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Woman's Xmas Gift to Parents Brings Devastating Surprise

Rebecca Cartellone, conceived via IVF, finds out dad isn't biological father due to apparent clinic mix-up
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 9, 2019 1:46 PM CDT
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/monkeybusinessimages)

(Newser) – A 24-year-old Ohio woman who thought an Ancestry.com kit would make a great Christmas gift for her parents is now wracked with guilt, and her family thrown into turmoil, after the DNA test revealed her dad isn't her biological father. Per the New York Daily News, the family of Rebecca Cartellone is suing a Cincinnati fertility clinic and the Christ Hospital Health Network for breach of contract, negligence, and battery, claiming that in 1994, Jennifer Cartellone underwent an IVF procedure that resulted in a stranger's sperm fertilizing her eggs instead of the sperm from her husband, Joseph. It's been confirmed via a paternity test that Joseph is not Rebecca's biological father, and it's not clear who is, though the Columbus Dispatch reports the Cartellones have narrowed down Ancestry.com results to five people. One of those potential fathers: a Christ Hospital doctor.

"It's hard to explain the shock and agony when you find out that someone you love and care for ... is not genetically related to you," Joseph Cartellone said at a presser, per CNN. In addition to his pain and anger over the revelation Rebecca isn't his biological daughter, he wonders if he fathered another child; he adds that his daughter, meanwhile, feels awful about buying the DNA test and confused about her genetic history, and that his wife is struggling with the fact that a stranger's sperm was planted inside of her (where the charge of battery comes in). Christ Hospital says it won't comment on pending litigation; the Ovation Fertility Cincinnati clinic, meanwhile, was an offshoot of the original clinic the Cartellones contracted with, so it says it's not responsible. (Read more DNA test stories.)

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