An ancestry testing kit given as a gift turned out to be anything but after it led to Rebecca Cartellone finding out she was biologically unrelated to her father.
The 24-year-old gave the Ancestry.com kit to her dad Joseph Cartellone for Christmas, but the family was shocked when results showed them not to share his Italian heritage.
A secondary paternity test later confirmed their worst fears, that the pair were not biologically related at all, leaving the family understandably distressed, The Mirror reported.
Joseph and his wife Jennifer Cartellone, from Delaware in Ohio, conceived their daughter in 1994 with the help of in-vitro fertilisation.
In the wake of their life-changing revelation, the family is suing Cincinnati’s Institute for Reproductive Health, The Christ Hospital and Ovation Fertility.
Mr Cartellone said the traumatic ordeal had been “extremely difficult” for his entire family, but hit his daughter the worst.
“She's experiencing significant emotional stress and confusion concerning her own identity,” he told reporters at a news conference.
“I never would have imagined the Christmas gift of a home DNA kit would unveil this kind of abuse of our trust.”
He explained his initial disbelief at the results and how he contacted Ancestry.com suspecting there may have been a mix up.
But after speaking with an employee, he was convinced the results were accurate, so decided to get further paternity testing.
The number of possible biological fathers of Ms Cartellone has been narrowed down to five men, with one a doctor at The Christ Hospital when she was conceived, the family’s lawyer has claimed.
The couple are suing over negligence and breach of contact, and are seeking unspecified damages.
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