Xytex Corporation, a cryobank based in Georgia, settled negligence lawsuits aimed at the cryobank’s failure to property screen a sperm donor who had a criminal history and schizophrenia – a mental illness with a significant genetic component.
Court records indicate Donor 9623, known as James Christian Aggeles, has fathered 36 children.
The lawsuits allege that Xytex did not perform the appropriate health and criminal background checks that should have flagged Aggeles as an unsuitable donor. Aggeles donated sperm to Xytex for more than a decade, taking a hiatus while serving time in jail time and during stays at mental hospitals.
Xytex’s attempts at dismissing the lawsuits were rejected.
“If Xytex had screened Donor 9623 as carefully as claimed… he likely would have been rejected. Xytex surely knew that it failed to screen up to the standard it advertised,” Judge William Alsup wrote in his order. Channel 11 Alive News sat down with Angie Collins, one of the plaintiffs who had selected Aggeles as a sperm donor through Xytex.
“Never did I imagine that I would have paid to have a felon with multiple debilitating inheritable mental health issues,” Collins said. She added, “The public needs to know the truth behind the business. Right now, we’re just tapping a little tiny crack in an egg. It’s only just begun.”
Collins is hoping that sperm banks will conduct annual background checks on their donors. While the lawsuit only directly affects Xytex, concerned parents-to-be requiring sperm donors are asking for more stringent regulation across the board.
Egg donors are typically held to higher standards, including extensive medical and psychological screenings as well as background checks. There is a definite gap in industry standards in regard to protocol for screening sperm donors and egg donors, and an overhaul of this inequity is long overdue.