Skip to comments.Who gets the baby? A mix-up at OHSU's fertility clinic creates a tangle of lawsuits.
Posted on 09/22/2006 8:52:55 AM PDT by momfirst
He says the clinic gave a stranger his sperm and then lied about it.
She says the clinic coerced her into taking the morning-after pill and then offered her a free abortion.
Now he wants to know whether he's a father without his consent.
And she just wants to be left alone.
Oregon Health & Science University concedes it gave his sperm to her, but beyond that it's not saying much.
On Monday, a Multnomah County Circuit Court judge will be asked to sort out whether the man has the right to learn whether the woman has had a baby and if it is his.
The case involves a high-stakes clash of an anonymous woman's right to privacy and an unwitting sperm provider's desire to have a relationship with a biological child.
It also raises serious ethical questions about how OHSU handled the mistake.
"OHSU is deeply sorry for this situation," Barbara Glidewell, OHSU patient advocate and ethicist, said in a statement. "Health care providers are human, and error is inevitable. Our goal now is to respect the decision-making and privacy of everyone involved."
Experts say the man, who goes by the initials M.H. in court papers, might have a chance to find out whether he is the father based on the unusual circumstances of the case. But they all agree that state law and court precedent strongly favor the woman.
"It's his right against hers and the child's," said Caroline Forell, a professor at the University of Oregon School of Law. "My guess is they add up the rights of the child and her and that trumps his."
Mistakes and allegations
In September 2005, M.H. gave workers at OHSU's fertility clinic a container of his sperm to be used to artificially inseminate his fiancee.
(Excerpt) Read more at oregonlive.com ...
Worthy of an Oregon Ping, for sure...
Why are the child's rights and the mother's rights inseperable? It seems to me the child would have an interest in knowing his father even if the mother doesn't want that stranger in her life.
Oh the troubles we create when we manipulate nature.
I did a double take on that one, too. Unbelievable!
But the child will have a father...The question is whether or not to allow a total stranger to have contact with it, and possibly be able to interfere in it's upbringing.
What if the sperm donor is a hard-core moonbat of some kind?
But then, the same thing could be said from the donor's point of view. What a wierd situation.
Such common sense, yet we continue to push the envelope "for science." I'm still shaking my head in disbelief at this whole situation.
What a mess. FWIW, the mother & M.H. ought to be fighting OHSU together.
That certainly is bizarre. Is there actually a child? Did the man and his fiancee have a child? Is the woman the biological molther of a child.
Too many unanswered questions.
Due to confidentiality, we may never know... but you got me thinking, assuming that both coupled actually did have a child, and assuming that the recipients both had M.H.'s sperm, those children would be biological half-siblings. Theorhetically, they could be back in court in 18 years trying to find out who their brother/sister is...hoping it's not their boyfriend/girlfriend - I know, odds are slim to none on that last one, but this whole situation raises SO many more questions than answers.
What a terribly written story, it was very difficult figuring out what happened to who! (Whom?)
Anyway, men are notoriously mistreated in abortion cases where they don't have a say in their child's life or death--OHSU screwed up royally here, and there *should* be repurcussions for that staff. How wussy was that woman when they "forced" her to take the morning-after pill?!? I'd have had there rear ends in a sling instantly! >:-(
I've got to believe there is a child. Otherwise the "mother" would demonstrate that there's no controversy here and that M.H. should leave her alone.
I'm sure glad they had experts around to point that out.
There really is no way to be totally fair here, but lots of money is going to change hands, I'd bet.
Seems like the fairest thing to happen is the mother/child keep their anonymity, but the biological father gets to have a test performed and know if the child is from his sperm.
Such a statement completely discounts the potential desire of the child to have a relationship with the biological father. So much for equal treatment under the law. It was for such reasons that I considered supporting the Equal Rights Amendment way back when. It would have given a Constitutional reason to turn back the anti-male thrust of case law. The cons outweighed the pros, however, and I'm glad on balance that it didn't pass. I think one reason why it faded as a cause is because the feminists realized the "wrong" court could reverse many of their judicial activism gains. Still, the above statement pisses me off and shows there is a long way to go.
When the mother and her husband get full custody of the child don't be surprised if they don't get back at him for being so hard on them that they make him pay child support. I have heard cases worse than this where the biological father has to pay whether he ever sees the kid or not.
I presume that, when she was to get pregnant by an "anonymous" sperm donor, that the hospital had interviewed the donor, had blood tests, knew the medical history. That information would be made available to the recipient, so medical science would have an accurate medical history if the child needed it later.
Further, the mother may have wanted to choose the race of the donor, or some other characteristic.
Obviously, none of that information is available from M.H..
Or at least, if it is, the woman has no right to that information (of course, she had no right to his sperm either, but that ship has sailed).
The child would certainly want to have access to that information, if the child was informed that he had a biological father separate from his family. I suppose the child might have been kept in the dark in the previous arrangement, since the parents would have the medical information and could provide it without revealing to the child the circumstances.
Even with slim odds it could happen. Think about all of the people you come into contact with and every once in while you find a connection. Artificial insemination has always given me the creeps. I feel horrible for people who cannot concieve, but the thought of children having annonymous DNA it's just not right. To purposely go in and donate sperm and eggs, then another person comes along and uses either of the two is just too weird. I know in the case of adoption it's along the same lines but I just view adoption differently.
That could happen anyway--one night stand, promiscuity, drunkenness. It's sad but there are thousands of children out there who aren't the child of who they think they are!
Unfortunately, unless children are born as a result of marital acts between monogamous, married parents who stay married, trouble often follows.
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