Woman Accused of Stealing Sperm for IVF Treatment

A Texas man is suing a local fertility clinic for using his sperm without his permission after it was allegedly stolen by his ex-girlfriend.

BioNews.com is reporting that Joe Pressil, 36, whose stolen sperm was used to produce twins in 2007, said he discovered what his former girlfriend did in February of this year after receiving a receipt for cryopreservation of a sperm sample from the Advanced Fertility Centre of Texas in Houston which listed him as the patient.

He claims his girlfriend gave birth to twins a year after they broke up and when a paternity test later revealed that he is the father of the twins, she sued him and won child support.  However, he had no idea of how she went about conceiving the children until after the Fertility Centre receipt landed in his mailbox.

“Actually, I couldn’t believe it could be done. I was very, very devastated. I couldn’t believe that this fertility clinic could actually do this without my consent, or without my even being there,” Pressil told KPRC TV in Houston.

He claims that he was not ready to have a family, and also objected to artificial insemination on religious grounds.

“That’s a violation of myself, to what I believe in, to my religion, and just to my manhood,” Pressil said.

In addition to suing the fertility clinic for negligence, he is also suing the company’s in-house sperm bank, Omni-Med, for refusing to return the rest of the sperm sample.

In a statement from Pressil’s lawyer, Jason Gibson, it was outlined that “due to the unexpected birth of his children caused by defendants, Pressil suffered severe mental anguish and incurred economic harm due to substantial child support payments.”

Apparently, Pressil’s girlfriend, who registered as Anetria Pressil at the clinic even though the couple were not married, told him that she could not get pregnant due to a fibroid problem that required her to use special condoms. She would always dispose of the condom after sex, he said, adding that he always found her behavior to be odd.

“It’s not what you’re thinking when you’re in a relationship,” Gibson said. “That’s not what most people are thinking, that their partner is going to get a special condom, use that condom as soon as you’re done having sex, run off to the fertility clinic to go have an IVF procedure. That’s certainly not what my client was thinking,” Gibson said.

Anetria’s attorney, Derek Deyon, claims Pressil filed suit just to avoid paying child support and says his client denies all charges.

This case is one of many that is raising serious questions about how IVF fertility centers, which remain unregulated in the U.S., manage the male and female gametes entrusted to their care. In addition to clinic foul-ups such as impregnating women with the wrong embryo or producing up to a 100 siblings from the same donor, a new documentary, Anonymous Father’s Day, draws attention to the plight of children born from anonymous donors who are desperate to know their genetic parents.

These are only some of the reasons why the Church has so wisely condemned these practices. “Techniques that entail the dissociation of husband and wife, by the intrusion of a person other than the couple (donation of sperm or ovum, surrogate uterus), are gravely immoral. These techniques (heterologous artificial insemination and fertilization) infringe the child’s right to be born of a father and mother known to him and bound to each other by marriage. They betray the spouses’ “right to become a father and a mother only through each other.” (Catechism No. 2376)

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