US man accuses girlfriend of `stealing` sperm
Washington: In a bizarre case, a man in the US is suing a fertility clinic and an ex-girlfriend for stealing his sperm and then conceiving a child without his permission.
Layne Hardin from Louisiana is suing the fertility clinic and his ex-girlfriend Toby Devall after the sperm bank handed over two vials of his sperm in a "paper lunch sack" to her and then conceived a child without his permission, his lawyer Cade Bernsenlawyer said.
Lawyer Bernsen accuses Devall of having "bluffed her way into getting the sperm" and created a baby without ex-boyfriend Hardin`s consent "purposefully out of vindictiveness and to punish him for breaking up with her."
Hardin also alleges that the sperm bank and an affiliated fertility clinic had an "utter lack of safeguards and protections," according to his lawyer.
Now Hardin could be asked to pay child support for the 2-year-old boy, despite never authorising the use of his sperm or having met the child, the ABC News reported.
In 2002, Hardin, 44, and then girlfriend, Katherine LeBlanc agreed to freeze Hardin`s sperm after having a son, who is now 12, and Hardin decided to undergo a vasectomy, according to court papers.
Bernsen, who represented both Hardin and LeBlanc, said the couple signed a contract with a sperm bank giving any future access to the sperm solely to LeBlanc if she decided to conceive another child. They paid annually to keep the sperm cryogenically frozen.
The couple subsequently broke up, and Hardin began dating Devall. Hardin and Devall had a "volatile, on-and-off again relationship" that ended two years ago, Bernsen said.
Hardin and LeBlanc allege that Devall in 2011 walked into the Texas Andrology Services sperm bank, asked for and was given Hardin`s sperm, no questions asked, Bernsen said.
She then went next door to an affiliated fertility clinic and was inseminated, the lawyer said.
"They had a written contract that specified only two people that could access this sperm, yet the sperm bank let someone walk in off the street and take two vials of sperm in a paper lunch sack...They never checked. That`s what`s frightening," Bernsen said.
Devall had a son, now 2, with the sperm. But Hardin has never met the boy, his lawyer said.
"This case involves the life of one innocent child. Soon, 12 men and women will see all of the evidence and make a decision based upon the true facts of the case," Devall`s lawyer John Lee Hoffoss said.
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