A #short Rabbit Hole!
Canada’s former “baby god” was busted for using his own sperm in fertility treatments.
Norman Barwin, a former fertility specialist from Ottawa, so highly lauded as to be awarded the Order of Canada, fathered over twelve children using his own sperm instead of the sperm of the parents. Parents grew suspicious in the 90s but it wasn’t until the 2010s that they were confirmed with DNA testing services.
In 2013, Barwin admitted to using his own sperm on at least 4 women and had his license suspended, resigning it in 2014. And in 2019, the College of Physicians ordered him to pay over C$10k. In 2016, a class action lawsuit began, which was won in July of 2021, the judge is expected to award over C$13 mil in damages to 100s affected, if they will ever see a dime is another matter.
The lawsuit also calls for a DNA database for people to check their paternity and for male clients of Barwin to see if he used their sperm without their consent.
Al-Badri, Georgina. 2 Aug 2021. “Part of donor doctor payout earmarked for DNA database.” BioNews.
Beaulne-Stuebing, Laura. 2 Aug 2013. “Renowned Ottawa doctor loses Order of Canada appointment.” iPolitics.
The Canadian Press. 25 Jun 2019. “Fertility doctor’s licence revoked after he used own sperm to inseminate patients.” CBC.
DiManno, Rosie. 31 Jan 2013. “After impregnating women with wrong sperm, a grudging apology from ‘baby God’: Rosie DiManno.” Toronto Star.
Long, Jamie. 31 Jan 2013. “Fertility doctor suspended, admits to 4th sperm mixup.” CBC.
Payne, Elizabeth. 29 Jul 2021. “Former Barwin patients, children will share in proposed $13.3-million settlement.” Ottawa Citizen.
Pritchard, Trevor. 2 Nov 2016. “Former Ottawa fertility doctor impregnated 2 women with his own sperm, lawsuit alleges.” CBC.