Paternity and child support lawsuits abound in family law. Hollywood gossip has made us all too familiar with cases in which a woman sues an old flame — or a celebrity she’s never met — to get financial support for children he didn’t know he had. But a recent case in Texas has an interesting twist.
A Houston man says his ex-girlfriend stole his sperm without his knowledge, brought it to a fertility clinic and later delivered twin boys after receiving in vitro fertilization. She then sued him for child support and won after a paternity test determined he was the father.
The man said his ex-girlfriend had told him she wasn’t able to have children due to a medical condition, but that they needed to use a specific sort of condom during sex. In retrospect, it was suspicious, the man said, especially because she always asked to discard the condom for him.
The man says he discovered the plot after receiving a receipt in the mail from the clinic. The receipt listed him as a patient, even though he had never been there. He says his religious beliefs would never allow him to donate to a sperm bank, and he never planned on having children. He’s now suing the clinic, claiming they shouldn’t have allowed his ex-girlfriend to use the sperm without his permission.
The clinic, however, says that many men are uncomfortable visiting a fertility clinic and instead choose to send samples instead of appearing in person. An attorney for the clinic also said the man had blood work submitted to the clinic around the time of the IVF procedure, and that it has signed consent forms from him. The attorney conceded that the man may not have ever visited the clinic and that the forms could have been forged by his ex-girlfriend.
The attorney also said that the procedure was billed to the man’s health insurance. The man admits that he allowed his then-girlfriend to sign on to his insurance as a domestic partner, but that when he saw the clinic name on the bill, he assumed it was for treatment of the medical condition she claimed prevented her from having children.
The man’s lawsuit, which has yet to be resolved, raises the question of whether more verification should be required at fertility clinics. The man who never planned on having a family now has two bundles of joy — and unexpected monthly bills to pay for both.
Source: Click2Houston.com, “Dad: Twins came from stolen sperm,” Stephen Dean, Nov. 22, 2011