When Husband and Wife Divorce Before Surrogacy Contract Ink Dries, Who Is the Legal Mother?

TV talk show host Wife and Husband decide to have a Baby using the services of a Surrogate with Husband’s sperm and a donor’s egg.

Husband, Wife and Surrogate enter 23 page contract under which Husband and Wife agree to pay Surrogate $25,000.

During Surrogate’s pregnancy, Husband and Wife become estranged, separate and ultimately divorce.

Surrogate is listed as mother on Baby’s birth certificate and as noncustodial parent in state records. Wife has had nothing to do with Surrogate or Baby since her estrangement from Husband.

Husband has custody of Baby and applied for low cost state subsidized health care coverage for Baby, who has a blood disorder.

After which California instituted a child support case against Surrogate.

Husband is suing Wife, apparently outside of the divorce proceedings, in an effort to have Wife bear responsibility for Baby’s support.


  1. this New York Daily News article: Sherri Shepherd’s surrogate speaks out for the first time: ‘How can she act like this baby is nonexistent’
  2. this Fox New York TV news article: Surrogate says Sherri Shepherd refuses child
  3. this interview: Sherri Shepherd’s Surrogate Says She’s Being Forced to Pay Child Support