Woman suing doctor for using his own sperm for artificial insemination
BENTON COUNTY, Wash. -- A woman assumed her DNA test from Ancestry.com was wrong when the results told her a man she didn't know was likely her father.
Then, she learned the man listed was her parent's fertility doctor.
The Benton County woman and her parents have filed a lawsuit against the doctor because they said he used his sperm to artificially inseminate the mother -- without ever telling them.
Although this is a public lawsuit, Action News is choosing not to disclose the woman’s name to respect the family’s privacy.
What the woman didn't know at the time she got results back from Ancestry.com is that her parents had struggled to conceive, and that her mother went through artificial insemination.
And neither the woman nor her parents knew that their fertility doctor, Gerald E. Mortimer, could have used his own sperm in the process.
The lawsuit said the couple paid Mortimer for the procedure when he promised he'd found a donor match with their qualifications — a college student with brown hair, blue eyes, and more than six feet tall.
The lawsuit stated the mother became pregnant and Mortimer delivered the child--never telling them his secret.
He remained their doctor for several years and according to the lawsuit, Dr. Mortimer cried when the family informed him they were moving -- Dr. Mortimer knew she was his biological daughter but did not disclose this.
The lawsuit said all this came to light when the woman found her birth certificate and saw the name signed on it was the same name from her DNA test.
The family's attorney released the following statement:
“After much consideration, [the plaintiff] and her family made the difficult decision to allow their personal grief to become public through the legal process,” Shae Meehan said. “Ultimately this decision was made for the purpose of holding the responsible parties accountable for a grievous and damaging violation of trust."
Action News reached out to Mortimer’s attorney who did not respond with a statement.
The lawsuit said since the family discovered Dr. Mortimer's actions, they have been “suffering immeasurably.”
The family is also suing Obstetrics and Gynecology Associates of Idaho Falls--where Mortimer was working at the time.