Sperm switched at a clinic where a couple underwent artificial insemination decades ago means that a man who always believed he was the biological father of his daughter, was not. This was discovered decades after their child was born while the mother was doing research for geology, according to News Channel 4 on Jan. 10.
The family did DNA testing for the information to help with the geology project the wife was doing. When it came back that her husband was no relation to their daughter, the realization hit the couple hard. What went wrong at that clinic and who fathered their daughter? The family wishes to remain unnamed.
The Salt Lake City, Utah couple had gone to a clinic in the early 90s when they were having trouble conceiving. At the clinic artificial insemination was done, where the sperm of the husband was planted in the wife’s egg and they had a healthy baby. The artificial insemination meant that the child born to the couple in 1992 was the biological child of both parents, or so they thought until recently.
They started their investigation at the clinic that had done the procedure 20 something years ago. They had the procedure done at the Reproductive Medical Technologies in Midvale Utah is associated with the University of Utah. Too much time had passed to research a mix-up. The wife took another direction in the investigation.
Using the geology she had acquired, the wife was able to track down a biological cousin of her daughter’s biological father. She got the biggest shock of her life learning that the man that fathered her daughter worked at the clinic.
He had replaced his own sperm for that of the husbands. His name was Thomas Lippert and he worked at the clinic from 1988 to 1994. After seeing his picture the wife remembered him behind the front desk. He also had a stack of baby pictures behind the front desk that he appeared very proud of.
Lippert, is now dead, but his mother agreed to give a DNA sample and it was confirmed, Lippert was the biological father of the couple's daughter, now in her 20s.
She found out that Lippert spent two years behind bars for kidnapping a coed and keeping her a prisoner in three weeks doing “love experiments on her.” She was locked in a black box and he was using electro shock therapy on the girl to make her fall in love with him.
Once the clinic and the University of Utah were informed of this sperm switch, they sent out a letter to the people who came to that clinic during the years Lippert was employed. Chances are that if he did this once, there could be others.
Here is the letter the University of Utah sent to the people who received procedures at the clinic to become pregnant:
Since April 2013, the University of Utah has been investigating credible information regarding the possible mislabeling or tampering of a semen sample at RMTI (Reproductive Medical Technologies, Inc.), a private andrology lab owned by a University faculty member (now deceased).
The facility was a private laboratory located in Midvale, Utah. While not owned or operated by the University, the University contracted with RMTI for specimen preparation and semen analysis. Additionally, RMTI prepared semen samples for private physician offices throughout the community, not University physicians.
Through genetic testing, a woman who received artificial insemination (AI) in 1991 discovered the biological father of her child was not her husband, as she had assumed. She traced the genetics of her child to a man who was a former employee of the now-defunct RMTI, which may have prepared the AI sample. The man in question was also a part-time employee of the University from 1988-94.
There are no remaining records from RMTI to prove the claim and the man in question has been deceased since 1997. Consequently, it is unknown how this incident might have happened. In addition, there is no evidence to indicate this situation extends beyond the case in question.
We understand this information has been upsetting for the family and other clients of RMTI. We want to help alleviate this distress by providing professional genetic testing for RMTI clients who were treated between 1988 through 1994.
Concerned individuals can contact the University of Utah Andrology Lab at (801) 587-5852