Sperm Bank Investigated After Woman Gives Birth To Boy With Dwarfism
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A court has ordered the blocking of an international sperm bank's website in Russia after a woman gave birth to a child with dwarfism.
The unnamed woman - a successful writer in her 40s - had chosen the father of her child by looking at photos and information about his genetics on the site.
According to reports, she was drawn in by his fair hair and higher education, but also by the fact that he was over six foot.
After choosing the donor, she then underwent a successful round of IVF treatment at a private clinic in Moscow.
The women chose to go through a clinic as she believed it would be her last chance to have a child of her own.
However, a Moscow court heard that in the later stages of pregnancy doctors discovered that the unborn boy had achondroplasia. It is a rare and incurable disease that affects one child in 20,000 and causes dwarfism.
The condition was confirmed after birth and she was told her son, now two years old, would grow to a maximum adult height of around four feet, and that his limbs and facial features would not develop 'correctly'.
The mum has now spoken out about the case to warn other women about the potential risk involved with this particular company.
Koptevsky District Court has now ordered that the website of Danish sperm bank Cryos should be blocked in Russia, and ruled that using its services would flout Russian laws.
Health watchdog Roszdravnadzor has also said it was not satisfied with case details which were handed over by the sperm bank, including a 'medical genetic examination' of the donor, analysis of his 'mental and physical condition', and a family tree with details of relatives.
The watchdog said: "However, it is not possible to confirm the reliability of the information received."
The company says it screens donors for 46 of the most common recessive genetic diseases.
Speaking to Moskovsky Komsomolets (MK) newspaper, the sperm bank said that all the sperm it supplied was of excellent quality, but added that it was 'not responsible for the mistakes of the clinics' which carry out IVF treatment.
The sperm bank told the newspaper: "We only know that our biomaterial is of high quality."
The clinic which carried out the treatment, called Mama, did not comment on the case.
According to reports, only 20 percent of cases of achondroplasia are hereditary. The majority are 'spontaneous', caused by a gene mutation at conception or during pregnancy.
MK was told by medical sources that it was impossible to say unequivocally that the the dwarfism condition arose from the sperm donor.