BOSTON – Dr. Merle Berger, one of the founders of Boston IVF and a former professor at Harvard Medical School, has been sued by a former patient, who alleges that he secretly impregnated her with his own sperm more than 40 years ago.
Sarah Depoian said she visited Dr. Merle Berger in 1980 for fertility services and he told her he could perform an insemination that used sperm of a medical resident unfamiliar to Depoian who resembled her husband. Depoian said instead, Berger used his own sperm and impregnated her. Depoian said she wouldn’t have consented if Berger told her he was going to use his own sperm.
Depoian’s daughter, Carolyn Bester, was born in January 1981.
The lawsuit said Bester made the discovery when she purchased DNA kits from Ancestry.com and 23andMe this year. According to the lawsuit, Bester learned she was related to Berger’s granddaughter and his second cousin. After speaking with some of them, she learned that Berger was her biological father.
In a statement, [Peiffer Wolf Attorney Adam Wolf] said she contacted Berger and he didn’t deny that she consented only to an insemination with the sperm from someone who didn’t know her and who she didn’t know.
“This is an extreme violation. I am still struggling to process it. I trusted Dr. Berger fully. We thought he would act responsibly and ethically. I will never fully recover from his violation of me,” Depoian said in a statement.
According to Boston IVF’s social media, Berger retired in 2020.
Full Story: CBS News December 13 2023