Sandra F. Banks
At first glance I was appalled by Sherri Sheppard’s position regarding the child she and husband Lamar Sally conceived via surrogate. As you may know, the couple during happier times decided they wanted to have a child. They used a surrogate using her husband’s sperm and a donated egg, Sherri has no biological connection to the child. Now that they are divorcing she is claiming “not my baby” and if she is successful she will not be legally responsible for this child and will not be the mother even though her husband (estranged) will be the father. I was initially appalled by her position because it would leave this yet unborn child without a mother, a complete void where a mother would be in his or her life. I thought that during their happy times Sherri and Lamar decided, together to have a child, they took the time to decide how to conceive the child and they took time to plan and happily expected the child’s birth. Then their marriage falls apart. The situation went vicious in no time flat, from the media reports Sherri felt that Lamar did not work, could not work or refused to work and wanted her to support him and the new child upon its birth. I don’t know the truth of the matter but it would appear that they were headed to hostile custody fight over this unborn child. So Sherri, no doubt through her genius legal counsel, decided that she was not the mother and she is asking the court not to enforce the surrogacy agreement.
The Family Lawyer in me sees it as a brilliant move. If she is successful she will be free of her husband (likely pursuant to the terms of her prenuptial agreement) and she will have no further ties to Lamar Sally. He on the other hand will have to raise this child alone.
Sherri, I am certain that Lamar never dreamed you could or would make such a ganstga move. That is how you take control of your life.