A man billed as a "perfect donor" by a sperm bank turned out to be a mentally ill felon whose lies on his donor application weren't uncovered for more than a decade, according to families who are now terrified for their children's futures. On its website, Georgia-based firm Xytex described Donor 9623 as a completely healthy man with an IQ of 160 who was working on a PhD in neuroscience engineering, the Toronto Star reports. In reality, he was college dropout Chris Aggeles, a 39-year-old man who has been diagnosed with bipolar and narcissistic personality disorders and schizophrenia and has spent time in prison for burglary. His sperm was used to create at least 36 children in Canada, the US, and the UK between 2000 and 2014. Families discovered his identity after Xytex accidentally included his name in an email and they Googled his name.
Three Canadian families with children between 4 and 8 years old are now suing Xytex, and lawyer Nancy Hersh says she may also file suits for British and American families, the Guardian reports. The lawsuit, which notes that schizophrenia can be hereditary, alleges that Xytex allowed Aggeles to keep selling his sperm even after problems surfaced. Angie Collins, one of the Canadian mothers suing, tells the Star that her big problem is not with Aggeles, but with the companies that sold his sperm without checking his background. Collins—described by Hersh as the "Erin Brockovich of the sperm-bank set"—has devoted much of the last two years to pushing for greater oversight of the industry to make sure this never happens again. (Here is what women do want in a sperm donor.)