The rise in in-home genetic testing has revealed many things about the families who choose to pursue it. Unfortunately, these tests have also begun to reveal unexpected details about a person’s background. For some people who were conceived through in-vitro fertilization (IVF), these DNA tests have revealed that their biological father is not the person that they thought he was.
These revelations can leave families struggling with questions and emotional strain. What should people know about the use of unauthorized sperm in fertilization procedures?
How might the use of unauthorized sperm occur?
Whether parents use the father’s sperm or utilize the services of a sperm bank, families pursuing fertility services take decisions about their reproductive procedures very seriously. Unfortunately, sometimes doctors and providers do not act in accordance with those wishes.
In some cases, a fertility services provider or a sperm bank may misrepresent the sperm they intend to use in fertility procedures. Recent news stories and documentaries have highlighted the stories of doctors using their own sperm in IVF procedures during their careers. In other cases, a sperm bank may not accurately represent the medical history of the donor or the source of the material, as in one recent Georgia lawsuit.
Unauthorized sperm use is not only the result of intentional misrepresentation. Errors made in clinics can still lead to the wrong sperm being used in a fertility procedure.
When a clinic uses the wrong sperm in a fertility procedure, it can be an emotionally challenging situation for families. This negligence may also leave families unprepared for health conditions passed down by a sperm donor.
Thankfully, the law increasingly recognizes the harm that fertility fraud can cause, and families may have legal options to hold providers responsible for mistakes or misrepresentation.