“Donor Number 9623” seemed like a biological jackpot. He was described on Georgia-based sperm bank Xytex’s web site as a physically and mentally healthy man with a genius IQ, who was pursuing his PhD in neuroscience engineering.
In reality, he was a 39-year old college dropout named Chris Aggeles, a man diagnosed with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, narcissistic personality disorder, and several other mental health issues. He’s been in and out of jail several times for burglary, and he’s never held a job for any significant length of time.
Dozens of women were drawn to this man’s profile, and had themselves impregnated with his sperm. Aggeles ended up fathering 36 children to 26 families.
The sperm bank claims they did not know about Aggele’s problems. But several families have taken Xytex to court, alleging that company officials knew about the donor’s issues, but never addressed them.
One of the plaintiffs, Angie Collins, says that her claim against Xytex was dismissed. The judge said this is considered a “wrongful birth” lawsuit, which is not recognized in Georgia. Collins appealed her case, but again, the suit was dismissed.
Now Xytex is being sued by three families in Canada, where “wrongful birth” lawsuits are recognized. Xytex claims they complied with all industry standards and will vigorously defend themselves.
This is a truly sad case for everyone involved. But this is hardly the only sperm bank disaster story.
One mother, Cynthia Daily, used a donor registry in 2011 to trace over 150 children from the same sperm donor who fathered her son.
In the mid-1990’s, fertility specialist Cecil Jacobson, was found guilty of lying about the source of the sperm and using his own sperm instead. Dr. Jacobson, it was later discovered, had fathered at least 75 of his patient’s children.
And who could ever forget the 2015 case of Jennifer Cramblett, the outspoken liberal lesbian mother, who sued her sperm bank after giving birth to a half-black child despite asking for a “blonde, blue-eyed” baby. (Don’t you just love the hypocrisy?) Her case was also dismissed, but the sperm bank issued her an apology and a partial refund.
Sperm banks provide a valuable service to nearly 50,000 American families every year. But it seems that buying sperm is no different than buying any other product: heed the call of “buyer beware”.