LANSING, Mich. — Michigan lawmakers are working to prevent fertility fraud, which is when a doctor uses their own genetic material instead of a donor’s when performing a reproductive procedure.
The practice is legal in Michigan, but a proposed bill would require sperm banks to keep better records of donor information so people can’t be misled when family planning.
The legislation stems from a case out of Metro Detroit when a doctor reportedly fathered dozens, possibly even hundreds, of children over his 40-year career.
He’s accused of throwing out the sperm from the chosen donors during fertility treatments and replacing it with his own.
Dr. Philip Peven came under fire after a DNA test connected him to the daughter of one of his patients.
She says she thought she was 100-percent Scottish, but then found out she was Jewish, too.
Representative John Roth (R-District 104) introduced the legislation, which has gained bipartisan support.
“That was kind of interesting in her family because nobody was Jewish in the family, so kind of traced back to find out that mom and dad had used a fertility clinic to help them conceive…So unfortunately, one of the doctors there was Jewish and that kind of led to some questions about what went on…It was actually the doctor that loaned his DNA to the couple without their knowledge,” Representative Roth explained. “Many of these women that were inseminated unwillingly or unknowingly of who their donor was, they feel like they’ve been criminally assaulted.”
Representative Roth added that the bills are not meant to punish good doctors or medical facilities, but instead to put precautions in place to help prevent this kind of fraud in Michigan.
The bills were sent to the House Judiciary Committee for consideration.