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Sperm donor wins payout after samples given to same-sex couples against his wishes

Neil Gaskell has reportedly settled on a five-figure sum following a four-year legal battle.

2020-09-28

A man who sued an IVF clinic after it gave his sperm to same-sex couples without his permission has won his case.

Neil Gaskell, 49, began donating to Care Fertility centre in Manchester in 2010 and said in a consent form that his sperm was to go to heterosexual couples only, reports to The Mirror.

However, it was later revealed in an official audit by the The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) that Gaskell's sperm had been used to father five children, including a set of twins, to three same-sex couples.

Gaskell also discovered he had fathered four kids belonging to single mothers.

His sperm went to a total of 11 families, when the HFBA has decreed there should only be 10 from a single donor.

According to the publication, he then waged a four-year legal battle against the clinic before settling on a five-figure sum.

Gaskell told the publication: “I accept some people will find it uncomfortable but I wanted any children born from my sperm to have a mother and a father.

“I accept what I said will be divisive, but these children are what matters the most. A lot of people will strongly agree with me, a lot will strongly disagree, but my concern is for the kids.

“I didn’t want them being questioned. I didn’t want people making comments like ‘Where’s your dad?’ or ‘Why do you have two mums?’

"It takes a man and a woman to create a child. You can’t argue with millions of years of biology."

Gaskell added that he accepts his views are "divisive" adding: "It’s not about discrimination, it’s not about bigotry."

The 2010 Equality Act prohibits discriminating against protected groups, including same-sex couples.

The HFEA have confirmed the clinic should not have accepted Gaskell as a donor as his views were contrary to the Act.

In a statement, a Care Fertility spokesperson said: "CARE Fertility believes ‘Family is for Everyone’. Our teams dedicate their lives to helping people have a baby. Whether you are a heterosexual or same-sex couple, we know that love makes a family, and we are committed to helping all our patients achieve the joy of parenthood with compassion and personal treatment. Sperm donors are also valued and respected for enabling children to be born into a loving and supportive environment.  

"Our work is independently regulated by the Health Fertility and Embryology Authority. Errors are exceptionally rare and always reported to the regulator as well as informing anyone affected in an open, honest and transparent manner. Plus we would help people if they need support and counselling."