Newsweek reports that the unidentified woman—a 30-year-old from Tokyo—wanted to have a second baby with her husband, but had to look for a donor when she found out her partner had a hereditary condition. Per Newsweek, finding donors in Japan can be challenging because of the country’s “right to know” law, which allows children of donors to legally look for their biological parents.
The couple used social media to find their donor, who’s in his 20’s. He claimed to be single, Japanese, and a graduate of a high-ranking university in Japan. The woman and the donor allegedly had sex 10 times in June 2019 before she conceived.
She later discovered that he had lied about his marital status, ethnicity, and education—and that he was actually a married Chinese national who hadn’t graduated from Kyoto University as he said. At that point, she couldn’t have an abortion and ended up giving birth to the child.
She’s now suing the donor for 330 million yen ($2.86 million USD) for emotional distress, alleging that the donor lied so he could have sex with her. She also gave up their baby to a child care facility in Tokyo.
Finding a donor through social media channels is typical since the country doesn’t have any sperm banks—at least until recently.
“Not only is this a safety issue, but it can also be criminal and extremely dangerous,” Hiroshi Okada, director of the Mirai Life Research Institute, told Japan Insider of finding a donor on one’s own. “The semen that is handed over may carry infectious agents. We don’t know if the sperm belongs to the donor or not. When the child is born, it may turn out that the sperm is not Japanese. Such crazy things are happening.”