Family says daughter, 21, was conceived with lab worker's semen

Published: Thursday, Jan. 9 2014 7:40 p.m. MST

Jacobson was convicted in 1992 on 52 fraud and perjury counts for lying about pregnancies, misreading sonograms and using his own sperm to impregnate up to 75 patients in Vienna, Va.

Jacobson said he believed he did nothing wrong but thought he was helping the patients.

Despite the mixup, Moore described the family's daughter as a "very well-rounded, stable individual."

"She's had great parents," she said. "In this case, nurture triumphed over nature, and/or she got the best genes of the bunch."

There are ways to tell which reproduction assistance clinics are most trustworthy, according to Christine Briton-Jones, lab director at the Utah Fertility Center in Pleasant Grove.

Labs that are accredited by the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technologies are subject to federal oversight and inspected every two years, she said.

In order to qualify, the labs need to be certified by the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act, which requires all lab employees to go through a background check and have their education verified, Briton-Jones said.

All specimens are documented, monitored by at least two people and have at least two pieces of unique identification, usually a name and a date of birth, she said.

"It’s not illegal for a reproductive medicine lab or clinic to not be registered with CLIA and have inspections," Briton-Jones said.

But to submit their results to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and be certified with the Society of Assisted Reproductive Technologies, they need to be in compliance with the requirements, she said.

Those considering reproductive assistance can check whether a clinic is certified by the society by searching SART's website.

Another best practice is to make sure the lab director of the clinic is qualified, which means they would either have a doctorate in andrology and a high complexity lab director certification, or they are a medical doctor, Briton-Jones said.

The lab should also be accredited by the Joint Commission or College of American Pathologists, she said.

Finally, potential clients should ask how many people are working in the lab, Briton-Jones said. If there is just one person, that may be a red flag because they do not have another person to keep them accountable, she said.

Contributing: Peter Samore

Email: wevans@deseretnews.com

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