An Ontario couple were over-the-moon with delight when their first child was born. Angela Collins and Margaret Elizabeth Hanson of Port Hope Ontario had purchased sperm from Xytex Corp. in Atlanta, who touted the sperm donor as an overachiever with a 160 IQ, working on his PhD in Neuroscience Engineering.
The couple received their donor’s photo which showed an attractive man, only later did they learn the photo had been photoshopped.
Seven years after the birth of their son, Xytex inadvertently released the name of the anonymous donor to Ms. Collins and Ms. Hanson. That was when they discovered their child’s father was schizophrenic ex-convict, James Christian Aggeles, a college drop-out who had fathered 20 other children through the services of Xytex.
The couple’s lawsuit reveals that if they had known the truth about the donor’s background and medical history they would have declined. Their lawyer, Nancy Hersh, said the couple love their child but want to ensure they have the funds to properly evaluate and care for him if he is diagnosed as schizophrenic. Ms. Hersh is representing 15 other mothers in the same situation as the Ontario couple.
Collins and Hanson say they have suffered emotional and financial damages and are suing for fraud, negligent misrepresentation, breach of warranty, and unfair business practices.
According to John Hopkins Medical School, research data shows that schizophrenia affects about 1% of Americans. If a parent has schizophrenia, there is a 10% chance their child will be similarly afflicted.
Canadian couples are forced to use offshore sperm banks as Canada has only one national sperm bank, Toronto’s Institute for Reproductive Medicine, and they have only 51 active donors. Two small clinics in Quebec have several donors but only operate locally.
It is reported that there is a need for donor sperm for more than 5,500 inseminations per year in Canada, 3,000 of those for lesbian couples.
Spokesperson, Wendy Kramer, for the American non-profit “Donor Sibling Registry” says there is little regulation or oversight in the sperm bank industry allowing donors to get away with saying whatever they want about their personal and medical histories.
With the number of women requiring donors, it surely is time for proper protocols to be legislated to protect vulnerable women, eager to have a child.
Lawdiva aka Georgialee Lang