Mar 1, 2022

When a DNA Test Produces an Unexpected Surprise

Like millions of Americans, David Berry was curious about his genealogy. He wanted to learn more about his paternal grandfather, whose ancestry was British. But as he explored his father’s side of the family, he discovered something wholly unexpected: The man he thought was his father was not related to him at all.

His DNA test results offered two additional surprises: Mr. Berry, 37, was more than 50 percent Jewish, and he had a cousin or a half-sibling who was unknown to him.

So Mr. Berry began searching for his biological father. His parents revealed that their doctor had found them an anonymous sperm donor. Could he find him?

Over the next three years, Mr. Berry learned that he had at least 10 half brothers and sisters through the same donor.

Last May, he finally discovered his biological father’s identity. The man was not an anonymous sperm donor after all, but was Dr. Morris Wortman, the fertility doctor in Rochester that his mother had seen. Dr. Wortman, who still practices there, had impregnated her with his own sperm without telling her.

Over the past several years, more than 50 fertility doctors in the United States have been accused of fraud in connection with donating sperm, according to legal experts and observers.

You can read much more about this story by Jacqueline Mroz published in the New York Times at

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