An anguished mum has just got the court's verdict on her IVF mix-up in Singapore. Do you agree with it? Read on...
A mum's fight to get all expenses covered, for raising her child born out of an IVF mix-up in Singapore, has ended. Singapore's highest court has just delivered its verdict.
Case of IVF mix-up in Singapore
According to the Today, a few years back, this Singaporean Chinese mum had opted for an in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment at Thomson Fertility Centre, to conceive her second child. Her first born was also conceived through IVF treatment.
She gave birth to a daughter later that year, but she and her German Caucasian husband noticed that the baby's skin and hair colour were markedly different from the rest of the family.
Suspecting foul play, a preliminary blood test was conducted, which revealed that the baby's blood type was not possible from the fusion of the two parent blood types. Intensive investigations further revealed that the mummy's egg had been fertilised by the wrong sperm, which actually belonged to an unknown Indian donor!
Mum sues fertility clinic
This furious and very anguished mum then sued Thomson Fertility Clinic, the parent company Thomson Medical, as well as 2 embryologists.
She not only claimed for damages, but also sought 'upkeep' costs, meaning all expenses she would incur in raising the baby, from basic necessities all the way up to post-secondary education.
The Singapore High Court ruled against awarding 'upkeep' costs, arguing that it was a violation of what the parent-child relationship stood for. The mum appealed against this decision. She has just been given a verdict by the Court of Appeal.
The final verdict
According to The Straits Times, on Wednesday, March 22, the Court of Appeal ruled that the mum cannot claim full compensation for raising her daughter. She however, can claim up to 30 % of the financial costs of raising her child, the precise amount would be set by the High Court.
In arriving at this decision, the Court agreed that the mum had suffered a loss of "genetic affinity", as the child did not have her husband's genetic makeup, "This loss of 'affinity' can also result in social stigma and embarrassment arising out of the misperceptions of others, as was the case here."
“The court recognises that the appellant’s desire to have a child of her own, with her husband, is a desire that is a basic human impulse, and its loss is keenly and deeply felt.”
"The ordinary human experience is that parents and children are bound by ties of blood and this fact of biological experience - heredity - carries deep socio-cultural significance..."
"And when, as in the present case, a person has been denied this experience due to the negligence of others then she has lost something of profound significance and has suffered a serious wrong."
However, parenthood carries with it certain legal and moral obligations, and the court elaborated that, "Given that the Appellant and her husband have accepted Baby P as their own (and assumed the status of parents), they must be taken to have accepted the responsibility of maintaining Baby P (financially and in all other respects)."
"The duty to maintain one’s child is a duty which lies at the very heart of parenthood, and thus the expenses which are incurred... are not capable of characterisation as a loss."
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