Their Children Were Conceived With Donated Sperm. It Was the Wrong Sperm.

Their Children Were Conceived With Donated Sperm. It Was the Wrong Sperm.


“You don’t know what you inherited — you could stack the deck against your own child unwittingly,” she continued. “It’s not the same as rape. You’re having a medical procedure. But you’re putting this stuff into your body, and I felt physically violated.”

Awilda Grillo, president of Repro Lab, said that the sperm that Melissa was given 25 years ago was not collected by the company, but came from a bank in California.

“We didn’t package the sample,” Ms. Grillo said. “We gave her what she ordered.”

Melissa filed a 40-page complaint against Repro Lab with the New York State Department of Health. But the department’s only finding against the lab was poor record keeping.

There are few legal remedies for parents who receive the wrong sperm, Melissa learned.

“I wasn’t interested in trying to sue, because I love my daughter,” she said. “Also, I’d have to sue for wrongful birth, and if there is no health issue involved, then there’s no wrongdoing on their part.”

Jennifer Cramblett of Uniontown, Ohio, filed suit against Midwest Sperm Bank in 2014, in the Chicago area, after learning that she and her female partner had mistakenly been given sperm from the wrong donor.

Indeed, the couple’s child was clearly biracial, although the donor they’d selected was white. Sperm vial numbers at the bank were written in pen and ink, and the facility’s records were not computerized, the suit claimed.

But the judge threw out the case, saying it was not a “wrongful birth” because Ms. Cramblett’s child had no health problems.



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