LANSING, Mich. (Michigan News Source) – The Michigan Legislature is working on a bill to prevent fertility doctor deception regarding sperm donor identities after a constituent reported a fertility doctor’s practice in the 104th district. 

Representative John Roth (R-Green Lake Township) recently announced his intention and partnership with several other representatives to introduce legislation to “provide justice to the victims of fertility fraud,” better known as assisted reproduction fraud.  

MORE NEWS: Illegal Mexican National Charged with Home Invasion and Sexual Assault in St. Joseph County

A constituent of Rep. Roth came forward revealing that she was a victim of reproduction fraud when her DNA test results indicated that she was not 100% Scottish as she had been led to believe; rather the DNA sample from the father was matched to the fertility specialist that her mother used, Dr. Philip Peven.  

She then learned that she had more than 30 siblings, all sharing Dr. Peven as the father who had been operating out of metro-Detroit and retired in the late 1980s.  The Detroit News reported that Peven died in May of 2022 at the age of 105. 

“He had them choose a donor of their liking, then inexcusably abused his power and status by tactically disposing of said donor’s sperm, which were carefully selected,” the victim told Rep. Roth, “He would then inseminate his patients with a fresh sperm sample from himself.” 

Yet, according to the victim, doctors have the ability to do this legally, but claimed “it’s a repulsive act on every level, and it must be outlawed immediately.”  

“There are no laws against it in the state of Michigan, no guardrails, no nothing,” Roth said. “It is a wild, wild West in Michigan as far as fertility.”

Rep. Roth, alongside Representatives Reps. Karen Whitsett (D-Detroit), Kelly Breen (D-Novi), Samantha Steckloff (D-Farmington Hills), and Alicia St. Germaine (R-Harrison Township) have voiced bipartisan support for addressing this issue. 

MORE NEWS: More Than 50 Animals Rescued Out of Emmet County from Alleged Hoarding Situation

“My colleagues and I feel that this issue is only going to grow as more people use home DNA testing kits,” Roth said in a statement. “When people find out they were lied to about their backgrounds, it’s extremely disturbing. These victims deserve justice, and that’s exactly what I intend to deliver through this legislation.”

A Netflix documentary released in spring 2022 titled Our Father, reveals a similar case in the state of Indiana, in which Dr. Donald Cline provided his own sperm sample rather than selected donors’; as of the summer of 2022, there were 90 individuals who had confirmed Dr. Cline was their biological father.  

While there is no current federal or Michigan law to make this act illegal, in 2019 Indiana passed Act Number 174, which makes it illegal for a fertility doctor to use their own sperm without the patient’s consent, and allows victims of the doctor’s, including spouses and their children, to sue them in civil court.