Sherri Shepherd Continues to Fight Court Ruling Saying She Is Mom of Ex's Child Born via Surrogate, Asks Pennsylvania Supreme Court to Hear Her Case
Sherri Shepherd hopes the Supreme Court will reverse a lower court's decision
Sherri Shepherd, the former The View co-host ordered by a court to pay support for the child she had through a surrogate with ex-husband Lamar Sally and named the boy’s legal mother, is asking the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to take her case, according to legal documents obtained by PEOPLE.
In a Dec. 23 petition to the state’s highest court, Shepherd argues she is not the legal mother.
She claims that Pennsylvania law does not allow someone to become a mother by a contract – and that the only laws to become a parent are through adoption or the act of giving birth.
In the petition, she asks the court to consider “whether the lower court usurped the sole and exclusive authority of the [Pennsylvania] legislature to make law by declaring valid and enforceable a provision in a surrogacy contract that created parentage in a non-biological and non-genetic parent.”
The baby was conceived using Sally’s sperm and a donor egg, so Shepherd has no genetic connection to him.
A Pennsylvania court of appeals in November upheld a lower court’s April decision that Shepherd’s name must be on the birth certificate of the son, named L.J., she had via surrogate after her breakup, and that she she must continue paying child support for the now 17-month-old boy being raised by Sally.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is expected to make a decision whether or not to hear Shepherd’s case in about eight to 10 weeks, says Melissa Brisman, the attorney who owns New Jersey-based Reproductive Possibilities, which arranged the surrogacy.
Shepherd’s attorney, Samuel Totaro, tells PEOPLE he has no comment.
PEOPLE attempted to reach Shepherd for comment, but her voicemail was full.
But in August, the star told PEOPLE she went through with the surrogacy despite marital problems because she feared Sally would break up with her.
“My situation was a sense of, I didn’t state what I needed and what I wanted and what I didn’t want for being scared of somebody leaving the relationship,” she said. “There are consequences to everything, but I was scared to say, ‘That’s not going to work for me. I don’t want that.’ ”
“I am appealing the ruling that happened and he gets his settlement every month,” Shepherd, who has a 10-year-old son Jeffrey from a previous marriage, added of Sally. “He’s happy. There nothing I can do. It’s out of my hands. You move on and I have a son. I have to take care of him so everything is good.”
Since the child’s birth in August 2014, Shepherd has fought to prevent having her name on the birth certificate. It was not originally put on the certificate because she was not present at the birth and refused to acknowledge she was the mother, resulting in litigation, Brisman has told PEOPLE.