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 ...
Oops. I guess I should have read the article. My bad. Thanks for pointing that out.
No prob. ;)
you are mostly right. but that law states also that if the husband is sterile, his legal father status is waived
No such provision exists in traditional common law -- not surprising since it was virtually impossible to establish sterility until fairly recent times. But the nature of common law is that it evolves via case law, and I'm sure some states have established a proven-sterility exception, either via case law or via legislation.