A Houston woman is the latest to come forward after discovering that a Nacogdoches physician who was her mother’s fertility doctor is her biological father.
Jessica Stavena says she used a commercial DNA test to discover that Dr. Kim McMorries, rather than an anonymous donor, is her father.
“It was a shock. I still can’t even pinpoint the exact feeling or thoughts and words together about it. It’s still so new,” Stavena said.
Under Texas law at the time of her birth, a doctor using his own sperm to inseminate a patient was legal.
“It blows my mind. When I say it’s hard for me to gather thoughts and phrases and feelings toward this. I’m so blown away that this isn’t against the law. Who would even think about making a law against inseminating patients with your own sperm. I can’t believe that he would have thought that was OK,” she said.
Using a genealogy website, Stavena connected with Eve Wiley, a Dallas woman, who last year was featured on an episode of ABC’s “20/20” and said McMorries had impregnated her mother with his own sperm rather than that of anonymous donor.
“I had a call with her and my other half sister and they laid it all out to me and told me the story. That’s how I actually found out,” Stavena said. “He clearly told Eve in correspondence that there could be maybe one or two more. Now there’s five.”
McMorries was the fertility doctor for Stavena’s mother when she gave birth in 1987. The doctor could not be reached for comment, and declined to comment on previous stories.
“I’m so glad my mom moved us away from Nacogdoches when I was seven because who knows,” Stavena said. “What if I had married my brother?”
Wiley spoke to the Texas Legislature in 2019 promoting a bill that would make fertility fraud a crime. Legislators unanimously passed the bill, which is now law.
Stavena filed a complaint with the Texas medical board, as did another of McMorries’ biological children. A hearing set for this spring was delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Just because he’s a beloved Christian man doesn’t mean he didn’t do wrong and didn’t deceive his patients. That shouldn’t protect him in this unethical act,” Stavena said.