The Ontario Court of Appeals has ruled in favour of the mother of a child who was birthed after the father, under the impression his partner was using birth control, had unprotected sex multiple times.
According to the Canadian Press (CP), the physician father—whose name is protected along with the rest of the family under a publication ban—tried to argue that the mother of his child had committed fraud by lying about having taken birth control, only to later let him know that she was pregnant (after the two had broken up).
The court ruled Thursday that the father's claim of $4 million in damages for "emotional harm" were not valid, and that the mother was not at fault for his fathering of the child.
"I see no basis on which to impose liability on the mother for any net negative impact (he) may consider that he has suffered due to his having fathered the child," Justice Paul Rouleau said in a written statement.
CP reports that Rouleau did acknowledge that the mother had lied to the father about taking the birth control pill, but did not recognize that as a valid reason for his complaint, originally dismissing the case in January before it was once again struck down by the Court of Appeals.
"The damages consist of the appellant's emotional upset, broken dreams, possible disruption to his lifestyle and career, and a potential reduction in future earnings, all of which are said to flow from the birth of a child he did not want," the Appeal Court said, noting that acknowledging the father's claim would set an unequal precedent for parenting law.
In the court's ruling, the father's claims were described as lacking "pathological" emotional or physical harm. The father's statement against the original ruling said the unexpected child has put an emotional and financial burden on him—one that it has soured his plans to "meet a woman, fall in love, get married," and eventually have a child when the time was "right."
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