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Ohio fertility service used stranger’s sperm in place of husband’s, couple claims in lawsuit

Published by Becker’s Hospital Review

By Anne-Marie Kommers

Aug 07, 2019

A Cincinnati fertility clinic, hospital and lab replaced a man’s sperm with that of a stranger when he and his wife turned to in-vitro fertilization to conceive a child in 1993, causing the couple to give birth to a daughter who they later learned was not biologically related to her father, according to a lawsuit filed Aug. 7 and reported in The Columbus Dispatch.

Jennifer and Joseph Cartellone and their daughter, Rebecca Cartellone, now 24, filed the lawsuit against Ovation Fertility Cincinnati, the Institute for Reproductive Health and The Christ Hospital, all of which are based in Cincinnati. The family learned Mr. Cartellone was not Rebecca’s biological father when she bought DNA kits as a Christmas gift, Mr. Cartellone said.

Paternity tests later confirmed that Mr. Cartellone was not the biological father, according to the family’s attorneys. The Cartellone family also used results to narrow the identity of Rebecca’s biological father to five candidates, one of whom is a former Christ Hospital physician.

Christ Hospital Health Network is “evaluating the allegations surrounding events alleged to have occurred in the early 1990s,” the system said in a statement, adding that they are not allowed to comment publicly on pending litigation. The Institute for Reproductive Health, which houses Ovation Fertility Cincinnati, did not respond to a message from The Columbus Dispatch.


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