Wrongful Birth Children and Assessing Damages for Costs of Care: Australian and British Jurisprudence Compared
journal contributionposted on 29.10.2019, 09:43 by Tracey Carver;Tina Cockburn;Bill Madden
The ability to recover damages for the costs of caring for, feeding, clothing and maintaining a ‘wrongful birth’ child has been debated worldwide by courts. Recent Australian cases have provided the opportunity to consider how damages for wrongful birth should be calculated in this jurisdiction.They have raised, but not clearly resolved, a number of issues relevant to the assessment of damages which might be usefully determined in future claims. This article begins by outlining the basic principles regulating damages assessment in wrongful conception and wrongful birth actions. It then examines the specific issues which fall for consideration when awarding compensation for the costs of child maintenance and care. This analysis considers Australian jurisprudence but also adopts a comparative approach which explores the treatment of such issues in the United Kingdom, with a view to informing their resolution in future Australian cases.