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How common is fertility fraud?

On Behalf of | Nov 3, 2022 | Fertility |

Many women across Ohio and the nation who struggle to conceive naturally find success after they work with fertility doctors. However, a growing number of news stories concerning fertility fraud, or doctors inseminating patients with their own sperm without the patients’ consent, has many fertility patients questioning how often this occurs.

Per the American Council on Science and Health, America’s fertility industry lacks regulations. For this reason, it is not clear exactly how often fertility fraud occurs across the United States.

How often fertility fraud might occur

More than 50 American doctors have faced allegations of fertility fraud since women began undergoing fertility treatments. In the 1980s, one doctor based in Virginia received a federal fertility fraud conviction after inseminating an estimated 75 women. However, many men believed to have committed fertility fraud never faced legal action because the states where they practiced did not have laws against the practice on the books. However, a growing number of states have implemented such laws in recent years.

How fertility fraud occurs

Many American fertility centers make patients sign consent forms dictating that their donors may remain anonymous. In some cases, patients have the option of paying a premium that allows them to find out who fathered their child once the child reaches the age of 18. In other countries, such as Germany, fertility patients automatically find out who fathered their child once that child turns 16.

Until home DNA kits began increasing in popularity and giving individuals information about their genetic backgrounds, most instances of fertility fraud were difficult to detect.