Two visitors to our blog shared their experiences with SPCT and Merritt Patterson:
From a former egg donor with SPCT:
As a former donor with SPCT, I want to share that I never met with a psychiatric counselor or attorney and never went through the “genetic counseling” that Merritt allegedly tells her recipients is provided to donors. I only went through minimal blood work – testing for STD’s. The previous (legitimate) agency I donated with provided me with an attorney to negotiate my contract (acting on my behalf – not theirs), a lengthy counseling session and extensive blood and genetic tests. In retrospect I see this as very disturbing. Just my two cents.
These allegations are troubling on many levels. First, it is unconscionable that this donor was permitted to proceed with a cycle without psychological screening and counseling. Equally disturbing is that she was not given the opportunity to meet with an attorney. Thankfully there appeared to be no problems, but the utter lack of informed consent exposed this donor and her recipients to significant and unacceptable risk and liability. It also is a shocking departure from industry and ASRM guidelines.
This account comes from a former client of SPCT:
FYI, the (partial) refund we received from Merritt was a personal check from the Park Cities Bank; not a cashier’s check, not a money order, just….a check. And supposedly all our money should have been in an escrow account (per ASRM guidelines) and thus easily accessible, however it took months to see a check, with the threat of a lawsuit to finally receive one, and we (other victims) all were given the same story as to the delay of our refunds….
This is yet another example of the Three Card Monte ploy that SPCT was using to justify the delays in reimbursing their couples and paying their donors and surrogates. Moreover, it is extremely troubling as it further substantiates the allegations that a segregated escrow account was not utilized but instead all funds were commingled. If these funds were commingled with the SPCT operating account, it would explain the long delays in issuing payments and the need to offer up tortured excuses used to buy additional time. Further, if these accusations are true, it sounds like a type of Ponzi scheme was being operated which should be investigated by law enforcement.