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R.R. v. M.H. & another

Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
689 N.E.2d 790 (1998)


Facts

R.R. (the father) (plaintiff) entered into a surrogacy agreement with M.H. (defendant) (the birth mother). The father agreed to pay $10,000 “for services rendered in conceiving, carrying and giving birth to the Child.” The father agreed to pay the amount in installments. The final installment was not due until after the child’s birth. The birth mother agreed to refund the full amount, including any additional expenses paid, if she attempted to gain custody or visitation rights. Thereafter, the mother successfully conceived. After receiving the final installment, however, but before giving birth to the child, the birth mother informed the father that she intended to keep the child. She returned the final installment, but made no attempt to refund other installments or the pregnancy-related expenses that had already been paid. The father filed suit, alleging breach of the surrogacy agreement. The birth mother filed a motion to determine the enforceability of surrogacy contracts in Massachusetts. The trial judge entered an order directing the birth mother to give the child to the father when it was born and granted the father temporary physical custody.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Wilkins, C.J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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