Jamie Hall wanted to know who her biological father was. She had been told that her mother used a sperm donation from a dear family friend to become pregnant.
“Well, it wasn’t until I did a DNA (test) … that shattered that lovely dream,” Hall told Inside Edition.
She was matched on the DNA website, 23andMe, with the name “Peven.”
“I saw the name ‘Peven.’ As soon as I saw it, I looked at my husband and I said, ‘oh my gosh, I know who my biological father is. It’s got to be my mom’s OB,” Hall said.
The name “Peven” is on Hall’s birth certificate. But “Dr. Philip Peven” is listed as a physician at the Detroit Hospital where she was born, not as her father.
She went to meet Peven, who is now 104 years old. It was during their meeting that she said he made an astonishing confession.
“He said he discarded it. The sample, my mom had brought the donor sample,” she said. “I asked why. He had a very scientific explanation for it. He had been tested. He knew he was viable. Those were his words. But he did not tell my mom that.”
Hall is not alone. The Michigan fertility doctor is reportedly believed to have used his own sperm to father up to 1,000 children over his decades-long career, in some instances without his patients’ knowledge.
Jean Landes also says she learned Peven was her biological father after researching her family tree. Landes’ parents, who visited the doctor for artificial insemination, were never told the donor would be the OBGYN himself, she said.
“Did you think when you donated, ‘they were going to get a smart, at least a leg up in life, because they will be smart like me?’” Landes asked Peven during a conversation she recorded on video.
Now both Hall and Landes are dealing with the startling realization that they may have hundreds, perhaps even more than 1,000, siblings out there. But that said, neither woman harbors ill feelings toward their biological father.
“She wanted a child; there wasn’t the option back then of freezing sperm or sperm banks available,” Hall said of her mother. “A lot of these women were very desperate, and he was on the cutting edge.”
“It’s a positive all the way around,” Landes said. “No objections.”
The women say they have so far discovered at least six siblings and they plan to stay in touch.