When a Russian mother went to a sperm bank to have a baby, she expected to be able to pick every trait about her son-to-be. Desiring to have a “designer baby,” the Russian mother was stunned when she gave birth to a little boy with “dwarfism.” Because the woman, who is a successful writer whose name has remained protected, gave birth to the little boy with the birth defect.
Based on donor information and photographs, the Russian mother chose the sperm donor and got pregnant. She has since filed a lawsuit against the sperm bank for the misinformation, and the court had ordered the international sperm bank to close its website.
The mother, who chose the sperm donor, underwent a successful IVF treatment at the Moscow clinic after paying the sperm bank for the man’s sperm. The website advertises itself as providing photographs of the sperm donors so people can get exactly what they want when it comes to their designer babies.
“Get access to photos of the donors as adults,” the website writes. “Are you looking for a donor who looks like you or your partner? Now you can get access to adult photos of a selection of our newly released sperm donors.”
The Russian mother chose a man who had blond hair and fair features. His height was also listed as being over 6 feet tall. Because the Russian woman was over the age of forty, she knew that she had to hurry to get pregnant so she could have a child.
However, the Russian mother learned that the child was growing within her that the unborn baby was suspected of achondroplasia. This rare and incurable disease is suffered by one in 20,000 children and causes dwarfism. Because this birth defect was found late in the pregnancy, the woman could not undergo an abortion and had to go through with the high-risk pregnancy.
The condition was confirmed when the baby was born. Doctors told the outraged mother that the child would never grow to be more than four feet tall. She had wanted a tall baby, not a dwarf. That’s why she decided to file a lawsuit against the international sperm bank for their failure to give her what she wanted.
Because the mother felt that the sperm bank was not accurate in their information, she hoped her lawsuit would warn other mothers that customers could be put at risk. When the famous writer brought her case before the Koptevsky district court, they ruled in her favor and blocked the Danish sperm bank named Cryos from operating in Russia. Now it is against the law for the sperm bank to work with potential clients in the country.
A watchdog group called Roszdravnadzor was dissatisfied with Cryos and felt they did not provide good information. The watchdog group questioned Cryos’s “medical genetic examination” and their analysis of “mental and physical condition” as well as the survey of the family tree of donors. The company screens donors for 46 of the most common recessive genetic diseases. Cryos has since blamed the IVF clinic for the birth defect.
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