otherwise and despite the lack of direct genetic parentage, named Ms. Shepherd as the mother.
Ultimately, Shepherd paid the donor mother a sum of roughly $30,000 for the pregnancy expenses and additional costs. While she offered her now ex-husband $150,000 for child support, he declined, stating she is “the co-parent.” “Sherri is the one who initiated the surrogacy and we agreed to do this together, she wanted this child more than anything,” said Sally. How this plays out with child support remains to be seen, but it will undoubtedly result in both parties paying a significant sum.
If you have questions concerning custody or child support in Fresno, don’t wait until the fight boils over into other parts of your life. Contact a qualified family law attorney immediately. Call the Law Office of Rick D. Banks at (559) 222-4891 today and get the legal guidance you need in a free case consultation.