A man who had grown up knowing his family for 47 years received the biggest shock of his life one day. His dad told him he wasn't his biological father four months before passing away.
It is hard to live a life that's built on lies. Eventually, the truth comes out and hurts people in unimaginable ways. Those who battle identity crises often spend their lives questioning and doubting everything, including love and family.
The story we're about to share is of an Iowa man who had spent a large part of his life thinking his parents were his parents. But when he finally discovered the life-altering truth about himself, he couldn't come to terms with it.
Mark Hansen. [Inset] Mark pictured with his father as a little boy. | Photo: facebook.com/DesMoinesRegister
55-year-old Mark Hansen grew up with his mom and dad. He lost his father, Rodney Hansen, in 2013. Four months before dying, Rodney told his son an eye-opening secret - he was not Mark's biological father.
The grand revelation shook him to the core. Mark knew that he had been conceived through artificial insemination performed by their town doctor, Doctor Sidney Yugend.
However, he'd always thought his parents supplied the necessary materials. Mark's mother had shared details about his birth in the late 70s or early 80s, but she never gave him any other information.
A young Mark pictured with his parents. | Photo: facebook.com/DesMoinesRegister/videos
THE UNCANNY RESEMBLANCE
After his dad's shocking confession, Mark pulled out the doctor's obituary, hoping to confirm or negate his theory. What he saw next was too much to ignore - bald head, wide nose, sticking out ears, full lips, and dimpled cheeks.
Sadly, Mark isn't the only victim of fertility fraud.
In front of his eyes was a man he had never known, but he had a familiar face. When Mark saw his reflection in the mirror, he could easily connect the dots.
Dr. Sidney Yugend. | Photo: facebook.com/DesMoinesRegister/videos
Then, he discovered that the name matched the doctor's signatures on his birth documents. His biological father was his mother's family doctor, Dr. Sidney Yugend. In a short video clip shared by The Des Moines Register, Mark revealed:
"My biological father was Sidney Yugend. Dr. Sidney Yugend was my mother and father’s doctor who helped them conceive because they were having fertility issues. And he was my mother’s family doctor for years."
As it turned out, the Iowa man was a victim of fertility fraud. His mother's family doctor had used his own sperm instead of her husband's to inseminate her.
Mark Hansen with his father, Rodney Hansen. | Photo: facebook.com/DesMoinesRegister/videos
RESTORING SENSE OF SELF
Since the moment of revelation, Mark's been trying to restore his sense of self and cope with eye-opening details about himself. He also expressed:
"It’s this crazy feeling that you don’t know and you lose your footing to a certain point in life. I can still stand up; I can still stand on my own, but there’s something out there that I don’t know."
Sadly, Mark isn't the only victim of fertility fraud. Doctors in over 20 states in the U.S. have been accused of siring patients with their sperms. Some physicians have carried out this practice for many years, with the matter coming to light recently.
While it's difficult to deal with harrowing details about one's life, drawing strength from such experiences can help people move forward. Despite battling an identity crisis, Mark continues to advocate for kids of deceptive "doctor donors."
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