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Central Ohio Family Sues Fertility Clinic For Using Stranger’s Sperm

Published by WOSU Public Media

By Paige Pfleger

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

A Central Ohio family is suing a fertility clinic in Cincinnati, after finding out the clinic used a stranger’s sperm more than two decades ago.

For Christmas, the Cartellone family submitted their DNA to the geneaology website The results were shocking: Joe Cartellone found out he was not the biological father to his 24-year-old daughter, Rebecca.

“Disbelief quickly turned to anger and frustration,” Cartellone says.

The Cartellones conceived Rebecca through in vitro fertilization using services at the Christ Hospital and the Greater Cincinnati Institute for Reproductive Health. Now they’re suing for misconduct.

The family’s lawyers say the lack of regulation in the fertility industry is partially to blame.

Cartellone says they still have many questions: How did this happen? What happened to Joe’s sperm?

“Whose sperm was used to fertilize my wife’s eggs that were implanted back in her?” Cartellone asks. “And what’s that person’s background?”

The family has identified five men who are possible DNA matches, one of whom they allege worked at the clinic around the time of the procedure.

The hospital declined to comment.

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