The Precious star split from husband Lamar Sally last spring (May14) after three years of marriage and subsequently disavowed maternity of the then-unborn child the couple had been expecting through a surrogate.

Shepherd claimed Sally had defrauded her when they signed the paperwork because he was planning to split from her all along and demand child support.

Their son, which Sally named Lamar, Jr., was born in Pennsylvania in August (14) and Shepherd's ex has been caring for the tot in Los Angeles ever since.

On Tuesday (21Apr15), the judge overseeing the case officially appointed Shepherd as the baby's mother, forcing her to take responsibility and face the prospect of a child support demand from Sally.

The new dad tells People.com, "It's bittersweet. I'm glad it's over, but I feel sad what it had to come to. Now I can go back to L.A. and tend to my son."

Shepherd, 47, was not in court for the ruling. She is also mum to a son named Jeffrey, from her first marriage to Jeff Tarpley.