Dad: Baby Born Without My Consent

Multi-celled human embryo, Bourn Hall Fertility Clinic, Cambridgeshire, England, 7-31-96
AP (file)
Trial began Wednesday to hear a man's claims that his wife was impregnated without his permission at a clinic that used an embryo fertilized with his sperm.

Richard Gladu testified that the birth shattered his family and sent him into a spiral of depression. He's seeking $3 million in the breach of contract and negligence suit against two doctors and the fertility clinic Boston IVF.

In their opening statements, lawyers for the clinic and doctors said Gladu gave consent for his embryos to be used, and their clients did nothing wrong.

Gladu testified he was newly sober and hoping he could repair his troubled marriage in 1995 when he learned his wife had been impregnated at the clinic while he was away on a trip.

"It just took everything right out from under me. ... It took my family away. It took my life away," Gladu said in Middlesex Superior Court.

He said he loves the child, but since the birth he's been on psychiatric medications to combat depression and was forced to retire early from his job as a firefighter. Now divorced, Gladu said he rarely sees his children and can barely make ends meet.

Gladu was scheduled to be cross-examined by defense attorneys Thursday.

Kevin Reidy, an attorney for Boston IVF, said in his opening statement that Gladu's problems are related to his long-standing bouts with depression and alcoholism.

Reidy also said Gladu signed consent forms allowing future implantation of the frozen embryos, and never told the clinic he'd changed his mind.

"It was entirely reasonable for doctors to rely on Mrs. Gladu as the spokesperson for the couple," he said.

By Jay Lindsay