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Couple Sues Sperm Bank After Sketchy-Donor Details Emerge Seven Years Later

Seven years after their son was born, a couple discovered the sperm donor they used is schizophrenic, dropped out of college and had been arrested.
/ Source: NBC News

He was good on paper: Eloquent, mature, healthy and smart to boot.

That's why couple 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 9623's sperm, the women got a batch of emails from the sperm bank that unexpectedly — and perhaps mistakenly — included the donor's name.

That clue set them on a sleuthing mission that quickly revealed the donor is schizophrenic, dropped out of college and had been arrested for burglary, they said in a lawsuit filed March 31 in Atlanta.

And 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.

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.

Xytex President Kevin O'Brien recently posted an open letter on the on the company's website in which he wrote that the couple's claims "do not reflect the representations provided to Xytex."

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, O'Brien wrote.

The couple was "clearly informed the representations were reported by the donor and were not verified by Xytex," he wrote.

But Nancy Hersh, a lawyer for the pair, contends that the women believed Xytex had vetted the donor.

"They (the company) don't say, 'This is what he told us.' They say, 'This is who he is.," said Hersh.


— The Associated Press