Monday, April 16, 2007

Judge says accidental sperm donor has no right to know if he's a father

Posted by The Oregonian April 16, 2007 15:56PM
By Ashbel S. Green

A Portland man whose sperm was inadvertently given to a Salem-area woman has no right to find out whether he is a father, a Multnomah County judge has ruled.

Circuit Judge Henry Kantor said he was not finished writing his opinion, but wanted the parties to know his decision because it had been so long - nearly seven months - since they argued the case before him.The man, who sued for a paternity test under the initials M.H., claimed that he produced a sperm sample at Oregon Health & Science University's fertility clinic in September to impregnate his fiancee. The same day, a Marion County couple that had struggled to start a family was visiting the clinic. A mix-up occurred, and clinic workers gave M.H.'s sperm sample to the woman.

OHSU has apologized for giving the woman the sperm.

M.H. claims OHSU officials initially lied about what happened to his sample, only conceding later that they gave it away.

The woman claims OHSU officials tried to coerce her into having an abortion.

Since then, M.H. has filed two lawsuits: one to establish whether he is the father of a child and another to get $2 million from OHSU for emotional distress.

Jane Paulson, an attorney for M.H., declined to comment on whether her client would appeal.

Michael G. Smith, the attorney for the Marion County couple, praised the decision. He said he expected M.H. to appeal. "I think essentially what they would be doing is to ask the Oregon Court of Appeals to declare Oregon's artificial insemination statute unconstitutional, which is a tall order," Smith said


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