Woman 'Horrified' by Ancestry.com Connection

Fertility doctor used own sperm to impregnate patient: suit
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 4, 2018 5:33 AM CDT
   (Getty Images/abezikus)

(Newser) – Kelli Rowlette thought she knew who her biological father was. So when Ancestry.com showed her DNA matched a sample from a retired fertility doctor, she assumed the service was unreliable, per the Washington Post. That was until she learned the same doctor had artificially inseminated her mother with his own sperm and delivered Rowlette—his biological daughter—in May 1981, reports the Daily Beast. According to a lawsuit alleging medical negligence, fraud, and breach of contract, Idaho doctor Gerald Mortimer consulted with Rowlette's parents, Sally Ashby and Howard Fowler, who were having trouble getting pregnant, and agreed to inseminate Ashby with sperm from Fowler and a college student donor who had similar traits. Instead, Mortimer allegedly acted with his own sperm and his practice's knowledge, per Courthouse News.

Mortimer then hid the connection for decades, according to the suit. Still, there were signs. Mortimer reportedly cried when Ashby told him the family would be moving from Idaho to Washington state. "Dr. Mortimer knew Kelli Rowlette was his biological daughter but did not disclose this to Ms. Ashby or Mr. Fowler," reads the suit, which also names Obstetrics and Gynecology Associates of Idaho Falls. "Dr. Mortimer fraudulently and knowingly concealed his use of his own genetic material in the procedure." Rowlette only learned what had happened after finding the name of her Ancestry.com connection on her birth certificate. She was "horrified" and contacted her parents "in a panic," according to the suit; until that point, she knew nothing of the artificial insemination. All three are now "suffering immeasurably," the suit states. (This case is incredibly similar.)

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