DNA test reveals fertility's doctor's dark secret, lawsuit alleges


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.

According to the Daily Beast, Rowlette is suing Mortimer after finding out the now retired doctor used his own sperm to impregnate her mother.

The lawsuit states that she received a notification from Ancestry.com last July informing her she had a DNA match. The service not only connected her genetically to a man she had never heard of, named Gerald Mortimer, it told her that Mortimer was her father.

"Dr. Mortimer knew Kelli Rowlette was his biological daughter but did not disclose this to Ms. Ashby or Mr. Fowler", the complaint said.

The lawsuit claimed Ashby became pregnant in August 1980 with the sperm donor doc later delivering the child.

Rowlette, Ms. Ashby, and Mr. Fowler are suing Dr. Mortimer for the charges of Medical Negligence, Failure to Obtain Informed Consent, Fraud, Battery, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress, Breach of Contract, Consumer Protection Act Violation, Respondeat Superior, and Negligent Supervision.

When 36-year-old Kelli Rowlette sent her DNA into Ancestry.com, she was expecting to learn about her ancestral descent and maybe even discover a few long-lost fourth cousins.

Kat Palmer claims Dr. Norman Barwin is her biological father
Kat Palmer claims Dr. Norman Barwin is her biological father

Kelli Rowlette and her parents are represented by Shea Meehan of Walker, Hey, Meehan and Eisinger in the fertility fraud case, reports Courthouse News.

The parents agreed on the condition the donor was a college student with physical characteristics similar to Fowler - namely brown hair, blue eyes and over 6-foot tall, according to the lawsuit. The procedure to inseminate Rowlette's mother was meant to mix 85% of her father's sperm with 15% from a college student of similar appearance.

IUI - intrauterine insemination or artificial insemination - is a fertility treatment that involves directly inserting sperm into a woman's womb.

Ancestry.com said in a statement, "DNA testing helps people make new and powerful discoveries about their family history and identity".

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.

At first, Rowlette thought the results were an error, and gave her mother the results. The family believes he knew he was Rowlette's biological father. Requests to reach Mortimer and the Idaho clinic in question were not immediately returned. "Anyone who takes a test can change their DNA matching settings at any time, meaning that if they opt out, their profile and relationship will not be visible to other customers".

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