Prominent Upstate New York fertility doc was ‘serial sperm donor’: lawsuit

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A prominent New York fertility specialist turned into a “serial sperm donor’’ — secretly fathering a daughter with an unsuspecting patient and giving the child at least nine half-siblings, a new lawsuit alleges.

Morgan Hellquist, 35, says in her upstate Morgan County lawsuit that she only confirmed she was the daughter of married 70-year-old Dr. Morris Wortman of Rochester in May, thanks partly to over-the-counter DNA testing.

“[Wortman] committed a gross, wanton, and willful fraud against Plaintiff so outrageous in character as to violate all bounds of decency, and which involves high moral culpability, rises to a level of wanton dishonesty, and shocks the conscience,’’ the plaintiff seethes in her suit.

Hellquist says her mother came into contact with Wortman while seeking fertility treatment from him between 1983 and 1985, according to court documents.

The plaintiff explains in her suit that the man she grew up calling dad was unable to have kids after having been left a paraplegic at age 20 when a drunk driver crashed into his motorcycle.

Hellquist’s mom received sperm injections two to three times a month at Wortman’s clinics for $50 a pop, the suit says.

The mother was told the sperm was coming from “a University of Rochester Medical Center medical student who was willing to donate his live sperm to help [her and her husband] to conceive,’’ the papers state.

The donor was not to have any known physical or mental conditions he could pass on to a child or be of predominantly Italian or Jewish ancestry so as to better blend with Hellquist’s parents, the suit says.

Morgan Hellquist’s mom received sperm injections two to three times a month at Wortman’s clinics, the suit states.
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Hellquist was born in September 1985 — within weeks of the birth of Wortman’s daughter by his then-wife, according to the documents.

The suit says Hellquist learned she was conceived through a sperm donor at age 8.

She went on to get marred and have several children but suffered from irregular menstrual bleeding, so she went to Wortman herself for medical care between 2012 and 2021, the papers say.

During at least part of that time, Wortman knew he was her biological father — yet gave her breast and vaginal exams, the documents say.

In 2016, about a year after the death of her father, Hellquist discovered through a generic genetic testing service that she was half Ashkenazi Jewish.

Morgan Hellquist, 35, says in her upstate Morgan County lawsuit that she only confirmed she was the daughter of married 70-year-old Dr. Morris Wortman
During at least part of that time, Morris Wortman knew he was Morgan Hellquist’s biological father — yet gave her breast and vaginal exams, according to the suit.
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Over the next few years, through additional testing, she learned she had six half-siblings, her suit states.

Meanwhile, Hellquist grew increasingly suspicious of Wortman, who is “100% Ashkenazi Jewish,’’ the papers say.

This past April, he suspiciously regaled her with tales about his personal experiences and told her, “You’re a good kid. Such a good kid,” her suit says. His current wife also “came into the room at Defendant Wortman’s request so that [she] could get a close look at Plaintiff to see Plaintiff’s physical resemblance to Defendant Wortman because [she] and Defendant Wortman both knew Defendant Wortman was Plaintiff’s biological father,’’ the papers claim.

The next month, Hellquist and one of her half-brothers were able to convince Wortman’s daughter from his first marriage to undergo DNA testing — and the plaintiff learned from the results that they were all Wortman’s biological kids, the suit alleges.

Given Wortman had three children from his marriages, that made nine-half-siblings for Hellquist — “with likely more to be discovered,” her suit says.

Adding to the bad situation is the fact that Wortman, his mother and a brother have been treated for mental illness, the suit says. Ashkenazi descendants also carry a higher risk of certain medical conditions such as cancer, the papers say.

Hellquist is suing for unspecified damages.

Wortman did not return a call from The Post seeking comment Tuesday.

His lawyer told WHEC-TV in Rochester that the doctor’s camp would not be immediately commenting on the suit.

Additional reporting by Priscilla DeGregory

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