Jessica Harvey Halloway grew up with her parents, Jeanine and Mike Harvey, in Ohio. Her parents conceived her with assistance from a fertility clinic.
In 1991, Jeanine underwent a procedure at Summa Health fertility clinic, and in 1992, Jessica was born.
They were thrilled to have a daughter, especially because the family was known to have mostly boys. Jessica grew up in what most would consider a normal upbringing.
In 2020, as Jessica and her husband were planning a trip to Europe, they decided to ask for a DNA test for Christmas. As Mike had Italian heritage, Jessica thought it would be cool to identify and reach out to distant relatives while they went through Italy.
But thanks to that test, half of Jessica’s family tree was about to be redrawn.
Later, she said she had thought it “would be kind of fun to dive into, learn more about my history,” according to Fox News.
“Little did I know that taking this test would completely turn my world and my parents’ world upside down,” she continued.
The test showed that Jessica had Scottish, Welsh and French heritage — but no Italian. That led to another DNA test and a paternity test for Mike: The results confirmed their fears.
Mike was not Jessica’s biological father. So who was?
Apparently, the girl’s biological father was a stranger who had also been at the same fertility clinic, undergoing treatment with his wife at the same time as the Harveys.
During the preparation process, the stranger’s sperm was used for both procedures. The whereabouts of Mike’s sample is still unknown.
After learning the upsetting news, the Harveys, who reside in Cuyahoga Falls, hired attorneys and filed a lawsuit against Summa Health, Dr. Nicholas Spirtos and Spirtos’ Akron fertility business.
The family has tried to establish communication with the fertility clinic for the past seven months but has never been contacted.
“At this point, we have not met with the family or conducted testing of our own,” a statement from the clinic read. “Given the very limited information that we have and the amount of time that has passed, it remains our hope that the attorneys representing the family will work with us to make that next step a priority.”
Jessica and her husband ended up canceling their trip to Europe, and the family doesn’t tell Italian jokes anymore.
“By sharing our story, we hope that we might be able to help others and prevent this from happening to them,” Jeanine Harvey said, according to the Akron Beacon Journal.
“You go to bed one day thinking you’re somebody and you wake up the next day to find out that the woman you have raised, the daughter you raised is not your blood,” Jessica said. “I’m somebody else’s daughter and that’s, that’s a hard pill to swallow.”
Attorney Adam Wolf, who is representing the family, says that reform is needed in this particular industry and that he hopes this case will bring that.
“It’s important that all of us understand the horrors, the tragedies that can come out of fertility clinics when they make mistakes like this,” he said. “When people leave fertility clinics, they shouldn’t have to worry about whose sperm was used. Right now, we have a system that is basically unsupervised in the United States and that needs to change.”
“As consumers, we think of fertility clinics as professional organizations,” he added. “The truth is: Nail salons are subject to far tighter controls than labs in fertility clinics.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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