Today the Superior Court of Pennsylvania issued a landmark ruling in the case of Baby S., 2015 Pa. Super. 244, upholding a May 2015 trial court case that held for the first time that a gestational surrogacy contract is valid and enforceable in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Jerner & Palmer, P.C. partner Tiffany L. Palmer represented the father of Baby S., Lamar Sally, and successfully argued for the Court to uphold the contract.
The Baby S. case came about in the summer of 2014, when Sherri Shepherd filed court papers seeking to invalidate the gestational surrogacy contract that she entered into with her husband Lamar Sally and a gestational carrier residing in Pennsylvania. The contract that named Sherri and Lamar as the legal parents of any child conceived (referred to in court papers as "Baby S.") through the gestational surrogacy. Lamar and Sherri separated prior to the birth the baby and she initiated a court battle to disclaim her parentage to the child. After a 2-day trial, the Honorable Stanley R. Ott in Montgomery County Pennsylvania issued a decision finding that the gestational carrier contract was legally enforceable under Pennsylvania law and that Sherri was the legal mother to Baby S. The unanimous decision today from a 3-judge panel of the Pennsylvania Superior Court upholds and affirms Judge Ott’s decision.
“After numerous court battles over the past two years, I am glad the higher court ruled in my favor. Now I can fully focus on raising my son,” said Lamar Sally, the appellee in the case.
“We are thrilled by this decision. It was an honor for me to represent Lamar and argue for upholding gestational carrier contracts. This decision now clarifies the law in Pennsylvania on this issue for this family and the many others that use assisted reproduction here to form their families,” said partner Tiffany L. Palmer.” Pennsylvania does not have any statutes addressing assisted reproductive technology and this case is the first appellate court decision in Pennsylvania to directly address the question of the validity of a gestational carrier contract. Read the full opinion here: http://www.pacourts.us/assets/opinions/Superior/out/J-A28015-15o%20-%201024461805731818.pdf?cb=1