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Wrongful Birth Claims

Wrongful birth claims can arise where a prospective mother is not properly informed of the fact that her child will be born with a significant birth defect, and if she had been properly informed she would have chosen to terminate the pregnancy.


The Clinical Negligence Team have specialist understanding of the sensitive issues that are associated with wrongful birth claims and will work with you and your family to deal with these and achieve an outcome which can provide necessary support for the additional costs of your child’s upbringing in respect of their care, health and wellbeing needs. For more information you can consult our free resource on wrongful birth.

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What are wrongful births?

In rare cases healthcare professionals can fail to diagnose a birth defect during usual antenatal pregnancy checks and scans, despite the significant technological advances that are now able to assist with antenatal healthcare.

A claim for wrongful birth is therefore a claim in which (1) a hospital has failed to warn you that your child may be born with a disability; and (2) if you had been warned, you would have chosen to terminate the pregnancy.

The sorts of physical and mental defects that a child can be born with include:

• Spina Bifida
• Limb reduction defects
• Heart defects including holes in the heart
• Down’s Syndrome

These are only intended to be examples. It is possible that other kinds of defects can be overlooked when they ought to have been identified. You can find out more about wrongful birth here.

When might I have a claim?

To bring a claim for wrongful birth we must prove that you were denied the opportunity to terminate the pregnancy due to the negligent failure of the healthcare professional or team involved to inform you that your child may be born with a birth defect such as those mentioned above and, that if you had been properly advised, you would have terminated the pregnancy.

An action or a failure to act amounting to negligence in a claim of this kind could be a failure to accurately interpret scans and test results, carry out necessary screening tests, properly inform you of the results of those tests or make a diagnosis from clinical signs during pregnancy. This may be due to faulty equipment or lack of training and our experienced team will be able to advise you whether or not you have a claim.

Whatever the negligent treatment, diagnosis or advice received, bringing a claim can assist with the costs of caring for your disabled child.

What sort of compensation might I receive

Compensation in wrongful birth claims includes compensation for the mother  relating to pregnancy and childbirth but also aims to provide for the additional costs associated with bringing up a disabled child over and above the costs of raising a non-disabled child, in particular the associated financial impact of their specific welfare and healthcare needs.

The level of compensation will vary from case to case depending on the severity of your child’s disability and also on the level of care and support they need as they are growing up. Please see our recent cases for examples.

Recent cases

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