A recent Ontario case, P.P. v D.D., shed light on whether the parent of a child may be able to sue the other parent for emotional damages resulting from unplanned parenthood.
P.P. and D.D. had a casual relationship that resulted in conception of a child. P.P, a doctor, claimed that D.D. had been dishonest with him about taking birth control regularly and had “…brought about her pregnancy by deception”. He brought a lawsuit against her, claiming that, “…he wanted to meet a woman, fall in love, get married, enjoy his life as a husband with this wife and then, when he and his wife thought the time was ‘right’, to have a baby. The deceptions by D.D. deprived P.P. of the benefit of that chance.”
The court ruled that P.P.’s claim that he had suffered emotional harm as a result of the unplanned pregnancy caused by D.D.’s misrepresentation regarding birth control was not a recognized basis for a legal claim. P.P’s lawsuit was dismissed and he was ordered to pay costs to D.D.
On his own initiative, the judge ordered that the parties be identified only by their initials, that the child’s name and gender be redacted from the decision and that the file be sealed, aside from the judgment, to prevent the child from coming across it in the future.
This case is an interesting read and a good example of the ways in which courts approach being asked to interpret novel issues.