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Lawsuit: Fertility Doctor Secretly Fathered 11 Kids with Clients
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Summary: A class-action lawsuit claims a Canadian doctor used his own sperm to inseminate almost a dozen unsuspecting women. 

A class-action lawsuit alleges that a Canadian fertility doctor used his own sperm to father at least 11 kids with his clients, according to CNN.


Multiple families accused Dr. Norman Barwin of using his sperm without their knowledge or consent to implant women who had hired him for help at his clinic. The plaintiffs’ law firm, Nelligan O’Brien Payne, said that at least 11 individuals were fathered by Barwin and DNA tests proved that.

The lawsuit said that in some cases they were told the sperm donor would be an anonymous stranger but Barwin secretly used his own product.

The plaintiffs’ attorney, Peter Cronyn, said that the families were surprised at how many children Barwin fathered and he said what the doctor did was a tremendous breach of trust.

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“When people have discovered that their children are not as what was intended, it’s a very distressing discovery,” Cronyn said to the CBC.

The plaintiffs said that Barwin not only used his own sperm to father 11 children but that a DNA investigation found that 16 children were not biological matches to the men who were supposed to be their father. Additionally, 35 children who were conceived with an anonymous donor who the mother picked were fathered by men not chosen by the mothers.

Barwin owned a fertility clinic that ran out of the Ottawa General Hospital in Canada. The lawsuit said that he has been fathering children starting in the 1970s.

Barwin’s license was suspended in 2013 after he admitted he inseminated four women with the wrong sperm 20 years prior. He was reinstated in two months by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.

The class-action lawsuit was originally filed in 2016 by a woman who said that her parents had gone to Barwin’s clinic in 1989, but she discovered years later that her DNA did not match with her mother’s husband. The woman, Rebecca Dixon, investigated Barwin’s clinic after learning the news, and in her lawsuit, she said that she noticed she had “an uncanny physical resemblance to Dr. Barwin.”

Dixon then connected online with Kat Palmer, who was also conceived at Barwin’s clinic. Palmer researched her DNA using an ancestry website, and she also believed that Barwin was her father. In 2015, Barwin emailed Palmer and confirmed that he was her biological father.

“As I’ve realized the extent of what Barwin has done and the number of people he has affected in so many different ways, it certainly made me feel even more strongly that we’re doing the right thing,” Dixon said to CNN.

What do you think of the allegations in this case? Let us know in the comments below.



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