A Colorado gynecologist is accused of using his own sperm to artificially inseminate women without their knowledge or consent. Nearly a dozen children were conceived between the 1970's and 1990's.
Over the years, many families in Grand Junction, Colorado, had sought help for male infertility from the same doctor. They wanted to have children through anonymous sperm donors. As CBS News correspondent Anna Werner reports, they now say DNA shows their "donors" were all actually the same man: the doctor himself.
"I was completely shocked, like an out-of-body experience is the best way to describe it," Maia Emmons-Boring said.
The discovery that changed Emmons-Boring's life came through an Ancestry DNA kit – and an email from a woman claiming to be her half-sister from a different father.
Her husband told her, "I think this means that your dad is not your biological father."
"And just hearing those words just -- I sobbed," Emmons-Boring said.
She and one of her sisters were born with the help of what their doctor told them would be anonymous sperm donors. But as Ancestry.com led her to more half-siblings, Emmons-Boring said a DNA trail led her directly to the doctor himself: Dr. Paul Jones.
Her family now alleges in a lawsuit that Jones used his own "fresh" sperm to impregnate her mother twice and that he is actually the biological father of both Emmons-Boring and her younger sister, along with at least four other half-siblings around the country.
"I'm hurt. I'm disgusted by what my biological father did," Emmons-Boring said. "You know, what kind of person is he?"
He's a person Ryan Gray of Broomfield, Colorado, said he knew nothing about – until he got a message from Emmons-Boring.
"I had to read the message several times just to comprehend what she was saying," Gray said.
He too learned through the DNA connection that the dad he'd grown up with was not his biological father and that his mother's doctor just may be.
"He makes me very angry, that he could have treated my mother or any other woman at that point like this," Gray said.
His mother, Patricia Gray, told CBS News she went to a fertility clinic for help.
"We didn't go there to ask for a doctor donor. It was supposed to be anonymous," Gray said.
The Gray family also plans to sue.
"I think the one question that we really want answered is why. Why, why do that to these families. You don't do that. He violated me, and right now, that's unforgivable," Patricia said.
Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald represents five families so far.
"Because it was more likely than not that he used his own sperm frequently, over the span of at least 40 years, we expect that this number is going to increase dramatically," Fitzgerald said.
Jones and his attorney did not respond to our requests for comment. But the now-80-year-old doctor, who is still licensed to practice in Colorado, did speak to a reporter at Denver TV station KUSA.
"Would you give a DNA sample?" the reporter asked.
"No," Jones responded.
"Because I don't want to have any incriminating evidence against me," Jones said.
Meanwhile, Emmons-Boring said she's still struggling.
"It's a been a trial, and it's hard. It's emotional. Some days I don't want to get out of bed. I mean it's just more than I want to face. It's hard for my children to deal with. I'm just really grateful for the support system that I do have," Emmons-Boring said.
The lawsuit against Jones alleges medical negligence, lack of informed consent, fraud, and battery. But there are no criminal laws in Colorado regarding artificial insemination, and these families hope now to change that.
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