A woman who took an at-home genealogy test recently made a shocking discovery, learning that her biological father was actually her mother’s fertility doctor. Her mother has since filed a lawsuit against Dr. Michael Kiken, who is licensed in Virginia, alleging his actions in the 1970s and 1980s amounted to assault. 40-year-old Julie Druyor’s mother claimed that, when she sought the help of Dr. Kiken in 1979, he led her to believe he would find a young donor, likely a medical student, to donate sperm anonymously. Julie’s DNA test also revealed that she grew up near a half-brother, also (presumably unknowingly) fathered by Dr. Kiken.
In his response to the complaint filed in court, Dr. Kiken defended his actions by stating that there were no commercially available sperm banks in close proximity and that he maintained the secrecy of his identity as the donor because his patient wanted an anonymous sperm donor.
Unfortunately, this is just the latest instance of a fertility doctor using his own sperm to impregnate patients. In the 1970s and 1980s, doctors who chose to use their own sperm likely couldn’t fathom a future where their patients’ children would be able to identify their biological family using saliva samples they collected themselves, in the comfort of their own home for a nominal cost.
The outcome of this latest case is yet to be determined. However, in previous cases involving similar circumstances, the doctors’ unwitting victims faced uphill challenges as there were very few states with laws specifically prohibiting doctors from using their own sperm to impregnate their fertility patients. While at least five states have passed laws making this type of action a crime today, those laws are unfortunately not retroactive. We will watch this case as it progresses and will share updates as they are available.
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