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A doctor prepares eggs and sperm for an attempt at artificial insemination. ((Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters))

A well-known Ottawa fertility doctor is being sued by two women who claim he inseminated them with the wrong sperm.

Bernard Norman Barwin is facing two separate $1-million lawsuits by women who claim DNA tests prove the intended donors are not the fathers of their children. 

The claims allege Barwin was careless in handling the donated sperm and suggest the samples may have been contaminated.

Jacqueline Slinn discovered in April the donor she had selected was not the father of her five-year-old daughter. 

"[I felt] surprise, shock to some degree," she said.

"How would you feel if you found out years down the road … that your child was not your own or was not related to who you thought it was? I'm sure it would leave you with a lot of questions.

"I feel that there are probably a lot of other women out there in the same boat but don't know it."

Names sought

Slinn's lawsuit requests Barwin identify the donor whose sperm was used to inseminate her or at least the names of all possible donors.

The claim also requests Barwin be ordered to undergo a test to rule out that he is the sperm donor used to inseminate Slinn.

"Well, I would like to secure every scrap of information I could for my daughter — knowing who the real father is and having access to medical records," she said.

Barwin has worked in the fertility field for 30 years and has received the Order of Canada for his work.

Despite his reputation, Slinn's lawyer Pam MacEachern said the two claims suggest it's not an isolated incident. 

"We're talking about contamination of a sperm sample or things not being properly labeled or procedures not being followed," she said.

"We're concerned about how widespread this is because now we're getting out of a unique accident into something that has happened more than once."

Ottawa resident Trudy Moore launched a similar lawsuit against Barwin last year.

Barwin's lawyer denies the allegations made against his client.

No court dates have been set.