LANSING, Mich. March 9, 2023 — State Reps. John Roth (R-Interlochen), Karen Whitsett (D-Detroit), Kelly Breen (D-Novi), Samantha Steckloff (D-Farmington Hills) and Alicia St. Germaine (R-Harrison Township) introduced a package of bills, House Bills 4178–4182, this week to provide justice to the victims of fertility fraud, otherwise known as assisted reproduction fraud. Bills in the package would make it illegal for fertility doctors to provide false information to patients.
“When I was first approached by Rep. Roth last session about this package, I was appalled to learn that fertility fraud has been allowed to go unchecked for so many years with absolutely no legal repercussions,” Whitsett said. “It’s time to change that. This package of bills provides justice to families and individuals across the state of Michigan who have been victims of this unethical and deceptive practice. I am proud to be joining my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to reintroduce this crucial legislation.”
“I was first made aware of this alarming issue from a constituent,” Roth said. “This constituent was assured by her biological mother that she was 100% Scottish — 50% from her mother and 50% from her donor — though DNA test results indicated otherwise. She soon found out that the sperm used in her conception was not that of the donor her mother chose, but was instead that of a fertility specialist, Dr. Philip Peven. Since taking the DNA test, my constituent learned she has well over 30 siblings, perhaps more, all sharing Dr. Peven as their father. It’s a repulsive act on every level, and it must be outlawed immediately.”
There are currently no federal requirements for facilities such as sperm banks to obtain and verify a donor’s medical history, educational background or criminal record — leading to the potential for misrepresented information. These bills offer protection for everyone involved in assisted reproduction and improve general oversight of assisted reproductive facilities at the state level.
HBs 4178-4182 have been referred to the House Judiciary Committee.