Texas Wesleyan Law Review


David Shurtz

Document Type



Thirty-five jurisdictions uniformly recognize the validity of a wrongful pregnancy claim. Texas, however, is not one of those jurisdictions. The majority of Texas courts recognize the validity of a wrongful pregnancy cause of action and award damages to the parents for an unwanted child, while other Texas courts do not. This Comment argues that Texas should recognize a wrongful pregnancy cause of action for two reasons: (1) all but one Texas court explicitly recognizes a wrongful pregnancy claim; and (2) a wrongful pregnancy claim is merely a descriptive label for medical malpractice. Moreover, the damages for such a claim should consist of (1) the medical damages associated with the pregnancy and birth, (2) damages in excess of a mother's medical expenses, and (3) financial expenses for education and maintenance of the normal, healthy child until the age of majority. Therefore, in a wrongful pregnancy cause of action, Texas should follow the Full Recovery Rule that permits parents to prove all damages proximately resulting from a negligent sterilization including child-rearing costs. Part I of this Comment will evaluate whether Texas should recognize a wrongful pregnancy cause of action. Part II will evaluate the three common methods of calculating and awarding damages in a wrongful pregnancy claim; Limited Recovery, Full Recovery, and the Benefits Rule. Finally, this Comment concludes that allowing parents to prove and recover child-rearing damages strengthens the family unit, maintains the best interest of the child, and is the best method to advance the goals of tort law and Texas public policy.



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