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Wrongful Birth Claims

Wrongful birth is the term used by the courts to describe a claim that arises out of the birth of a child who wouldn’t have been born without negligent treatment. A wrongful birth claim is generally taken by the parents.

Wrongful birth claims fall into two main categories:

  • Failed sterilisation/vasectomy
  • Failure to warn about a specific disability


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Failed Sterilisation/Vasectomy

You may have a wrongful birth claim if a vasectomy or sterilisation hasn’t been successful, resulting in an unplanned pregnancy. Your legal claim is for the birth of a child that otherwise wouldn’t have been conceived.

The wrongful birth claim will provide damages for the physical and emotional pain, distress of an unwanted pregnancy and labour and any additional re-sterilisation procedure. You may also be compensated if you choose to terminate the pregnancy.

In addition, you can claim for loss of earnings and any other financial losses resulting from the unwanted pregnancy. However, following decisions in the House of Lords, you will not be compensated for the cost of bringing up any child born as a result of the failed sterilisation unless that child is disabled.


Failure to warn about specific disabilities

The second category of wrongful birth claim arises where parents have not been warned that a child will be born with a specific disability, and if they had been warned would have terminated the pregnancy.

There are many different birth defects a baby can have such as:

  • spina bifida
  • club feet
  • holes in the heart
  • Down's syndrome. 

If your healthcare professional fails to diagnose a birth defect which should have been easy to diagnose (perhaps due to a faulty scanning machine or lack of staff training) then you may be able to make a wrongful birth claim. In situations like this, damages often provide for the costs associated with the welfare and healthcare of the disabled child.


Contact us

For further information or if you believe you have been victim to wrongful birth please contact us.

All enquiries are completely free of charge and we will investigate all funding options for you including legal aid and no win, no fee.

  1. You can speak to any member of our Medical Negligence team on freephone 0800 358 3848

  2. e-Mail us at or,

  3. Complete our short enquiry form.



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