Secret history

Lesbian couple sues sperm bank after finding out donor had criminal, mental health history


Angela Collins and Elizabeth Holmes thought that Donor 9623, an anonymous sperm donor described by their sperm bank as having an IQ of 160, sounded like a great candidate to help begin their new family nearly a decade ago. But seven years after using the anonymous donor’s sperm to conceive their son, an email from the sperm bank connecting them to fifteen other families who used the same donor’s sperm led to a discovery: Donor 9623 had a history of schizophrenia and a criminal record that the families had not known about. “It was like a lead ball went to the bottom of our stomach for both my partner and I,” Collins told the CBC last week.

Now, Collins and Holmes have filed suit with two other families in Superior Court in Ontario, Canada, against Xytex Corp., the sperm bank based in Georgia, and 12 other families are planning lawsuits, attorney Nancy Hersh told The New York Times. The families are seeking $4 million each in Canadian currency in damages, partially intended to prepare for mental health costs since each of their children is now at risk for schizophrenia, they said. The company, based in Georgia, has previously said that the donor underwent a standard medical exam and gave his own health history that was passed onto the couple, with the company clearly telling the couple at the time that they had not verified the donor’s claims. Collins and Holmes previously filed a claim in Georgia, but it was dismissed.

Read the full story at The New York Times.

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