Father against his will

An unusual lawsuit took place in Rome last week. A divorced Italian who accused his ex-wife in falsifying acts of civil status became the plaintiff.

Some time ago, a man, having referred to the register office for a certificate of marital status, suddenly discovered that he had a child, born by his ex-wife, with whom he had been divorced for over two years.

Being married, the couple had unsuccessfully been trying to conceive for quite a long time. The medical examination had revealed that both husband and wife were infertile, and they needed to use donor material to conceive. All their attempts to obtain permission for in vitro fertilization at home had failed due to strict Italian laws in this area.


Then they decided to use the help of Spanish doctors. The couple contacted the clinic and signed all the necessary consent documents. In the meantime, the couple decided to divorce, and the man sent a written waiver from the procedure to the hospital.

But the ex-wife, had still undergone an IVF procedure and successfully gave birth to a child, having registered her ex-husband as a father without his consent.

Having learnt about it, the man filed a lawsuit to overturn the recognition of the unwanted fatherhood. However, despite all the arguments of the plaintiff, the court, following the interest of the child, decided to refuse the claim and to recover alimony for his ex-wife and child support.

Then the man filed a new lawsuit to recognize the former spouse guilty of falsifying the documents. If she is found guilty, the woman can be put into prison and deprived of parental rights.

It’s difficult to comment on such situations as they don’t concern, for example, the imperfections of the law system of any country, but they generally lie outside the legal field, and the only possible reaction to such acts is disapproval.

Also there are many white spots in this story. For example, it remains unclear how the woman managed to persuade the Spanish doctors to perform the procedure, despite the official denial of ex-spouse. I have even more questions to the Italian authorities, which recorded the ex-husband as a father of the child without his consent, even taking into account the fact that Italy hadn’t given consent to the IVF procedure. In my opinion, the new father has all the reason to claim not only his ex-wife, but also the other members of this complicated story (the Spanish clinic and Italian register office).