Fertility doctor is father to 11 of clients’ kids, lawsuit says
(CNN) A doctor who ran a fertility clinic in Canada used his own sperm to father at least 11 children, a class-action lawsuit alleges.
Dr. Norman Barwin is accused of using his sperm without the knowledge or consent of the families who approached him for insemination treatment at his clinic, according to the suit.
“We are now aware of 11 individuals whose parents went to Dr. Barwin for assistance with fertility, and DNA investigation discloses that he is their biological father,” says a statement from Ottawa law firm Nelligan O’Brien Payne, which filed the suit.
POLL: Should doctor who allegedly inserted his own sperm into 11 women without their knowledge or consent be charged with rape? Cast your vote in the Comments section below.
The suit alleges that in some cases, Barwin was supposed to use the sperm from the male of the couple for insemination; in other cases, he was expected to use an anonymous sperm donor.
“Instead, it turns out that Dr. Barwin himself is the biological father,” the statement says.
Attorneys representing Barwin declined to comment to CNN.
Peter Cronyn, one of the lawyers representing the plaintiffs, accused the doctor of a tremendous breach of trust.
He said his firm expected to find that the doctor was the father of some children, but it didn’t “think it was going to be quite as much as we found.”
“When people have discovered that their children are not as what was intended, it’s a very distressing discovery,” Cronyn told the CBC, an affiliate of CNN.
The law firm says the allegations date as far as the 1970s, when Barwin ran the Broadview Fertility Clinic and practiced out of a fertility clinic at Ottawa General Hospital. The most recent case is from the early 2000s, the suit claims.
In addition, at least another 16 children were found not to be biological matches to the men previously believed to be their fathers, according to the statement from the plaintiffs’ law firm.
Darran Simon and Wayne Drash; CNN’s Jacqueline Howard contributed to this report. Read the full story at CNN.