In today's "news that sounds like the plot of a Vince Vaughn movie but is an actual, real-life happenstance," a Canadian lesbian couple is suing their sperm bank, Xytex Corp., for allegedly misleading them about their sperm donor. This was no case of wanting blue eyes and getting baby juice from someone with brown eyes, either — it's more along the lines of the couple being told they were paying for sperm from Tony Stark and getting... well, pretty much the opposite, they say.Angela Collins and Margaret Elizabeth Hanson claim that Xytex Corp. told them they were paying for sperm from a man with "an IQ of 160
, an undergraduate degree in neuroscience and a master's degree in artificial intelligence, who was pursuing a Ph.D. in neuroscience engineering," CBS News reports. To top it all off, the couple claims the sperm bank told them he was "mature beyond his years," with an "impressive health history." However, after receiving an email containing their donor's name (which may or may not have been an accident, according to CBS), they took the opportunity to find out more about their son's biological father. Unfortunately, the supposed doctoral candidate's life was much less glamorous than they were expecting.Instead of being a Ph.D. candidate, they say that Donor 9623 dropped out of college as an undergraduate, Cosmopolitan reports. His "impressive health history" allegedly includes schizophrenia and an arrest for burglary in the past. Oh, and the couple claims the sperm bank altered a photo of the donor to remove a mole on his face.
<img alt="" src="https://31.media.tumblr.com/7ca0187863097c246169b7f15dd5b5be/tumblr_mkwy82rpUw1ruz7vmo1_500.gif" class="article-body-image" title="Image: https://31.media.tumblr.com/7ca0187863097c246169b7f15dd5b5be/tumblr_mkwy82rpUw1ruz7vmo1_500.gif"/>In its court filing, the sperm bank claims that it "followed industry standards" and made it clear that "the medical and social history was provided by the donor and cannot be verified for accuracy," New York Daily News reports. One of the couple's lawyers, Nancy Hersh, strongly disagrees."
They don't say, 'This is what he told us.' They say, 'This is who he is,'" she told CBS News. Sperm banks have been around since the 1950s, but it is still an industry with relatively loose regulations. According to CBS News, the FDA only requires testing for contagious or infectious diseases, with no guidelines for genetic testing. While this is not a concern most of the time, recently groups of children have been showing above-average rates of various hereditary conditions, the Daily Beast reports. The common factor? The children were all fathered by the same sperm donor.
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Although Collins and Hanson's seven-year-old son is currently healthy, the couple's lawsuit says that they will have to pay for genetic testing, and possibly treatment, for schizophrenia for the rest of his life. As a result, they are seeking to establish a "medical monetary fund" for their child and any other children fathered by Donor 9623 to cover the cost of any medical testing.
It seems like major publications cover the unregulated sperm donation industry at least once a year, but so far not much has been done to increase regulation. Let's hope that Collins and Hanson's case will garner enough attention to effect real change.