CBS Local — 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 shocking revelations came about after the woman’s daughter, now 36 years old, took a DNA test and learned that her biological father was a complete stranger.
According to reports, Kelli Rowlette was using Ancestry.com’s DNA testing service to learn about her family history. Rowlette was never told that her parents struggled to conceive a child and opted for artificial insemination in 1980. Rowlette’s mother, Sally Ashby, gave birth to Kelli in 1981.
When her results returned, Rowlette’s DNA was matched to a man living 500 miles away in Idaho Falls. That man is reportedly Gerald E. Mortimer, a retired obstetrician gynecologist who was also the same doctor who handled Ashby and her husband Howard Fowler’s case.
Mortimer allegedly lied about finding a sperm donor that matched the couple’s specifications, which were for a college educated male with brown hair and blue eyes, and used his own DNA instead. ““Dr. Mortimer cried when Ms. Ashby informed him they were moving. Dr. Mortimer knew Kelli Rowlette was his biological daughter but did not disclose this to Ms. Ashby or Mr. Fowler,” the lawsuit claims, according to The Washington Post.
The family is reportedly “suffering immeasurably” since finding out the truth about Rowlette’s parentage. “Ms. Ashby contacted Mr. Fowler, now her ex-husband, and relayed the information she obtained from Ancestry.com. Mr. Fowler was also devastated by the news,” the lawsuit details.
Mortimer and his former practice are now being sued for medical negligence, fraud, battery, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and breach of contract.