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Surrogate Mom Must Repay Biological Father

March 16, 2006

AKRON, Ohio (AP) _ A surrogate mother awarded custody of the triplets she delivered must repay the biological father her $20,000 surrogate’s fee as well as the child support the man was required to pay, an appeals court ruled.

The court ruled Wednesday that Danielle Bimber, 31, violated her surrogate’s agreement when she claimed the boys as her own after their birth in November 2003.

The contract said Bimber and her husband, Douglas, would surrender any custody rights after the birth. If the Bimbers breached the agreement, they were required to reimburse the father, James Flynn, 64, of Kirtland, Ohio.

``The Bimbers broke these promises,″ the judges wrote.

The ruling, which reversed an earlier decision by a Summit County judge, will be appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court, Bimber’s attorney said.

``It’s just money,″ Bimber said. ``I’ve got the boys. That’s all that matters.″

Bimber took the children from the hospital to her Corry, Pa., home against Flynn’s wishes eight days after they were born. Bimber has said in court records that she did that because Flynn and his fiancee didn’t name the children or visit them for six days after seeing them when they were born.

A Pennsylvania court awarded primary custody of the children to Bimber last year, a rarity in surrogate custody cases. Flynn was granted visitation. The decision has been appealed.

Flynn’s attorney, Richard Dobbins, called Wednesday’s ruling a small component of his client’s ongoing fight to gain full custody of the triplets.

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