Over the counter DNA test kits can be a tool to learn fascinating things about your family history, but they can also expose some family secrets. Kevin Ozebek has tonight’s 7 Investigates.
After years of speculation, David Berry now knows who his biological father is.
David Berry: “The way that I got here is not OK.”
We first met David in 2019. He shared his story about the shocking results of his at-home DNA kit.
His paternal grandmother was born in Sicily, yet the results showed he is zero percent Sicilian.
Shortly after, David was at his Wynwood gym when his father in Rochester, New York, texted and said they needed to talk. Over the phone, David’s dad confessed that he and David’s mom had trouble conceiving, so they went to a fertility clinic.
David Berry: “He said, ‘David, you’re not my biological son.’ Whew, that is a hard phone call to get.”
Since David had that phone call with his dad here in Wynwood, David has learned he has at least 10 half-siblings.
As he started to meet some of them, they found a common connection. Their parents used the same fertility doctor in upstate New York, Dr. Morris Wortman.
David Berry: “We all kind of look like him. At the time, you feel like a lunatic for suggesting, but I’ll bet you that my biological father is my fertility doctor. It just seems so implausible.”
But David’s suspicions grew, even though his parents were told the donor was an anonymous man, so last year, David called a daughter Dr. Wortman had with ex-his wife and asked if she’d give a DNA sample.
David Berry: “And, ultimately, she agreed to do just that, and the results came back and we were a 99.99 percent match as half siblings, and that was what confirmed that the doctor was our biological father.”
Dr. Wortman did not return our requests for comment.
He’s now one of dozens of fertility doctors accused of not disclosing the use of his own sperm to inseminate patients.
Kara Rubinstein Deyerin, Right to Know CEO: “It is horrific and mind boggling that he is still a practicing doctor.”
Kara Rubinstein Deyerin runs Right to Know, an organization pushing for laws to prevent what she calls DNA deception.
Kara Rubinstein Deyerin: “Any type of fraud in the fertility process, we want to see that as a crime. We’re making humans. We need to do it right.”
Unlike New York State, where David was born and where Dr. Wortman practices, in 2020, Florida passed a reproductive battery law.
Kara Rubinstein Deyerin: “Which means if you use a specimen without the patient’s consent, you can be found guilty of reproductive battery, and if the physician uses his own sperm, it’s a further crime. But that’s it. It’s lacking. There needs to be more done in Florida.”
David is now fighting for tougher laws, as well. Just two weeks after learning the identity of his biological father, David became a father himself.
David Berry: “I had an extra emotional reaction to his birth the first time I held him in my arms, a lot because of who my father is, the man who raised me –I understood just how desperately my father wanted me.”
Chuck: “We just love each other.”
David Berry: “We do.”
David has never been closer to his dad.
As for his biological father, David has no plans on building a relationship with him.
Kevin Ozebek, 7News.
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