ATLANTA — A Georgia sperm bank company that allowed a man with mental illness to donate the sperm that led to dozens of children is overhauling its policies. This comes after an 11Alive investigation in 2017 revealed the company did not share his mental health history with mothers before they used his sperm to father their children.
Xytex International will be the first U.S. sperm bank to limit the number of births from donors, expand genetic testing and eliminate anonymous donors.
11Alive requested an interview with Xytex, and also asked what number would be used in limiting their sperm donors. Xytex has not responded.
In a press release yesterday Xytex stated, "This groundbreaking commitment expands upon Xytex’s already robust suite of services designed to ensure that families pursuing sperm donation receive the most information available to make the best choice for them."
Two years ago, 11Alive Investigator Rebecca Lindstrom told the story of Chris Aggeles, a Georgia man who fathered 36 children over 14 years. The mothers were from as far away as the United Kingdom, California and Canada.
His donor profile said he was a college graduate with an IQ of 160 and no health issues. Xytex said he’d passed a background check and rigorous screening procedures. In truth, Aggeles had no college degree, an arrest for burglary, and a well-established history of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
It didn’t come to light until Xytex accidentally revealed Aggelles email address. The families of his donors began researching and learning more about his background.
11Alive spoke with one woman and her son, who was fathered by Aggeles' sperm. They were among the lawsuits filed in Georgia against Xytex.
"It's literally people's lives and children but it's super unregulated," said Chris, who asked his named be changed to protect his identity.
Despite an FDA petition, there is no regulatory oversight of sperm banks. Aggeles' mental health history is something that concerns Chris.
"I would want parents to know more about the donor when they're going in," he said. "I want the company to have to tell their parents about this kind of stuff."
Xytex has settled more than a dozen lawsuits surrounding Aggeles nationwide, but here in Georgia the courts have told families they have no legal basis to sue.