PARENTS who bought their daughter a home DNA testing kit as a fun Christmas gift say the results plunged the family into turmoil.
Jessica Harvey discovered she was not biologically related to her dad Mike — allegedly because bungling IVF doctors had used another man’s sperm.
Jessica grew up in Ohio believing she was of Italian heritage through her father, and took the language in high school.
When she was 28 she decided to go traveling in Europe to connect with her roots.
Mike and mum Jeanine bought her a kit from Ancestry.com hope she might find relatives she could meet on her travels.
But they were left reeling by the results which showed no Italian ancestry — and suggested she was not related to her father at all.
Then after delving into her genealogy, the family traced a stranger who appeared to be closely related.
He told them he and his wife had been patients of the same fertility doctor in 1991 but they had never conceived a child.
A DNA patternity test confirmed he was Jessica’s biological father, a lawsuit states.
“It was like waking up in someone else’s life,” Mike told a press conference yesterday.
“As a husband and a father, it’s extremely difficult to watch your family in pain.
“Learning that your entire reality isn’t what you believed it to be is hard to explain.”
Jeanine said her family’s experience had been “a trauma that I never could have imagined.”
She added: “For us, and for countless unsuspecting families out there, it took just one Christmas gift — a home DNA test kit — to change our lives for ever.”
The family is now suing Dr Nicholas Spirtos and the Summa Akron City Hospital for medical malpractice, negligence, battery and lack of informed consent.
Jeanine says she gave Dr Spirtos consent to perform a procedure called intrauterine insemination.
It involves washing and diligent sperm then placing it inside the womb at the same time as eggs are released.
“Without our knowledge, Dr Spirtos used a stranger’s sperm instead of my husband’s,” Jeanine said.
“I got pregnant and our daughter Jessica was born in 1992.
“Harvey girls were very rare in the family, so we were so excited.
“I screamed and scared the doctors half to death when she was born.”
Jessica said she had no clue she was not biologically related to her father until she got the fateful Christmas gift in 2020.
“How cool, we thought, it would be to connect with distant relatives in the countries we might be visiting,” she said at the same press conference.
“My parents got us Ancestry DNA kits as Christmas gifts, and since then our lives have never been the same, and never will be.”
Jeanine added: “It has taken every ounce of power to remain strong for my family and for myself as we try to move forward.
“Mike is my husband, Jessica is my daughter, and there’s no DNA test that will change that.
“But we will hold Dr Spirtos and Summa Health accountable for this.”
The hospital said: “We take this allegation seriously and understand the impact this has on the family.”
Dr Spirtos did not respond to requests for comment.
It is not the first time home DNA tests have revealed mix-ups at fertility clinics.
Last August we told how Utah couple Donna and Vanner Johnson discovered their son was not biologically his at the age of 12.
In November California parents Daphna and Alexander Cardinale revealed she had given birth to a stranger’s baby after the wrong embryo was implanted.
Their child was being raised by the other couple. Incredibly they decided to swap babies at the age of four months.
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https://www.the-sun.com/news/4602043/ancestry-dna-test-ruined-our-family/ We gave our daughter an ancestry DNA test kit for Christmas