ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — More people are coming forward accusing a local gynecologist of fertility fraud.
Dr. Morris Wortman is accused of inseminating women with his own sperm when patients thought they were receiving either pre-planned insemination or an anonymous donation from a third-party service.
Over the past several months, multiple people have come forward after finding out about their father from a DNA test.
Chris Muench, from Fairport, says it’s like living a lie for most of your life. He found out two weeks ago from a 23 and Me test that told him he had multiple half-siblings.
Muench thought the system was broken until he reached out to his newfound family, only to find that they all claim Dr. Wortman is their father.
“I had a panic attack that was so severe,” he said. “It changes nothing but everything at the same time — that’s kind of what I tell people.”
In 2019, CJ says a DNA match on Ancestry.com connected him to a half-sister, Morgan. The connection was their biological father, Dr. Morris Wortman.
Dr. Wortman still practices locally. News 8 reached out to his office multiple times, but have yet to hear a response.
Muench says there could be more than a dozen half-siblings.
Most say their biological mothers were told they’d be receiving a donor from someone anonymous and unknown to the patient.
“If my dad was alive, this would be really hard for him,” said Muench.
Muench says he had a great relationship with his father who raised him, who passed away in 2014.
“Not only do I not know the medical history, but there are also so many siblings out there going through the same thing,” he said.
Kara Rubinstein, is the CEO of Right To Know; an organization advocating for people like Muench, and victims in cases where there may be fraud.
Rubinstein says it should be a fundamental right to know your human identity, but in the United States, there aren’t many laws protecting this idea.
“The bills that we have in the New York legislature make it a sex crime for a doctor to use his own sperm and make a civil cause of action for the offspring, the patient as well as the spouse, and the donor,” Rubinstein said.
These bills also call to revoke licensure from a doctor, if the cases are proven.
The only concern for Rubinstein is that legislation moves slowly — and she wants action now.
“Part of the problem is there’s no data required for reporting these things, so we don’t know how many people are born from a sperm provider,” she said. “And the only way that these frauds are being uncovered is when someone is taking an over-the-counter DNA test.”
Muench says he’ll be dealing with unanswered questions for a while. He says Dr. Wortman blocked him on Facebook.
“Only thing I would ask him is why — I just want to know why,” he said. “Time heals everything to some degree, so within 6 to 12 months I hope this won’t be the first thing I think of in the morning.”
One of Muench’s half-siblings is suing Dr. Wortman for medical malpractice. The woman says she was a patient of Dr. Wortman’s before she discovered he was her father.
Dr. Wortman runs a private practice and has some privileges with the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC).
URMC had the following statement:
“Dr. Wortman is a voluntary faculty member in the School of Medicine and Dentistry, and has clinical privileges at Strong Memorial and Highland hospitals, which permit him to perform gynecological surgeries in our facilities. However, he has not exercised these privileges in recent years, nor has he ever performed fertility procedures at UR Medicine facilities.
Dr. Wortman’s faculty appointment is set to expire June 30 and will not be renewed, which is routine for voluntary faculty who have stopped using their privileges.“