IVF dad: I strug­gle to love the daugh­ter I didn’t want

He re­veals guilt af­ter de­feat in court

Sunday Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - News - BY NI­COLA SMALL scoops@sun­daymir­ror.co.uk.

THE fa­ther of a child born af­ter his ex forged his sig­na­ture to have IVF treat­ment says he finds it hard to love his daugh­ter – and there are times it’s dif­fi­cult to even hug her.

The busi­ness­man – in his 50s and now mar­ried – ad­mit­ted con­flict­ing emo­tions to­wards the girl, now six.

He said: “On one hand it’s a beau­ti­ful child – in­tel­li­gent, lovely, happy. But at the same time the child has rep­re­sented so much pain and suf­fer­ing for us.

“There are times I find it im­pos­si­ble to reach out and hug her. I have this in­ner block. But at the same time I’m filled with this pro­found sense of guilt and it is ex­tremely chal­leng­ing to try to rec­on­cile those ex­tremely dif­fi­cult feel­ings.

“But then there’s this beau­ti­ful girl who’s not re­spon­si­ble for her be­ing and she needs the best op­por­tu­nity in life.

“I feel not only a duty as a fa­ther but a moral duty to do as much for her as I do for the other chil­dren in the fam­ily. It’s a very dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion for my wife and I.”

He spoke af­ter a High Court judge re­jected his bid for dam­ages against the Har­ley Street clinic which failed to check if he had signed the form per­mit­ting his frozen em­bryos to be used.

Mr Jus­tice Jay ruled that al­though IVF Ham­mer­smith failed in its obli­ga­tion to en­sure con­sent from both par­ties, pub­lic pol­icy is that no par­ent can be com­pen­sated for the birth of a healthy child.

In a mov­ing in­ter­view, the man re­vealed how his ex-part­ner – a teacher in her 40s – told him she was preg­nant by text mes­sage a year af­ter they split.

He said: “It was a bolt from outer space. I mean how do you re­spond to that?” He was fu­ri­ous with the clinic, telling Ra­dio 4’s To­day that al­though “in con­trol of prob­a­bly, well cer­tainly, the most sa­cred, im­por­tant med­i­cal pro­ce­dure known to mankind – the cre­ation of hu­man life – they were care­less.

“There was no check by way of a phone call or get­ting in touch with me via Skype or by email.”

Jude Flem­ing of IVF Ham­mer­smith, which de­nied li­a­bil­ity, said it acted with “rea­son­able care” and added: “We have re­in­forced our pro­ce­dures to go above and be­yond the in­dus­try stan­dard and en­sure such a case couldn’t oc­cur again.”

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