Sweden's Supreme Court ruled Thursday against a father seeking to renounce the paternity of twins born through in-vitro fertilization (IVF) because he had only agreed to having one child.
The man's wife had asked the IVF clinic to implant two embryos, fertilized with donated sperm and eggs, in her uterus instead of the one embryo she and her husband had agreed upon.
AdvertisementThe husband had signed paperwork agreeing to the IVF procedure to implant one embryo, but when his wife arrived at the clinic to undergo the procedure she lied and said she and her husband were in agreement on two embryos.
The woman gave birth to twins in December 2012. The couple are now divorced.
The man has explained that he did not want two children because of the extra work involved.
A Swedish district and appeals court previously rejected the now 58-year-old father's request to renounce his paternity.
The appeals court had argued that by agreeing to the procedure, the man had agreed to be a father to one or several children since the possibility of twins can never be entirely excluded.
The Supreme Court ruled along the same lines, underlining that all children have a right to two parents.
The man's "best interests in trying to avoid being a father to twins cannot in any way outweigh the children's best interests of having a father."
It also noted that even though the mother lied, the fact of implanting two embryos instead of one did not annul the man's agreement to the procedure.
Embryo transfers with both donated egg and sperm are not allowed in Sweden, so the couple had traveled to Latvia to undergo the procedure.