A Canadian fertility doctor accused of impregnating women with the wrong sperm, including using his own, has agreed to a proposed $10.7 million settlement.
NBC News reports that 17 people discovered through DNA testing that Dr. Norman Barwin, 82, is their biological father after their families sought him out for fertility help.
The statement claims that 100 children of patients seen by Barwin do not possess the DNA of their “intended biological father,” including 17 who are the biological children of Barwin himself and 83 who do not know the identity of their biological father.
Allegations against Barwin date back to the 1970s. They involve patients seen at the Ottawa General Hospital and another area clinic.
The settlement arrives five years after the class-action lawsuit was started in 2016 by Davina Dixon, Daniel Dixon, and Rebecca Dixon. Davina and Daniel in 1989 sought medical services from Barwin, and he performed an artificial insemination procedure for the parents.
“When I first found out, I felt disassociated from my body and my face,” Rebecca told the CBC in 2016. “When I’d look in the mirror, I felt like suddenly it wasn’t my face. Features about myself that I’d always liked, or just thought of as my own seemed like they might belong to someone else, and I didn’t know who that was.”
Barwin has denied the charges and admitted no wrongdoing in the settlement, according to the Washington Post. He said he decided to settle because of the time and money spent on the lawsuit.
The settlement has yet to be approved by a judge.
Barwin had reportedly been a well-regarded fertility doctor throughout his career. He was inducted into the Order of Canada, and was even nicknamed “the Baby God” by his peers. As if that wasn’t enough, Barwin was the president of the Canadian Fertility Society.