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our fertility doc is being sued for donor mix-ups

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Wow...this is really throwing me for a loop. We learned through reading the newspaper yesterday that our fertility doc is being sued for mixing up donor sperm for two differently families. One of the families in the suit used the SAME donor that we did--in that case her sample was contaminated with other sperm and they have not been able to identify the donor. After trying unsuccessfully to find known donors for our dds, we ended up using a bank and a local doc. This local doc is a lovely guy, very caring, very involved in the local LGBT community--and he is basically the only affordable option.

But, wow, what if he mixed up our insemination as well? What if our dds' donors are not who we thought they were. We are currently looking into how we can double check (which I guess would mean DNA testing...).

But I am really in shock--we put a lot of thought into choosing our donors, into reviewing medical histories, and into the fact that we want our dds to be able to access info when they turn 18.

I really hope it all turns out okay...but I feel for the other families involved as well. Sigh, not a good situation.
post #2 of 13
Wow! That is really scary! We have done IUIs both in the office and at home and I would be livid if there was a chance there could have been a mix-up! In the past we have worked with small clinics who usually only do 1 IUI a day so there really isn't a chance for a mix-up. I can't imagine how that could happen if all proper procedures were followed. I am so sorry and I hope you can get some answers!
-srah
post #3 of 13
Oh proudmamnow, I feel for you. I saw that same article and think that the entire community here is going to be freaking out - I foresee a lot of testing - and am waiting for it to hit my circle of friends who have been pregnant through this Dr or are in the process of working with this Dr. I'm very interested to see what the outcome is once it hits court and what is revealed. The one thing that I do know from working in the media for years is that stories are often written on tight deadlines and there are often factual errors (um, and all the time with the particular publication this appeared in). Until this hits court, I don't know if the reporter made only minor or major ones.
post #4 of 13
wow, that is pretty scary!! our re is one of the best in our area, if not THE best. we had vials of 2 donors stored at their facility - our original and backup. for our first insem there the nurse keyed in all the motility stats into the computer. after she left i took a look and knew from the numbers that it was the backup donor they had thawed even though we had asked for our original. i asked her when she came back what donor # it was and sure enough it was the backup donor.

if i hadn't been there to check dp would have been none the wiser and who knows what would have happened?

they were SO apologetic. we had to wait an additional 45mins while the lab processed the correct sample and then they refunded us for the wasted vial.

i wonder how many other mix-ups there are? for our next insems they always double-checked and showed us the vial.

g
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
thanks all...I've been told we can get DNA testing for the one donor for our dd....still not sure what to think, it really makes me doubt the integrity of his sytem though.

indigoscot--that does sound scary! good thing you caught it! In this case, he's pretty much the only game in town unless you want to shell out $5000K or more.

gumshoegirl--I'll PM you. I know 4 other families off the top of my head and I can only imagine how many more.
post #6 of 13
Can I get a PM too?

Jeez, I think I know which doctor this is, I know people who got preggers with him in spite of some other sketchyness.

(This is the same guy who doesn't wash sperm for IUI, right?)
post #7 of 13
Sadly, I bet it happens more than any of us would like to think about. They mix up babies in the hospital too. Just recently had a case come out of the woodwork about a case of switched babies over 11 years later.
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
this story is getting worse and worse--more details are emerging in a couple of different publications and now it has been revealed that both families are asking for the doc to be DNA tested to rule out the possibility that his own sperm was used

Also 3 families who used our donor have been tested and got 3 different DNA paternity results.

I feel sick--this kind of thing isn't supposed to happen anymore
I feel like I have let my kids down.
post #9 of 13
oh no, mama! I'm so sorry!
post #10 of 13
Mama. What a crappy, crappy story. And you're right. We shouldn't have to worry about these things anymore. I'm really sorry that you've been left with this as your only option.

A technical note- I don't know where you are in your process (ie. if you're still ttc and using this person), or where you are geographically, but when I was ttc I couldn't afford the clinics in my town, and I ended up doing my IUIs at home. I had a friend who was a nurse help me, and one month when she was out of town, I hired a homebirth midwife who was great. (That was actually the month I got pregnant.) Anyway, this isn't a good solution for everyone, and obviously doesn't work if you need meds and monitoring, but I just wanted to put out there that sometimes there are alternatives to crappy medical care.

More importantly, I think it's very understandable to feel like you've let your kids down, but the reality is that you haven't. At all. You are providing your kids with a loving home, parent(s) who are invested in them and their future, attention, love, creativity, guidance. That's what makes successful parenting. I'm not saying that who your donor is doesn't matter - for many people it does, and it may for your kids someday - but you are providing them with the love and structure that they will need to be confident, well-adjusted adults. Adults who can, if they need to, learn to live with unanswered questions about their genetics.

Please be gentle with yourself. It is very reasonable to feel angry and betrayed and scared. But don't feel like you have failed in any way, because you haven't. Not at all.
post #11 of 13
To second what Angela said... yeah, all that. Plus, I had a CNM do one of my insems (she wasn't a home birth midwife, but with one of the few CNM practices that back up the CPMs around here). Best IUI ever, most comfortable, no pain at all. Didn't work, but, whatever. I adore her, she's an all around really awesome person.

Unfortunately, in Canada, your options are a little bit limited with anonymous sperm and the whole dr. sign-off business. There are docs that will sign off on the sperm, it gets shipped to their office, and you can take it home from there. I did in Toronto, no problem. It's not illegal, it's within the doc's discretion, but it's often hard to find anyone who does it. You might have some luck with specifically queer clinics or with queer docs. I'm not sure if CNMs can sign off on sperm.
post #12 of 13
I just googled an article about it (you are in Canada, I assume). What surprised me the most is this (quote):

DNA tests have ruled out the surrogate’s husband and other potential sperm donors.

How is this possible? If there was unintentional mix up, one of the donors of that time HAD to be the father, right? I mean a vial with sperm, all washed and ready for the procedure does NOT just appear out of nowhere, right? Unless, someone intentionally created it. I don't know, it is very possible that I just watch too many movies and look for the mistery/crime that just isn't there, but what if (just IF) the doctor (or another male employee of the clinic) were intentionally inseeminating some women (perhaps those he liked) with his sperm? I mean really, unless they have unregistered donors, I don't see how else to explain the fact that the father wasn't found among other donors.
If I were you, I'd definitely do a DNA test (it's just a quick swab and it is around $500). Perhaps if the clinic has nothing to hide they would actually agree to cover the cost of the test?

OP, many hugs to you. How disturbing . So sorry you have to deal with that...
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yulia_R View Post
I just googled an article about it (you are in Canada, I assume). What surprised me the most is this (quote):

DNA tests have ruled out the surrogate’s husband and other potential sperm donors.

How is this possible? If there was unintentional mix up, one of the donors of that time HAD to be the father, right? I mean a vial with sperm, all washed and ready for the procedure does NOT just appear out of nowhere, right? Unless, someone intentionally created it. I don't know, it is very possible that I just watch too many movies and look for the mistery/crime that just isn't there, but what if (just IF) the doctor (or another male employee of the clinic) were intentionally inseeminating some women (perhaps those he liked) with his sperm? I mean really, unless they have unregistered donors, I don't see how else to explain the fact that the father wasn't found among other donors.
If I were you, I'd definitely do a DNA test (it's just a quick swab and it is around $500). Perhaps if the clinic has nothing to hide they would actually agree to cover the cost of the test?

OP, many hugs to you. How disturbing . So sorry you have to deal with that...
I think that concern has been raised but the two children involved in the court case were tested against each other and are not related.
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