So, a man sued his ex-girlfriend for fraud and emotional distress after she secured a court order demanding he pay child support for their two year-old daughter. The reason? This woman saved his semen after performing oral sex and secretly impregnated herself.
Although this case is six years old and garnered some media attention at the time, the defendant is still attempting to have the earlier ruling reversed.
But before we get to the legal issues presented in this case, namely how a man can be ordered to support a child when his sperm was used without his knowledge, the soap opera-esque facts surrounding this situation deserve to be explained in greater detail. Trust us.
It all began when Dr. Sharon Irons (an internist) and Dr. Richard Phillips (a family practitioner) began dating. Dr. Irons led Dr. Phillips to believe she was divorced and within a few months, they became engaged. According to Dr. Phillips, the two discussed the possibility of having children and he made clear his intentions: that he did not want children until after they were married and any pre-marital sex would require the use of condoms. Throughout the course of their relationship, they engaged in only three instances of oral sex: they never went “all the way.”
On one of these intimate occasions, Dr. Irons did something rather remarkable: After fellating Dr. Phillips, she held his semen in her mouth (where it was suitable to sustain viability) and then inseminated herself with it. She did not inform Dr. Phillips of her actions.
Dr. Irons also never informed her boyfriend that she was, in fact, still married. Five months into their relationship, she confessed to Dr. Phillips that she was not divorced and he decided to end their relationship.
Fast-forward to November, when, surprise! Dr. Irons slapped her ex-boyfriend with court papers to establish paternity and child support for “their” daughter.
In his lawsuit, Dr. Phillips alleged the unauthorized use of his semen constituted actionable claims of fraudulent misconception, conversion and intentional infliction of emotional distress. A lower court dismissed his lawsuit, but he appealed.
Dr. Phillips argued that his ex, Dr. Irons, took his property, his sperm, without his permission to conceive a child. She countered by asserting the sperm was a gift.
The court agreed with Dr. Irons, and determined that Dr. Phillips did not intend to have the semen returned, therefore making it a gift.
Dr. Phillips appealed again. The court explained that the “primary purpose” of paternity laws is to ensure that adequate provision will be made for the child’s needs and does not allow for the “consideration of the ‘fault’ or wrongful conduct of one of the parents in causing the child’s conception.”
Dr. Phillips’ case is still in court.