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Sperm Bank Robbery Trial

Two docs who allowed the estranged wife of German man Dieter Fried, 40, to get pregnant with twins using a sperm sample he earlier donated are appealing a ruling to pay child maintenance.

But the case has also taken a new twist after it was revealed that as well as the twins the docs had also helped the women conceive using her partner's sperm earlier when they were together - she had allegedly forged his signature giving his consent.

The man told the appeal court in Hamm he and his wife had wanted children but that the marriage had then hit a difficult patch - and the pair had split. The sperm he had supplied was supposed to have been destroyed after a year - but instead it had been kept and used to help the wife get pregnant with twins in 2007 - and she then claimed child maintenance.

The court heard that after being frozen at  196 Centigrade it was possible to keep the sample almost indefinitely. The charge was 350 Euros to freeze it and 250 Euros a year for the storage. Fertilisation is 3,000 Euros.

Fried, a packaging designer from Hattingen in North Rhine-Westphalia, described the use of his sperm as "robbery" and welcomed the initial ruling. The twins - a boy and a girl - he had only seen once, he said.

But during the preparation for the appeal he found that the other child, a son, he had with the woman had also been born using "stolen" sperm.

In the initial verdict Judge Gisela Kothe-Pawel in Dortmund said, "The sperm donated in 2004 should have been destroyed after a year. The twins were born in November 2007. We are satisfied that the complainant did not agree to the use of his sperm for an artificial insemination."

The doctors have appealed against paying the minimum support until the twins reach 18 said that they did not expect problems, as the man had always expressed a profound wish to have children.

A verdict from the high court is expected on 4 February.

German Herald

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