A sperm donor’s betrayal has led to one mother’s shame and an orphaned child.
A Japanese woman is suing the biological father of her second child for 330 million yen ($2.86 million) after learning that he’d lied about his identity.
The Tokyo resident, who is in her 30s, thought she’d found a successful Japanese man with a Kyoto University education, and had sex with him 10 times in an effort to get pregnant, according to Japanese media.
The woman had previously had one child with her current husband, but decided to conceive with a donor when she learned her husband carried a hereditary disorder that could be passed to his offspring. She sought the help of social media to find the perfect candidate.
Their efforts paid off in July 2019. But, soon after getting pregnant by the donor, the woman, who remains unidentified in local reports, learned that the biological father of her unborn child is, in fact, a married Chinese man who did not attend the prestigious research university.
The woman decided to put her baby up for adoption as it was already too late to abort the pregnancy. She’s now suing for fraud, citing “emotional distress” caused by his lies.
Japan’s sperm donation industry is largely unregulated, according to a Vice News investigation. Commercial artificial insemination is scarce, and it’s limited only to heterosexual married couples. The situation has led many parents to take their efforts online and in their own hands.
“In Japan, there is no public system or legal system for sperm donation,” the woman’s lawyer said during a press conference on Tuesday. His client has relayed that the ordeal has caused her physical and emotional distress, due in part to the backlash prompted by her decision to give up the child.
But Mizuho Sasaki, a child welfare worker in Japan, called the woman “shallow,” in a statement to Vice, for “treat[ing] the child like an object.”
Sasaki added, “But I think it’s better to leave the kid with someone who can be a good foster parent.”
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