Woman accuses Boston fertility doctor of covertly using his own sperm, sparks lawsuit after DNA kit discovery

According to a complaint filed on Wednesday in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, more than 40 years after a couple sought the help of a reproductive expert in Boston, Massachusetts, their daughter discovered through a purchased DNA test that the doctor is her biological father.

According to the lawsuit, Dr. Merle Berger covertly used his own sperm to inseminate Sarah Depoian in 1980.

“This is an extreme violation,” Depoian said in a statement issued by her lawyer, Adam Wolf. “I’m still trying to process it.” I had complete faith in Dr. Berger. We expected him to act responsibly and morally. I’ll never entirely recover from his betrayal of me.”

Woman accuses Boston fertility doctor of covertly using his own sperm, sparks lawsuit after DNA kit discovery

Dr. Berger, one of the founders of Boston IVF and a former Harvard Medical School professor, informed Depoian at the time that the sperm used in the insemination would be from a medical resident “who resembled her husband” and “whom she did not know,” according to the complaint.

According to the allegation, Dr. Berger instead used his own sperm to inseminate Depoian.

“Dr. Berger secretly implanted his own sperm into Sarah Depoian.” “He did so against her wishes and without her consent,” Depoian’s attorney Wolf said in a news statement.

According to court records, Depoian’s daughter Carolyn discovered Dr. Berger was her father after purchasing DNA kits from Ancestry.com and 23andMe last year.

According to the lawsuit, the findings revealed that she was linked to Dr. Berger’s granddaughter and Dr. Berger’s second cousin. She then pieced it all together after speaking with “one of her newfound relatives,” according to the complaint.

“To say I was shocked when I realized this was an understatement,” Carolyn said in the statement. “It appears like reality has transformed. I simply wanted to express how proud I am of my mother for speaking up, and how honored I am to be at her side.”

According to the complaint, after realizing what had happened, Depoian contacted Dr. Berger through her attorney, who did not deny that she consented only to insemination with a donor’s sperm who didn’t know her and whom she didn’t know.

Berger’s legal team sent a statement to CNN station WCVB disputing the allegations.

Woman accuses Boston fertility doctor of covertly using his own sperm, sparks lawsuit after DNA kit discovery

“Dr. Merle Berger was a pioneer in the medical fertility field who in 50 years of practice helped thousands of families fulfill their dreams of having a child,” according to the press release.

“He is well-known for his empathy for the mental suffering of the ladies who sought to him for assistance in conceiving. The allegations date back over 40 years, to the early days of artificial insemination. It was very different from modern-day fertility care before sperm banks and IVF.”

According to the press release, “The allegations, which have changed repeatedly in the six months since the plaintiff’s attorney first contacted Dr. Berger, have no legal or factual merit, and will be disproven in court.”

CNN has reached out to Dr. Berger for comment but has not received a response.

In a response to CNN, Boston IVF stated that the incident occurred before they existed.

“We recently learned that Dr. Merle Berger was named in a lawsuit,” according to the business. “This incident occurred more than 40 years ago, before Dr. Berger’s employment at BostonIVF and, indeed, before our company existed.”

We would want to emphasize that the field of reproductive endocrinology and infertility is very different today than it was decades ago, and the present safety precautions and safeguards would make such charges virtually impossible. Patients should have confidence that our field continues to adhere to the highest ethical and medical standards.”

According to WCVB, Dr. Berger will leave Boston IVF in 2020.

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