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Father fights three-year battle for daughter he was told had been aborted (10 August 2015)

Date: 10/08/2015
Duncan Lewis, Child Care Solicitors, Father fights three-year battle for daughter he was told had been aborted

A court has jailed a mother and her gay friend, after she duped the father of the child she had given birth to into believing she had aborted their daughter. The mother had gone on to have the baby – but had given her daughter to a gay friend.

The Sun reports that the child’s biological father, Steven North, 34, from Perth in Perthshire, Scotland was devastated when 29-year-old Vikki Gilmore – with whom he had a brief relationship in 2010 – told him that she would be aborting their child.

Gilmore had disappeared for five months after saying she was having an abortion – and had also denied being pregnant when Mr North had seen her in a pub wearing baggy clothing and asked her if she were pregnant.

Mr North had seen a social media post by Gilmore’s gay friend Chris Yates announcing he was having a child by a surrogate mother from Dundee. Gilmore and Yates had even set up a fake Facebook profile for an imaginary woman they called Clare Green. The pair claimed that the woman had given Yates “full custody” of the child.

Mr North had tried to persuade Gilmore to have their child – but months later he discovered that the child “born” as a result of a “surrogate mother” to 35-year-old Chris Yates was actually his own biological daughter.

After finding out that he was the little girl’s biological father, Mr North spent three years fighting for custody, so he could expose the couple's “sick pantomime”.

“How could a mother ever think up something like this? It's pure evil,” he said.

Mr North became suspicious when the “surrogate” baby was born in February 2011 – just five months after Yates had announced his baby news on Facebook.

The truth emerged when a mutual friend went to visit the newborn – and saw that Gilmore’s name was on the birth certificate.

Police think she sold her daughter to Yates for between £100 and £300, although the allegation was not proved in court.

“The whole thing was a sick pantomime,” said Mr North

“Neither showed any remorse – my daughter is traumatised by being pushed from pillar to post. We've been trying to pick up the pieces.”

Gilmore had even claimed that she had gone ahead with the abortion – but had fallen pregnant again after sleeping with Yates after a pub crawl to celebrate his birthday. She and Yates managed to convince the NHS and local council that the child was not North’s.

As Mr North was not named on the child’s birth certificate, he had no parental rights and could not fight for custody of his daughter through social services.

In May 2013 – when the child was 27 months’ old – Mr North won the right to a DNA test, which showed that he was 99.99% certain to be the baby’s father.

Even after he had added his name to the child’s birth certificate, Gilmore and Yates persisted with their story, however – and Yates disappeared to Glasgow with the little girl.

Mr North reported the fraud to police – however, he was advised to pursue the case as a civil rather than criminal matter.

When Mr North was granted contact rights, he could only see his daughter for half-an-hour every week – and was not allowed to say he was her father, but had to tell her he was a “friend”.
In January 2014, he was finally awarded custody and the child moved in with Mr North and his wife.

In June this year, Gilmore and Yates were found guilty of deception – both were sentenced to three years in jail.

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