Monday, December 5, 2016

Case of the Day: In re Parentage of A.H. v. Harlow H., 2016 IL App (1st) 133703-U (Ill. App. Ct. 1st Dist. Dec. 2, 2016)


Biological father, an American citizen, lived in Thailand for eight years. Although the father was married to a U.S. citizen wife, he entered into a relationship with a Thai woman. The father had a wedding ceremony with the Thai woman, although they were not legally married. The Thai woman gave birth to triplets through artificial insemination, and the father financially supported the children, until he returned to the United States. In 2010, Thai court issued an order establishing father's paternity in a suit that the father did not appear.

Thai woman filed a petition with Illinois state court to obtain recognition of the Thai judgment and establish child support obligation from the father. The father objected recognition, claiming that he was merely a sperm donor in the absence of a legal marriage. The court rejected the father's argument.


Transnational family law litigation! Something that warms the heart of this blogger every time it appears on the daily alerts.

Just look at the number of private international law points involved here. Father chose to not litigate in Thailand, hoping to engage in a collateral attack in the United States. Father used different legal arguments in Thailand (initially) and in the United States. Although it does not look like the father deliberately engaged in artificial insemination with an eye toward Illinois law on establishing parentage, in effect he conformed his behavior in a foreign jurisdiction to a U.S. law and attempted to score points in the United States that way. Transnational family law litigation can be as complex as any.

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