Parents Suing Sperm Bank for Lying About the Donor

There is something about a sperm bank that is endlessly enticing. Imagine being able to pick and choose the characteristics of your baby that you would most like by choosing the sperm of a man who is, oh, say, intelligent, tall, attractive, articulate, etc. Now imagine that after the baby is born you find out the sperm donor isn't any of those things ... and is actually the type of person whose sperm you would never select. That's what a Canadian couple is claiming happened to them. They are now suing the sperm bank.

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Angela Collins and Margaret Elizabeth Hanson of Port Hope, Ontario, wanted to have a baby, so they decided to use a sperm donor. They chose Xytex Corp., which is based in Augusta, Georiga and has an office in Atlanta.

According to the lawsuit, Collins and Hanson say they picked out a donor who supposedly had an IQ of 160 (genius!), was working on his PhD in neuroscience engineering, and was described by the bank as an "eloquent speaker, mature beyond his years, and healthy."

Collins gave birth to a son in 2007.

But in 2014, the couple say they found out their sperm donor wasn't any of the things that Xytex Corp. said he was. Instead, the couple say the donor was schizophrenic, had dropped out of college, had spent time in prison for burglary, and that his pictures had been doctored to remove a large mole on his face.

Not exactly what the couple signed up for. In fact, they say they would have never purchased sperm from a guy like this -- and now they're worried about their son, and say they may have to spend more money in the future on his care, especially if he inherits schizophrenia.

There are 20 other kids born by the same man -- and presumably none of those parents knew exactly what they were getting either.

While there's probably no way to 100 percent guarantee that donor sperm information will honestly match up with the donor (donors often provide their own information, for one, who is to say they can't lie?), parents looking to use donor sperm should at least take this case as a cautionary tale.

Do as much due diligence as you possibly can on a sperm bank before buying their product -- Google them and look for reviews on places like Yelp.

More from The Stir: A Husband Should Never Donate Sperm

There is a huge amount of blind trust that goes into using donated sperm, as companies normally do not divulge a donor's identification. Parents are in a position to have to trust what the company is telling them (and banks often have to rely on what donors are telling them).

This might be a good reason to use companies that have more open policies, or a donor who is willing to have his identity known.

Do you think they should sue?

Image via Jason Pratt/Flickr

 

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