A 36-year-old Washington State woman filed a federal lawsuit in Idaho in March 2018 in which she claims that an Idaho fertility doctor mixed in his own sperm with the sperm of her mother’s husband during fertility treatments, which resulted in her birth. The woman recently discovered that her father was the Idaho fertility doctor who was supposed to be helping her parents become pregnant.
The woman became aware of the shocking reality that her father was the Idaho fertility doctor, after she submitted her DNA to Ancestry.com to learn about her ancestry. The federal lawsuit filed by the daughter and her parents against the fertility doctor, his wife, and the Idaho fertility clinic seek damages for medical malpractice, breach of contract, and fraud.
The plaintiffs allege that the defendant fertility doctor agreed in 1980 to inseminate the wife with sperm from her husband along with a small amount (15%) of sperm from an anonymous donor, to increase the chances of the wife becoming pregnant. The husband and wife specified that the anonymous donor sperm would be from a college student who was over six feet tall and resembled the husband.
The daughter had no idea that her biological father was not the man who was married to her mother (her parents have since divorced) and was shocked to learn in July 2017 that her DNA sample that she had submitted to Ancestry.com matched a DNA sample it had received from the defendant Idaho fertility doctor (why the fertility doctor’s DNA was submitted to Ancestry.com was not reported but Ancestry.com reportedly stated that the fertility doctor opted to have his DNA profile not made private).
The daughter discussed the Ancestry.com match with her mother, who began investigating the matter and then recognized the man’s name as her fertility doctor. The woman’s parents nonetheless did not disclose the information to their daughter at that time because they wanted to protect her from emotional trauma. The daughter did her own investigating and discovered in October 2017 that the signature of the delivering doctor on her birth certificate was the same person whom Ancestry.com determined was her biological father.
Ancestry.com states on its website: “You always maintain ownership of your data, but we need the ability to use your data for the purposes set out in our Privacy Statement and these Terms, and, if you agree to it, in our Informed Consent to Research. You may discover unanticipated facts about yourself or your family when using our Services that you may not have the ability to change (e.g. you may discover an unknown genetic sibling or parent, surprising facts about your ethnicity, or unexpected information in public records). As we are constantly striving to improve the Services we provide you, your data may be used to enhance our existing user experience or to develop new products and services. Unless expressly stated otherwise, each new feature that we add to the Services will also be subject to these Terms. You may at any time request that we delete your data and account, as described in our Privacy Statement.”
If you or a family member suffered harm as a result of fertility treatments in Idaho or in another U.S. state, you should promptly find an Idaho medical malpractice lawyer, or a medical malpractice lawyer in your U.S. state, who may investigate your fertility malpractice claim for you and represent you or your family member in a fertility medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
Visit our website or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959 to find medical malpractice attorneys in your state who may assist you.
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