PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A man who says his donated sperm was used to father at least 17 children in violation of an agreement that allowed for no more than five has sued an Oregon fertility clinic.
Dr. Bryce Cleary believes it’s possible that he has many more children from his sperm donations 30 years ago, the Oregonian/OregonLive reported.
The lawsuit filed Wednesday in Multnomah County Circuit Court says Cleary donated his sperm when he was a first-year medical student at Oregon Health & Science University in 1989 after the hospital’s fertility clinic solicited him and other classmates.
In March 2018, his lawsuit says he began to learn that his sperm donations successfully resulted in the births of some children after two young women, born through the fertility clinic process, contacted him.
The suit says the young women told him they used Ancentry.com data as well as “specific and substantive information” given to them by the fertility clinic to identify more siblings and Cleary himself. Cleary then sent his own DNA to Ancestry.com, discovering that he had at least 17 offspring born through his sperm donations.
Cleary is “profoundly distressed” as he wades through the “moral, legal, ethical, and personal obligations” he now feels toward those 17 children, the lawsuit said. He is seeking $5.25 million.
OHSU spokeswoman Tamara Hargens-Bradley said it treats any allegation of misconduct with “the gravity it deserves. In light of our patient privacy obligations and the confidentiality of protected health information, we cannot comment on this case.”
Cleary, who had three sons with his wife, as well as adopted a daughter, says the clinic also breached another promise that all of the children be born to mothers living outside Oregon.
Cleary, who lives in Corvallis, learned that at least two of the offspring have attended the same schools as the children he raised with his wife, according to the lawsuit.