When an Ancestry Search Reveals Fertility Fraud
Mr. Berry was both stunned and relieved. The discovery did clear up one mystery, Mr. Berry said: Although his mother had asked for a donor who looked like the actor Tom Selleck, she had always thought her son looked more like Mr. Wortman.
“Now I understand this other side of myself, and when I look at the mirror, for better or worse, I see the doctor’s face,” he said. “That’s liberating on one hand. On the other hand, it’s a tough pill to swallow, because look at what he did.”
The doctor’s ex-wife, Laura Wortman, who lives in the Pacific Northwest, said she was stunned when she learned what her former husband had done. She previously worked as a registered nurse and was acquainted with the other Rochester physicians, Dr. Tichell and Dr. Dischinger, whom she described as friends with Dr. Wortman.
“I didn’t know it was going on at the time,” she said. “I feel that it was ethically wrong and that, if it’s true, it needs to be brought to light. These physicians need to be held accountable for their actions.”
Sandra Doorley, the district attorney for Monroe County, which includes Rochester, said her office was interested in looking into “these disturbing allegations” against the doctors. “I urge any victim of this deception to reach out to my office so we can investigate the matter,” she said.
Adam Wolf, a lawyer, said his firm had so far represented about two dozen women who found out through DNA testing that their child’s biological father was, in fact, their fertility doctor. In every case, the doctor said that he would find sperm from an anonymous donor but then used his own, Mr. Wolf said.
Dr. Dischinger, who died recently at 91, was a longtime OB-GYN in Rochester.
When reached by phone, his son, Todd Dischinger, said the family had no comment on the allegations that his father had secretly used his own sperm on patients.