A New Jersey woman accused a doctor of "medical rape" by secretly using his own sperm to impregnate her nearly 40 years ago, she said in a federal lawsuit filed on Tuesday.
Bianca Voss, 75, said she paid her New York City OB-GYN, Dr. Martin Greenberg, $100 to secure sperm from an anonymous donor at a sperm bank in 1983, according to her civil complaint filed in New York.
The procedure led to a successful pregnancy and birth of her daughter, Roberta Voss, in 1984.
It wasn't until Roberta Voss purchased a DNA kit from 23andMe in the fall of 2020 that she discovered her biological father was a man named Martin Greenberg, born in 1943 and now living in Florida.
"Dr. Martin Greenberg inserted his own sperm into this patient, Bianca Voss. He did so without her consent and against her wishes," according to the complaint by Voss' attorney Jason Kane. "Some people call this horrific act 'medical rape.' But regardless of the name, Greenberg's heinous and intentional misconduct is unethical, unacceptable and illegal."
Greenberg did not immediately return several emails and phone calls to his Florida home on Tuesday, seeking comment. Greenberg's Florida attorney also did not immediately respond to messages seeking his comments.
“I wanted someone anonymous," Bianca Voss told reporters on Tuesday. "He did say, 'Do you mind the donor is Jewish?' And I said 'no' and that was it. I kind of thought it might be a medical student from the hospital, but that was it. And then he asked me for the check for $100 to cover the donor, his inconvenience."
The DNA bombshell has left Voss, who lived in Manhattan's Upper West Side at the time of her pregnancy, feeling "victimized" and has led to "debilitating anxiety and emotional pain," the lawsuit said.
There's no way Voss would have signed off on Greenberg being the sperm donor, according to the lawsuit.
The mother did not place any restrictions on who the donor could be, according to Joe Peiffer, another one of her attorneys.
"But Bianca never ever thought her doctor was inserting his own sperm into her, which she thinks is gross," Peiffer added.
Roberta Voss said when the 23andMe results came back, it was difficult to grasp her new reality.
“There in black and white, Dr. Greenberg .... was identified as my father. Not my possible father, not someone sharing a lot of the same DNA characteristics, it says flat out, he is my father," the daughter said Tuesday.
“It’s horrifying to look in the mirror and see the person who violated my mother and I see his face every time I look in the mirror. I’m in turmoil about who I am, what this means and what kind of person would do this? And is that a part of who I am? And what about my son?”
The lawsuit did not name a dollar figure sought but said that "the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000, exclusive of interest and costs."
In addition to monetary damages, Voss and her adult daughter want to know more about Greenberg's medical history.
"Aware that Greenberg's son unfortunately passed away at an early age, she wanted to know if she may have inherited a concerning medical condition," the lawsuit said. "She also wanted to know if she may have passed on such a condition to her own child."
With the increasing popularity of home DNA kits, medical ethicist Arthur Caplan said more cases such as the Voss' are sure to come.
"We've operated for decades with no framework at all," said Caplan, with the NYU School of Medicine. "I think you'll see more of this. People are freezing their eggs and donating them but not realizing today that they can get discovered in 20 years."