Infertility Doctors Beware – Infertility Fraud: It’s a thing and it’s about to be a crime in Texas.
What is Infertility Fraud
Infertility fraud is a sexual assault offense where a health care provider intentionally implants human sperm, eggs or embryos from an unauthorized donor. Currently, the Texas Penal Code does not have a section devoted to such rape by deception. However, in an effort to keep up with technological gains specifically related to infertility treatments, this is about to change.
The Senate Criminal Justice Committee approves infertility fraud bill.
The bill, now on its way to the Senate, makes infertility fraud a state jail felony with a punishment range of 180 days to 2 years in a state jail facility and up to a $10,000 fine. This sex crime may be prosecuted up to two years from the date the offense was discovered, but would only apply to future crimes. Thus, any infertility fraud that occurred prior to the passage of the bill could not be prosecuted criminally, although civil remedies still remain.
How does infertility fraud occur?
Infertility fraud has come to light in large part due to the availability and ease of access to DNA testing kits like ancestry.com and 23andme.com. Results have lead an imprint back to the office of the patient’s health care provider.
How does infertility fraud happen? It’s shockingly easy really.
Two common types of infertility treatments are Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) and In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF). The former involves placing washed sperm in the women’s uterus when she is ovulating using a catheter.
The latter, IVF, is more evasive and involves surgically collecting a woman’s eggs along with sperm from a male partner or donor. Once collected the egg and sperm are placed in a culture dish for fertilization and growth. At a certain point, the resulting embryo is placed back into the woman’s uterus.
In each infertility treatment, the sperm is left solely in the hands of the healthcare provider for washing (IUI) and insemination (IVF). It is at these points the opportunity to switch the donor’s sperm with, say a healthcare provider’s sperm exists. Up until now who would have ever known. No harm, no foul? Well, folks are feeling the harm and Texas is about to call infertility fraud a serious sexual assault foul.
The Adamo & Adamo Law Firm is a full service law firm representing citizens accused of sex crimes both nationally and throughout Texas.