Many couples turn to fertility clinics to help realize their dreams of having children. While complete trust is put in these practices, it's not always as clean cut as it seems. One Ohio family has learned that their daughter isn't genetically related to her father, after purchasing a home DNA test to learn about their heritage. According to NBC News, the family found out the devastating information when the results from their Ancestry DNA kit came back. A fun bonding experience turned into a shock that caused incredible upset.
Patriarch Joe Cartellone filed a lawsuit this week in the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas. Talking to reporters, Cartellone explained that the DNA kit was a Christmas gift, which unearthed an "abuse of our trust." The three defendants are the Institute for Reproductive Health, The Christ Hospital, and Ohio Fertility Providers. Results of the test showed that Rebecca is related to five men that she had previously been unaware of. One of the men has worked as a doctor at The Christ Hospital, according to lawyers.
25-year-old Rebecca wants to know who her real father is, while her parents are eager to know where Joe's sperm ended up. Since he provided the sperm to create an embryo, argues the plaintiff, it must have gone somewhere. What if it was used for another couple, who also unwittingly have a child that isn't fully related to them?
The Cartellone's are experiencing distress on many levels. Not only is Joe heartbroken that he isn't the father of his beloved daughter, but Rebecca is left knowing less about her heritage than she did before the Ancestry kit. As well as this, Joe's wife Jennifer has had to deal with trusted doctors putting someone else's sperm into her body.
It's not currently clear whether the mix-up was due to negligence, an accident, or purposeful. The Christ Hospital have admitted they are "evaluating" the allegations, but don't plan to publicly comment on the process moving forward.
Sadly, the Cartellone's aren't the only family to have discovered fertility mix-ups recently. One New York couple were left distraught after giving birth to twins that weren't biologically related to either of them.