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Family Sues Negligent Sperm Bank

Sharine and Brian K. of Yukon, Oklahoma tried to get pregnant naturally for years with no success. Frustrated and unhopeful, they turned to a number of alternative treatments. When nothing worked, they began considering working with a sperm donor. Sharine and Brian meticulously researched a viable donor, and after a year, the couple thought that they landed on their match. The donor was a family man, with similar faith as the couple, and had his sperm stored the New England Cryogenic Center in Boston. The laboratory’s website explicitly stated that all donors had been screened and tested for genetic diseases. Sharine and her husband were hesitant, but decided to move forward.

Sharine became pregnant after receiving sperm from the donor, and in April 2010 she gave birth to a son, Jaxon. But when Jaxon failed to have a bowel movement in 24 hours, doctors feared that something was wrong. When a toxicity built up in his body, Jaxon was rushed into surgery. After investigations, the doctors returned with terrible news– Jaxon had cystic fibrosis.

Naturally, Sharine and Brian were devastated and shocked. The website explicitly stated that the sperm samples are thoroughly tested for diseases, which would include cystic fibrosis. Sharine later learned that she was a carrier for CF, but was appalled to learn that the donor’s sample came up positive as well.

Trying to Move Forward

Jaxon’s parents fear that they will not be the only family that suffers from this. They have filed a lawsuit against the laboratory that provided the sperm. However, a spokesperson from the company claimed that other families had no complications from the same sperm.

Now Jaxon’s parents wonder about his future, and how many other families will be victims of similar situations. At this time, the FDA does not mandate that samples get tested for genetic diseases, only infectious ones. There are groups that are currently lobbying to change this regulation.