Couple sue sperm bank after checking donor’s resume
Atlanta — He was good on paper: Eloquent, mature, healthy and smart to boot.
That’s why Angela Collins and Margaret Elizabeth Hanson say they chose Donor 9623 to be the biological father of their child.
Then last June, almost seven years after Collins gave birth to a son conceived with his sperm, they got a batch of emails from the sperm bank that unexpectedly — and perhaps mistakenly — included the donor’s name. That set them on a sleuthing mission that quickly revealed he is schizophrenic, dropped out of college and had been arrested for burglary, they said in a lawsuit filed March 31 in Atlanta.
On top of that, the photo of him they’d seen when deciding on a donor had been altered to remove a large mole on his cheek, the suit says.
Collins and Hanson said the Atlanta sperm bank promoted the donor’s sperm, saying it came from a man with an IQ of 160, an undergraduate degree in neuroscience and a master’s degree in artificial intelligence, who was pursuing a Ph.D. in neuroscience engineering. He was eloquent, “mature beyond his years” and had “an impressive health history,” sperm bank staff told them, according to the lawsuit.
“They represented him, both orally and in their donor literature, to be the best of the best,” a lawyer for the pair, Nancy Hersh, told The Associated Press.
The women, who live in Ontario, Canada, sued Xytex Corp., its parent company, sperm bank employees and the man they say was the misrepresented donor — the biological father of at least three dozen children, according to the lawsuit.
The AP is not identifying the donor because it was unable to verify all of the claims in the lawsuit.
The donor had a standard medical exam, provided extensive personal information, said he had no physical or medical impairments and provided photos of himself and copies of his undergraduate and graduate degrees, Xytex President Kevin O’Brien O’Brien wrote on the company’s web site.
The couple was “clearly informed the representations were reported by the donor and were not verified by Xytex,” he wrote.
Hersh contests that: “They don’t say, ‘This is what he told us.’ They say, ‘This is who he is.’ ”