An Oregon doctor has filed a $5.25 million lawsuit against Oregon Health and Science University after discovering he is the biological father of at least 17 children he did not know about.
The lawsuit says Dr. Bryce Cleary was a first-year medical student at OHSU 30 years ago when he was approached by staff at the fertility clinic to donate his sperm.
Cleary said he agreed to be an anonymous donor under the conditions that no more than five children would be conceived and that they would be born to mothers outside the Pacific Northwest.
But two sisters contacted Cleary in March 2019 after determining he was their father by using information from Ancestry.com.
Cleary learned he was not only the father of the sisters but also of at least 17 children, most of whom were born in Oregon.
The lawsuit claims there was a high chance that some of his children may have attended the same colleges, churches and interacted within the same social circles without knowing it.
Cleary also said he may have unknowingly treated or examined one or more of his offspring while working as a primary care doctor in Corvallis, Oregon.
He is suing OHSU for breaking its original agreement, saying fertilizations were not limited to women living outside of Oregon and the Pacific Northwest, that more than five babies were conceived from his sperm, that his sperm was supposed to be used exclusively for medical research after five babies were conceived, and that his identity was supposed to remain anonymous forever.
The lawsuit claims Cleary has "incurred extreme mental and emotional pain, anguish and suffering, which have all had a significant and negative impact on his personal, parental and marital relationships."
Cleary held a news conference Wednesday during which he met one of his biological children for the first time.