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Maine woman accuses retired Boston fertility doctor of impregnating her with his OWN sperm despite asking for anonymous donation after daughter, 42, took at-home DNA test

A Boston fertility doctor has been accused of impregnating a woman with his own sperm after promising to use an anonymous donor’s.

Sarah Depoian, from Maine, has filed a lawsuit against Dr. Merle Berger over the artificial insemination he performed on her in 1980.

Depoian alleges that she and her husband were assured by Berger that she would receive sperm from ‘a medical resident who resembled her husband, who did not know her, and whom she did not know.’

The suit, filed Wednesday in US District Court in Boston and obtained by, alleges Berger, who has denied the allegations through his lawyer, instead ‘inserted his own sperm into her body.’

Sarah’s daughter, Carolyn Bester, now 42, took a home DNA test last year that led her to suspect that Berger was her biological father after the results revealed she was related to Berger’s granddaughter and his second cousin.

‘After speaking with one of her newfound relatives, Carolyn pieced together that Berger is her biological father,’ the suit states.

‘To say I experienced shock when I figured this out would be an extreme understatement,’ Bester said in a statement.

‘It feels like reality has shifted. I just want to say how proud I am of my mom for speaking out, and I’m honored to stand by her side.’

Depoian confronted Berger through counsel, and he did not deny that he had used his own sperm, or deny covering up his misconduct, the suit alleges.

‘The allegations, which have changed repeatedly in the six months since the plaintiff’s attorney first contacted Dr. Berger, have no legal or factual merit, and will be disproven in court,’ Berger’s lawyer, Ian J. Pinta, told in a statement.

The suit accuses Berger of fraudulent concealment, intentional misrepresentation, and violation of the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Law, and seeks monetary damages.

In the filing, Depoian claims she suffered ‘significant mental anguish, anxiety, stress from physical violations, sleep disturbances including nightmares, and difficulty in her marital relations.’

‘She suffers mistrust of the medical profession. There are days when she is so overwhelmed with anguish, stress and anxiety, that she is unable to function normally.’

Depoian also called Berger’s action ‘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.’

The Boston lawsuit states: ‘Dr. Berger’s misconduct was not a mistake: Rather, in order to engage in the actions discussed in this lawsuit, Dr. Berger needed to masturbate in his medical office, walk over to his patient while carrying his own sperm, and then deliberately insert that sperm into his patient’s body — all while knowing that she did not consent to his sperm entering her body.’

‘Some people call this horrific act medical rape,’ Adam Wolf [of Peiffer Wolf] representing Depoian said.

‘But regardless of what you choose to call it, Berger’s heinous and intentional misconduct is unethical, unacceptable, and illegal.’


A lawyer for Berger did not immediately respond to’s request for comment.

Full Story: Daily Mail December 13 2023

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