A woman in Japan has filed a lawsuit against the sperm donor who impregnated her, alleging that he was dishonest about his civil status, educational background and ethnicity.
The unnamed plaintiff, a 30-year-old woman from Tokyo, said she and her husband wanted to have a second child but were concerned after finding out that her husband has a hereditary condition, reported Tokyo Shimbun via Newsweek.
After deciding to use a sperm donor, they found a man in his 20s on social media who claimed to be a single Japanese man who graduated from Kyoto University, one of Japan’s top universities. After having sex with the donor 10 times, the woman finally became pregnant in June 2019.
The woman eventually discovered later on in the pregnancy that the donor is actually a married Chinese man who never attended Kyoto University. After giving birth, the woman and her husband gave up the baby, who is currently being cared for in a child center in Tokyo.
The woman has accused the donor of misleading her with false information to have sex with her. She is now seeking approximately $2.8 million dollars as compensation for emotional distress.
Under Japan’s “right to know” laws, the offspring of sperm donors have a legal right to identify both of their biological parents. With many donors choosing to remain anonymous, finding potential sperm donors in the country has become complicated.
More couples in Japan have been turning to social media to look for sperm donors, and over 10,000 children have reportedly been born with a third party’s involvement.
The Mirai Life Research Institute opened Japan’s first sperm bank last summer to provide a safer option for Japanese couples who are trying to conceive, reported Japan Insider.
The institute’s director, Dr. Hiroshi Okada, warned that unsupervised forms of insemination pose health risks and other dangers.
“Not only is this a safety issue, but it can also be criminal and extremely dangerous,” Okada was quoted as saying. “The semen that is handed over may carry infectious agents. We don’t know if the sperm belongs to the donor or not. When the child is born, it may turn out that the sperm is not Japanese. Such crazy things are happening.”
According to Okada, 96.4% of over 140 platforms for sperm donation are “not safe,” noting that many of them serve as fronts for people who want to defraud others.