Woman sues fertility doctor for secretly using his own sperm newsbhunt


NEW DELHI: A woman from Idaho is suing a former fertility doctor, alleging that he secretly used his own sperm to impregnate her 34 years ago. This lawsuit is part of a growing trend of similar cases emerging as home DNA testing allows individuals to discover more about their genetic heritage, reported Associated press.
Sharon Hayes, aged 67 and residing in Hauser, Idaho, filed the lawsuit against Dr.David R. Claypool, who was an obstetrician and gynecologist in Spokane, Washington, in 1989. She sought fertility treatment from him when she and her then-husband were struggling to conceive.
In her legal complaint filed in Spokane County Superior Court, Hayes stated that she had requested an anonymous sperm donor. According to the lawsuit, Dr. Claypool assured her that the donor would be chosen based on specific traits she selected, such as hair and eye color, and that the donor would undergo health and genetic screening. The doctor allegedly charged 100 dollars in cash for each of the several treatments, claiming that the money was meant for college or medical students who were contributing their sperm.
But last year, her 33-year-old daughter, Brianna Hayes, learned who her biological father was after submitting her DNA to the genetic testing and ancestry website 23andMe, Brianna Hayes told The AP on Thursday.
“It’s been an identity crisis, for sure,” she said. “This was hidden from me my whole life. I felt traumatized for my mom, and the fact that I’m a product of his actions is off-putting.”
In addition, Hayes made a startling discovery: she found out that she had at least 16 half-siblings in her local area. It’s unclear at this time if any other women are pursuing legal action against Dr. Claypool.
According to AP, Efforts to contact Dr. Claypool through the provided phone numbers were unsuccessful, and his attorney, Drew Dalton, declined to provide a comment in response to an emailed request, citing the need to first confer with his client.
Dalton informed The Seattle Times, which initially reported on the lawsuit, that the matter had been undergoing mediation. However, the newspaper reported that Dr. Claypool asserted he had no knowledge of the allegations and claimed he didn’t know Sharon Hayes. He also mentioned that he ceased his medical practice in 2005.
“I know people are very happy,” Claypool said of his past patients. “But this is the first I’ve heard of anything in 40 years.”
The prevalence of online DNA services has brought to light a number of cases involving “fertility fraud.” Notably, over 50 US fertility doctors faced accusations of fraudulent activities related to donated sperm, and a Netflix documentary highlighted an Indiana fertility specialist who secretly fathered over 94 children while providing insemination treatments.
In a significant case, a Colorado jury awarded nearly $9 million to three families who accused a fertility doctor of using his own sperm to impregnate mothers who had specifically requested anonymous donors.
The allegations in Sharon Hayes’ lawsuit encompass charges of fraud, failure to obtain proper consent, which is in violation of state medical malpractice law, and the violation of state consumer protection law. RJ Ermola, an attorney representing Hayes, explained that these claims are based on the doctor’s alleged scheme to charge patients for his own sperm while falsely representing it as a donor’s sperm.
Brianna Hayes, one of the individuals affected, expressed her appreciation for connecting with her half-siblings, even though she has never met Dr. Claypool. Her initial motivation for seeking genetic information was to gain insights into her health issues, including a childhood battle with leukemia, conditions that do not run on her mother’s side of the family.
She emphasized that her mother, upon learning the truth, has experienced deep feelings of guilt and is distraught by the situation, even though she had gone through all the appropriate channels to ensure the best for her child as a loving mother.


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