The great sperm heist: ‘They were playing with people’s lives’

Paul was in his 80s when someone called to say she was his daughter, conceived in a fertility clinic with his sperm. The only problem? He’d never donated any

For 40 years, Catherine Simpson thought she knew who she was: a nurse, a mother of three, a daughter and a sister. She looked like her mother, Sarah, but had the same temperament as her father, George: calm, unflustered, kind.

Then her father died. There was a dispute over his will, and that led her mother to call and tell her something that made the ground dissolve beneath her feet. George had had a vasectomy long before Catherine was born. She and her brother had been donor conceived in Harley Street using the sperm of two different anonymous men. George was not her biological father.

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