High court rejects man's call over paternity of child born by IVF


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I don't know, I recall when this first was reported, and I still don't think that we are getting the entire story here, and neither does the court it seems.

I wonder about the motivation of the woman in having the second egg implanted, after they were separated, and two years prior to their divorce.

Part of me wants to think that they were trying to work things out, had the child, but then it fell apart and now he wants nothing to do with supporting the child.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

The motivation is, more children when you are the divorced mother means more financial support from City Hall

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

This is soooo screwed up. So the man has no rights??? She can have as many children as she wants using his sperm with his consent and he's on the hook for pay child support? RIDICULOUS! This is like reverse rape! And its typical that female rules in the interest of the mother. I would definite appeal this decision and sue the mother in civil court for damages, AND demand that the remaining sperm be destroyed before this gold digging swine does more damage!

7 ( +12 / -5 )

Mirai Hayashi - This is soooo screwed up. So the man has no rights???

I've been through a Japanese divorce with children and it's really trucked up! The father is responsible for the children, but is not given any ruling on visitation or joint custody. That is entirely up to her. However, the court will rule on the amount of child support, which is just a number plucked from the sky by her. There is no property settlement either. In most cases for the father, it is just pack your bags and go without looking back, and leave your bank account number. In this particular case, it would seem the urban myth about Japanese women marrying foreign men for their seed just to have 'kowaii hafu kids' is quite true.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Poor bloke. If he didn't want the child, he should, in a fair world, be able to sue both the hospital and the ex-wife.

The ruling that simply talking to his wife is implicit consent for the use of an egg that had been fertilized with his sperm is nonsense.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

head scratching at Japanese logic/laws first thing in the morning as ever.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

If I remember correctly, the hospital was unaware of their separation and because they had already had one child, mistakenly assumed both consented to the procedure. In my mind, for each attempt, they should require both parents to give written consent (in person, witnessed by the clinic staff).

15 ( +15 / -0 )

This guy is a personal friend of mine. I know the situation. They were separated. He wanted a divorce and she didn't. They weren't trying to work things out. They were living separately. In this situation, she went to the hospital where there was some of her husband's sperm and instructed them to use this to get her pregnant. The hospital didn't check the marital status of the wife, but went ahead. She became pregnant and bore a child. The hospital screwed up.

16 ( +18 / -2 )

Ultimately.... time will tell. One day she'll go looking for her biological father and he'll tell the story and after it is told it is likely she'll never speak to her mother again.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

While the man said the marriage had already fallen apart by the time the wife became pregnant with the child, Presiding Judge Toshiko Eguchi dismissed the claim, saying it was not evident whether they were no longer a husband and a wife as they were living close by and had exchanges even after they started living separately.

So they have been together for more than 4 years before he moved out. If they were still a couple why would he move out to a new place that is nearby?

They have a son together, so it's not surprise that he would want to live nearby and that they still had exchanges every now and then. Breaking up doesn't mean that you don't want to see your own kids any longer after all...

10 ( +11 / -1 )

The court can not rule otherwise.  1. The girl is father's biological child.  2. They were legally married at the time of the birth.  3. The most important reason:  this ruling will benefit the child's welfare.

Compared with these critical reasons, the argument of his consent is a tiny hiccup.

-15 ( +3 / -18 )

Thanks for the insights, Bertie. The article says the egg had already been fertilized and frozen, as opposed to, they used his sperm without his consent. (small correction?)

My feelings:

A) He is the biological father. He consented to the fertilization. He didn't demand the destruction of the fertilized eggs upon separation. = He should get visitation rights, if and when he wants them.

B) He did not consent to the implantation. He should not be on the hook to financially support the child.

C) As a human being, he should want to make sure the child is OK, if for no other reason than that she is the sister of his daughter. I hope he will support the child financially out of his goodness of his heart. And I hope that they will be able to develop a loving relationship. Poor kid.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Why is anyone surprised at anything that happens here? This is a country that decides the child's father, not by DNA, but by who the mother was married to previously. And this country has no qualms about shutting one parent off from children. And a country where orphans are left on their own even though loving couples may want to adopt them, all because some long-distant relative who never visits objects to adoption.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

The motivation is, more children when you are the divorced mother means more financial support from City Hall, actually it could also mean entrapping fathers into paying child support even when theyve had no relationship with the child in question. Just making it easier for government to pass the buck onto some poor unsuspecting sod.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

tajToday 09:42 am JST

Thanks for the insights, Bertie. The article says the egg had already been fertilized and frozen, as opposed to, they used his sperm without his consent. (small correction?)

Sperm cannot be preserved under today's technology. Only frozen embryo can.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )


you are exactly right. there is nothing really to discuss.

sure there are hard feelings involved, but the court has no business ruling based on feelings. the child has been born and now needs to be taken care of. if I were the man, i’d sure feel angry about the whole thing, but on the other hand, at some point i had agreed to the whole proceedure. i do bear some responsibility as well.

maybe he can sue the hospital, but there is no question about whether the child is his or not.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

I am not sure if I am getting this story correct, so bear with me.

I seem to recall a while back when a couple had a child, and later found out that the child was not biologically related to the father. I don't remember if the wife had cheated on him or what exactly happened, but the husband asked for a divorce and understandably didn't want financial responsible for raising the child.

HOWEVER, due to the backwards thinking of the residing judge and the archaic Japanese laws, he was told that he was financially responsible for raising that child BECAUSE he was married to the mother at the time of conception.

SO, under this stupid law, this woman could go out and have babies by as many men as she wants, and regardless of whether the kid is his or not, he is STILL obligated to financially care for this kid. SO is this even fair?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

CH3CHO and taj, I had that fact wrong. You are both correct. It was a fertilised ovum. The rest is just as my friend told me. They were living apart. His to-be-ex wife had their child and he was able to have his son visit at weekends and holidays. This and his job were the reason why he didn't move away from the area. She went to the hospital and had the ovum implanted without consulting him at a time when they had been separated for some time and while divorce proceedings were in progress. The hospital should have checked this before performing the procedure and I agree, he is not obliged to pay for child support for the second child.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@ Tina "consent is a tiny hiccup" consent is moral human decency! not a tiny hiccup!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

 consent is moral human decency! not a tiny hiccup!

Ignoring the scientic fact that the child is his biological daughter and the legal fact that he was the husband of the mother is not moral human decency.  It is an irresponsible selfish act.

The child needs a father. Who is the most responsible man for the child in the world? Choose one. Not his next door man. Not his boss. Nobody is more responsible than the man.

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

Seriously messed up & this woman is downright nasty!

Toss in little or no rights for men(even in Japan) & the world is a dangerous place for men, be CAREFUL guys, the entire deck is STACKED against you, especially in the west, in Japan its clearly theatre of the bizarre!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I will never, as long as I live, understand the thinking of the majority of the Japanese judiciary... too many of the rulings simply fly in the face of common sense.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

While I think that fathers who do not take care of their children are generally of a despicable creed, I wouldn't look down on this guy if he left the country and never gave the mother a single yennie. I can't believe the courts would force paternity on him when it was done without his consent.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

This cannot be right on any level you look at it.

How can this be right!!?

Poor fella.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I’d help crowdfund this guy to sue the shirts off the hospital doctors who performed IVF on his estranged wife without his consent.

Normally the husband has to sign a consent declaration each time he is asked to fill the cup, so to speak.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Looking at the consent thing from another angle: think about a couple that isn’t married and isn’t using fertility treatment and doesn’t want to have a child. She gets pregnant accidentally because of a contraceptive failure and refuses to get an abortion or put the child up for adoption. To my mind he’s the father and bears responsibility to raise the child. It’s part of the risk one shoulders when having sex; things don’t always go as intended. He didn’t intend or consent to have a baby but the child has a right to be consent and intention aren’t necessarily the deciding factor.

In this case the father willingly entered in the fertility treatment and did not give notice for it to cease when he separated from his wife. It was nasty of her to get pregnant (but maybe not so much if her motivation was primarily to give a sibling to her child), but it’s nasty of him to not want to support his child. I’ve got little respect for either of them and just really feel sorry for their kids.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

I could be wrong, but it is my understanding that if the man simply does not pay support, nothing comes of it. No seizure of assets, no garnished wages. So the benefit of recognizing this man as the 'father' simply means that his name gets listed on the koseki and that the child will not be embarrassed in the future by having to turn over a koseki without a father's name, upon employment, marriage, etc.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Bungle, “Normally the husband has to sign a consent declaration each time he is asked to fill the cup, so to speak.”

They were using frozen fertilized eggs so at that point were well beyond his filling the cup. They should have to get consent each time they implant such eggs in the womb.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Omachi, “it is my understanding that if the man simply does not pay support, nothing comes of it.”

It’s my understanding that something can be done in such cases but it takes a lot of effort on the woman’s part to get the orders enforced and most give up rather than go that far.

0 ( +0 / -0 )


This is about paternity. Is the sperm his or not? Did he agree to the IV process or not?

Case closed. Biology is cut and dry. The guy had a bad marriage. That's an emotional issue.

He should sue the hospital.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I guess he could still accuse her of Theft, since by taking something of his without permission is theft, right ?

As Yubaru says, there may be more to the story than what has been written here.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It's a good thing that the Daughter isn't old enough to understand what's going on between her Biological Parents, she would be wholeheartedly demoralized to know that her "Father" didn't want her to exist and had essentially disowned her.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Good result. Concern for child first.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

There is way more to this story than meets the eye and the only people that really know is the judge, the docs, and the nurses.

Either way, there was a protocol failure at the hospital.


Consent by both parents wasn't given at each cycle of treatment.

The consent form was not signed by both parents in front of a registered nurse.

The wife took the consent form home and signed it on behalf of the husband and took it to the hospital.

The hospital assumed consent based on the initial cause of treatment years before.( gross failure or protocol)

The husband knew the embryos were in storage and did not talk to the hospital, after separating from his wife, and did not to retract his consent.

They all knew they unused embryos were in storage for use later on.

The husband was certainly at fault, as was the women as was the hospital.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@tinawatanabeApr. 27 09:31 am JST

The court can not rule otherwise. 1. The girl is father's biological child. 2. They were legally married at the time of the birth. 3. The most important reason: this ruling will benefit the child's welfare.

Compared with these critical reasons, the argument of his consent is a tiny hiccup.

I wouldn't call "consent" a tiny hiccup. However, your three points are also true and legally valid, and would probably, unfortunately, outweigh the man's consent as an optimal (not perfect) solution.

A interesting sidepoint is that a lot of JapanToday's denizens have suggested the Japanese just dispense with the rules locked in the Civil Code and go for determining paternity based on the facts (DNA testing). The irony is that their proposal will indeed also lead to this result. If anything, going to a full-DNA system may increase the man's liability in such cases

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Kazuaki Shimazaki

I wouldn't call "consent" a tiny hiccup.

His lack of consent argument is very weak and selfish because he is ignoring all other bigger issues.  He paid no respect to the law, the institution of marriage. Marriage itself is a big consent. He should have been more careful while in legally married.  He could have taken preventive measures such as going to the hospital but he didn't, which could constitute another consent.  

Whereas the wife's action was within the law.  I have a feeling she still likes him.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

He could have taken preventive measures such as going to the hospital but he didn't, which could constitute another consent. 

No it couldn't. That is NOT what consent means.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Strangerland,  Marriage itself is a kind of consent to babies if you don't object anything. 

Kazuaki Shimazaki,  Regarding your sidestep, I felt exactly the same.  No way he could win even if he appeals further.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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