A Texas woman made a disturbing discovery when the genetic testing she used to learn more about her family showed she was fathered by her mother’s fertility doctor and not by the sperm donor she had long believed to be her dad.
Eve Wiley, 31, had thought her biological father to be Sperm Donor No. 106, whose specimen her mother, Margo Williams, and her mother’s late husband chose after struggling to get pregnant naturally. The man who raised her died when she was 7, and Wiley learned of what she believed was her true parentage as a teenager.
After discovering how she was conceived, Wiley and the man who donated his sperm developed a “father-daughter relationship.”
"I call him dad. We say, 'I love you,'" Wiley told the Dallas Morning News. "We spend holidays together and he actually officiated at my wedding."
But Wiley later learned that neither the man whose home she was raised in, nor the man whose existence she discovered later in life, were her father.
While she and her husband used genetic testing services 23andMe and Ancestry.com with the goal of learning more about their families’ health histories because their son had “significant medical issues,” Wiley learned she had two older half-siblings who were also donor-conceived.
She then discovered a cousin whose uncle was her mother’s doctor.
“So my mother's fertility doctor decided to use his own sperm instead of the sperm donor that my parents selected and consented to, and without their knowledge," she testified. "And then I had to be the one to tell my mother that this had happened."
Her testimony was made to the Senate Criminal Justice Committee Wednesday in Austin, where lawmakers are trying to pass SB 1259, which would make it a state felony for a health care provider to insert human reproductive material from an unapproved source without consent of the patient. As it stands, inserting someone else’s sperm into a woman who believed the specimen to be other than what it actually was is not a crime.
If passed, the legislation would apply only to future crimes, but Wiley felt it was important to share her story.
Wiley and Williams reached out to the doctor, and he ultimately acknowledged he was Wiley’s father, she said. Neither she nor Williams would name the physician, saying they instead were focused on changing the law.
On Thursday, the Criminal Justice Committee unanimously approved the bill and sent it to the full Senate.
"It's really important to protect vulnerable people," she told the Morning News. “You spend a lot of time with those doctors. There's a lot of trust. You are trusting them and you are incredibly vulnerable."