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DNA test reveals a woman's biological father was her parents' fertility doctor
06 April 2018, 03:31 | Marta Robbins
Ancestry.com DNA Test Reveals That Woman Was Fathered By Her Mother's Fertility Doctor Launching Lawsuit
A lawsuit in Idaho is accusing a retired fertility doctor of using his own sperm to impregnate a woman who was struggling to have a child.
The doctor delivered the couple's child nine months later, signing her birth certificate and allegedly keeping in contact with the family (who went on to have a son naturally) under the guise of providing further fertility advice.
She said her parents then told her they had problems conceiving in the 1980s and sought the help of Dr. Gerald Mortimer in Idaho where they lived at the time. In the early '80s, Rowlette's parents, Howard Fowler and Sally Ashby, had been dealing with infertility issues and turned to Dr. Mortimer for consultation.
The family only found out about it years later after an Ancestry DNA test said Dr. Mortimer was her father.
"Dr. Mortimer cried when Ms. Ashby informed him they were moving", the lawsuit continued.
In 1979, Fowler and Ashby were a married couple living in Idaho Falls while Fowler was stationed at the Naval Reactors Facility.
Believing that the results were a mistake, Rowlette gave her mother access to her Ancestry.com account, according to the lawsuit.
The doctor's solution for the couple: Inseminate Ashby with a sperm cocktail containing 85 percent of Fowler's "genetic material" and source the rest from a donor.
They chose a donor who was in college and who looked like Mr Fowler - over 1.80 metres tall with brown hair and blue eyes. "Mr. Fowler was also devastated by the news", the lawsuit details.
Ms Rowlette was born in May 1981.
Court documents show Rowlette learned who Mortimer was after her parents told her about the procedure and Mortimer's role as her mother's obstetrician.
The family is suing for medical negligence, failure to obtain consent, fraud, battery, infliction of emotional distress, breach of contract and engaging in deceptive trade practices. "Dr. Mortimer fraudulently and knowingly concealed his use of his own genetic material in the Procedure".
"[Ancestry] helps people make new and powerful discoveries about their family history and identity... We are committed to delivering the most accurate results, however with this, people may learn of unexpected connections".
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