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A couple who lost custody of their baby daughter to her surrogate mother have been ordered to hand over more than £500 a month maintenance for the child.
Today they spoke of their disgust that they would be forced to pay for someone else to raise the child they will never see. The father, a leading chef, said the decision by the Child Support Agency ‘added insult to injury’ and that he would appeal against it.
He and his wife, who had suffered six late-stage miscarriages including four sets of twins, used a surrogacy website to find a single mother of two on benefits who was willing to carry the baby they longed for. They made an informal agreement to pay her £10,000 in expenses.
But halfway through the pregnancy she decided she wanted to keep the baby and a judge ordered that the woman, who was also the biological mother, could keep the child despite her earlier promise.
The couple, referred to as Mr and Mrs W to protect the child’s identity, later relinquished their contact rights because they said it would be too difficult emotionally and that it was unfair for the baby to be split between two homes.
They allowed the surrogate, known as Miss N, to keep the £4,500 they had already given to her. But now Mr W must also pay £568 in child support every month as the biological father of the eight-month-old girl. ‘She cannot say, “I am keeping your child and now you must pay for it”,’ he said.
‘She has taken away our baby and now she is taking our money. To me, that is completely wrong. The CSA has made the decision as if we were a couple who had broken up, but our situation is unique.
‘We were not having a baby together, we had agreed for her to carry a child for myself and my wife. ‘I have written to Downing Street and my MP to call for a change in the law.’
Mr W said he now suspected it may have been Miss N’s plan all along to have a child with a wealthy man from whom she could claim child support over the next 18 years.
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