When Dr. Bryce Cleary was in medical school at Oregon Health and Science University three decades ago, he decided to help people who were having fertility issues by becoming a sperm donor. But he had conditions, including that no more than five children be produced using his sperm; that the mothers not live in the Pacific Northwest; and that he remain anonymous. But, as NBC News reports, those assurances from OHSU were empty, as the 53-year-old has since discovered he'd fathered 17 kids, and that most of them were local. He found this all out when two daughters tracked him down recently via Ancestry.com. "Without these promises, I would have never participated," Cleary said at a Wednesday presser, in which he sat next to one of his donor-conceived daughters as he talked about the $5.25 million complaint he's now filed against OHSU, per the Oregonian.
One of the Corvallis doctor's main beefs in his fraud and breach of contract suit is that he and his many offspring may have unknowingly interacted. The Oregonian reports at least two of his OHSU offspring have been to the same church, schools, or social events as his own kids. Allysen Allee, the 25-year-old daughter he met for the first time at Wednesday's presser, tells Willamette Week she's been in touch with six of her half-siblings and grown close with one of them, but that it's been "emotionally overwhelming." She says it's "concerning" her own kids could have "dozens and dozens" of cousins nearby; she calls OHSU's actions "reckless." As for Cleary: "I can't control the industry, but I can sure stand up and say, 'This isn't cool.'" OHSU is staying tightlipped but says in a statement it "treats any allegation of misconduct with the gravity it deserves," per KATU. (Read more sperm donors stories.)