A British man received a five-figure settlement from an in vitro fertilization (IVF) clinic that used his sperm to sire nine children to same-sex families and single women against his expressed wishes. Neil Gaskell, 49, won the out-of-court settlement after a four-year battle with the Care Facility IVF clinic in Manchester saying they violated the terms of the contract, although such discrimination is no longer permitted under the country’s Equality Act.
“I accept some people will find it uncomfortable, but I wanted any children born from my sperm to have a mother and a father,” Gaskell told The Mirror.
According to Gaskell, he’s only doing it for the children.
“I didn’t want them being questioned,” Gaskell explained. “I didn’t want people making comments like ‘Where’s your dad?’ or ‘Why do you have two mums?’”
Gaskell and his former partner were unable to conceive a child and attempted IVF treatment, first in Australia in 2008 and then again at the Care Facility in 2010. After the first round failed, Gaskell said the clinic offered him a discount on future treatments in return for his extra special sperm. He told The Daily Mail that Philip Lowe, the medical director at the Manchester clinic, told him his sperm was “Superman-strength” and “their motility was unusually high and that I should consider becoming a donor.”
He told The Daily Mail the clinic assured him they would honor his stipulation that only heterosexual families would be permitted to use his sperm, and that it would only be used for up to 10 children. Only after an audit in 2010 did he learn he had fathered 13 children in total, including nine to same-sex families and single women.
The news came as a shock to Gaskell.
“I’d gone 14 years believing I was never going to be a father only to eventually get three children of my own,” he told The Daily Mail. “Now I was being told I had 13 more.”
Gaskell remains adamant that he’s only doing the right thing by his children and human evolution.
“It takes a man and a woman to create a child,” he told The Mirror. “You can’t argue with millions of years of biology.”