After learning that her biological father was also her mother’s fertility doctor, Eve Wiley, a 32-year-old Texas woman, is on a mission to make fertility fraud a crime.
How did Eve Wiley discover the truth behind her biological identity?
Wiley was 16 years old, poking around in her mother’s email account when she learned that she was conceived by an anonymous sperm donor.
Wiley asked her mother, Margo Williams, about the discovery, and learned that her parents had struggled with infertility for years before deciding to visit a fertility clinic.
Williams conceived through artificial insemination and nine months later, Wiley was born. Sadly, when she was just 7 years old, Williams’ husband, the man who raised Wiley as his daughter, died from a heart condition.
Wiley learned that her presumed biological father was Donor No. 106 and she sought him out. Over time, the two developed a genuine father-daughter bond.
“I call him dad. We say I love you,” Wiley told The Dallas Morning News. “We spend holidays together and he actually officiated at my wedding.”
But when Wiley’s young son became very sick, she and her husband needed more genetic information to try and uncover the mysteries surrounding his health problems.
Wiley told Liftable, a section of The Western Journal, that her son was having some “pretty significant medical issues” at the time she sought her family’s genetic information.
“Instead of putting him under for his seventh surgery before his fourth birthday, a doctor was like, you know what, let’s get some genetic variations on your son,” Wiley said.
The doctor told them the “easiest and cheapest way of doing that is through 23 and Me Plus Health.”
After extensive genetic testing, genealogy research and communicating with biological relatives, Wiley and her mother discovered the shocking truth.
The fertility doctor the family had trusted decades ago had inserted his own semen into Williams without her knowledge or consent.
When Wiley confronted the doctor, Kim McMorries, who founded the Women’s Center in East Texas in 1981, he admitted that he was Wiley’s biological father.
How did Wiley and her family handle this shocking and traumatic truth?
Wiley was then faced with how to tell Steve Scholl, Donor No. 106, that he was not her father after all.
“We’ve had such a beautiful and close relationship,” Wiley told Liftable. “But you know often with most fairytale type stories there is kind of this tragic element. And you know this is, this is where our tragic element came in.”
Wiley said it was difficult to tell Scholl the truth, and that both of them had to grieve the loss of a presumed biological relationship.
“But what was really beautiful was we all kind of banded together as a family and decided to move forward together. And nothing has changed,” Wiley said.
“If anything, this tragedy has kind of brought us closer together.”
As for McMorries, Wiley ultimately decided that her battle was not with him alone, but a part of a larger war on fighting fertility fraud.
When Wiley consulted a lawyer about how to handle her unique situation, she was told there was no legal action she could take against McMorries.
“I was shocked and absolutely appalled that a doctor who has taken an oath could violate his patients in this way without any measurable accountability,” Wiley said.
How is Wiley working to change legislation surrounding the fertility industry?
“To me, it’s crazy that I’m having to advocate for this, but at the same time, it’s like you know infertility rates are rising. There is no data. The fertility industry is completely unregulated because they’re self-regulated,” Wiley told Liftable.
She and her mother recently appeared before the Senate Criminal Justice Committee in Austin, Texas, to pass SB 1259, which would make unauthorized implantation of “human reproductive material” a state felony with punishment between six months and two years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.
“Since January, I’ve gone to Austin once or twice a week, which is about three and half hours each way for me. So I leave at 5 o’clock in the morning and I’ll get home at about 11/11:30 at night because I have two small kids. And I tell the story over and over again,” Wiley said.
The Criminal Justice Committee unanimously approved SB 1259 and sent it on to the full Senate. Should the bill pass, the consequences would apply to future crimes, not Wiley’s personal circumstance.
Still, telling her story and working toward legislative change has helped Wiley find healing and purpose in her pain.
“I recognize that the only healing to take place in my tragedy was to make this bigger than myself,” Wiley said.
While her story is painful and complicated, Wiley hopes that something positive will come out of the struggle.
“You know, my story, it sucks in that sense but my hope is that it will end up being a legacy that started something positive,” she said.
The Western Journal did reach out to Dr. Kim McMorries for comment.
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