U.S. Second Circuit - The FindLaw 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

Fertility Clinic Sued by Gay Couple Over Sperm Mix-Up

Life can be confusing, especially when it comes to gestational surrogacy.

In New York, for example, a gay couple has sued a fertility institute for mixing up their sperm. The men wanted to have a woman bear their children by artificial insemination, but something went wrong at the clinic.

In Doe v. New England Fertility Institute, they blame the doctor for producing the wrong baby. It was supposed to be the other father's.

A Little Tangled

The family tree in this case is a little tangled.

John Doe and Richard Roe, as they are named in the case, wanted two have two children. The first child would be fathered by Doe, and the second by Roe.

A woman agreed to donate her eggs, and the gestational mother gave birth to the first child in 2016. They tried for the second child in 2018, but the pregnancy failed.

Meanwhile, the first child -- Jane Doe in the complaint -- was welcomed into Doe's biological family. But as she grew, the family thought she looked a lot like Roe.

A Lot Like Roe

A paternity test confirmed their suspicions. Jane Doe was biologically Jane Roe.

"While the plaintiffs are overjoyed about having Jane Doe in their lives, this news was shocking and caused emotional distress to plaintiffs and their families," they said in their complaint.

It could have been worse. In California, a mother is suing a doctor for allegedly using his own sperm to artificially inseminate her.

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