Dr. Merle Berger co-founder of Boston IVF
A former patient, Sarah Depoian, is taking legal action against Dr. Merle Berger, co-founder of Boston IVF and former Harvard Medical School professor. She claims that over 40 years ago, Berger secretly used his own sperm to impregnate her during fertility treatment.
Depoian visited Berger in 1980 seeking fertility services. She alleges Berger misrepresented the sperm source, suggesting it would be from an unknown medical resident resembling her husband, a common practice before sperm banks, according to Dr. Alyssa Burgart, a bioethics expert from Stanford.
Instead, Berger allegedly used his own sperm without Depoian’s consent. This resulted in the birth of Depoian’s daughter, Carolyn Bester, in January 1981.
Bester made this shocking discovery when DNA kits revealed her genetic links to Berger’s relatives. She found herself related to Berger’s granddaughter and second cousin. Bester expressed immense surprise at this revelation.
Depoian’s lawyer mentioned that Depoian trusted Berger, a medical professional, implicitly. She never fathomed he would misuse his position of trust in such a violating manner.
Boston IVF stated Berger retired in 2020. In response to the allegations, Berger’s lawyer defended him as a pioneer in fertility treatments, emphasizing that these events occurred over 40 years ago, in a very different landscape of fertility treatments without sperm banks or modern IVF. The lawyer deemed the changing allegations without factual basis and asserted they would be disproven in court.