SALT LAKE CITY, Jan. 22 (UPI) —
A panel of doctors and a medical ethics expert will investigate how a Texas fertility clinic worker used his sperm to father a child, officials said.
Thomas Lippert was employed at Millcreek fertility clinic in the early 1990s when a Texas couple seeking artificial insemination used the private clinic to get pregnant, the Salt Lake Tribune said. It wasn’t until recently when the couple’s daughter, now 21, tested her DNA out of curiosity she realized who she thought was her father in fact was not.
The woman’s mother, Pamela Branum, began her own investigation into the confusing situation and isolated Lippert, a convicted felon, as the father after seeking out his mother to provide a DNA sample, the newspaper said. Lippert has since died.
Officials at the University of Utah also clarified its relationship with the Texas clinic, saying they managed the facility and “shared administrative oversight” of the facility. School officials said it was plausible the couple had no idea the university was actually running the clinic, the newspaper said.
School officials said they have asked a panel of three doctors employed by the school to review documentation dating back to the time period. An independent medical ethicist will conduct a separate review for independent verification.
Officials said it’s possible Lippert fathered more children after substituting his sperm, the Salt Lake Tribune reported Wednesday.
He was convicted in 1974 of kidnapping and served two years in prison.
The school said it had found documentation in a personnel file indicating supervisors thought “more oversight was needed” of Lippert.