Man says ex-girlfriend stole sperm, had baby

By Keith Garvin - Anchor/Reporter

HOUSTON - A Louisiana man and his former girlfriend have filed a lawsuit in Harris County claiming another woman illegally obtained the man's sperm from a clinic, was inseminated and now has his son.

In January 2002, Layne Hardin of Louisiana and his then-girlfriend Katherine Leblanc made deposits at a clinic now known as Texas Andrology Services. They said a contract gave Leblanc ownership of the vials. The lawsuit claims in 2009 Tobie Devall, who had had an on-again off-again relationship with Hardin, walked into the clinic, was able to obtain two vials in a brown paper bag, then go to a doctor's office in the same building to be inseminated. In 2010, she gave birth to a son who is now 2 years old.

In a statement to Local 2, Devall's attorney said Devall "relied on everything he (Hardin) told her that he was the owner of the sperm and never showed her any contracts and in fact" told a doctor that "he had eight vials of sperm and that he intended for Ms. Devall to be inseminated with them to have a child."

Despite the tawdry details, both sides acknowledge the seriousness of the case.

"We're not talking about merchandise," said Cade Bernsen, an attorney representing Hardin and Leblanc. "We're talking about sperm, and we're not talking about eggs, we're talking about the power to create life."

Attorneys said this is such an emotional case it likely will not be settled out of court. The trial is scheduled to begin in Harris County on April 22.

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