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He Was a Fertility Miracle Worker, but He Had a Big Secret

HBO delves into the case of Quincy Fortier in 'Baby God'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 2, 2020 3:20 AM CST

(Newser) – Quincy Fortier was never charged with any crimes and never lost his medical license, but hushed-up accusations long swirled around him—and since his death in 2006, it has become increasingly clear that the onetime "Doctor of the Year" in Nevada is actually one of several OB-GYNs accused of secretly fathering their patients' children. Now, in an HBO documentary premiering Wednesday, the full scope of the allegations against Fortier become clear: The so-called Baby God, as the film refers to him, is accused of using his own sperm, without his patients' knowledge or consent, to conceive at least 26 babies with his patients, the Washington Post reports. As the Times Herald-Record reports, Fortier helped women who were struggling with infertility from the 1940s to the 1980s, long before current fertility treatments were available.

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Director Hannah Olson explains that she wanted to make a film exploring the way the rise of commercial DNA tests has upended the genealogy industry, as more and more people are finding surprises in their family tree when they get the test results back. Fortier, who practiced for decades at a women's hospital in Las Vegas, was widely respected in his field, and long denied any wrongdoing even as he was sued—and settled with—multiple patients who accused him of fraudulently using his sperm for their procedures. However, his will revealed that he was indeed the biological father of at least four children born to his patients, and suggested there could be more out there. "I don’t think he could foresee that for $69, you could send in a sample and connect yourself with people all over the world," says one of his offspring. "I don’t think he could see that coming." (Read more genealogy stories.)

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