A Florida couple is suing a Vermont gynecologist after their daughter’s genetic test revealed the doctor was her biological father, the lawsuit claims.
Peter and Cheryl Rousseau filed a suit Dec. 4 against Montpelier-based Dr. John Boyd Coates and Central Medical Center, where he worked at the time the couple was trying to conceive. They are seeking over $75,000 in damages, The Barre-Montpelier Times Argus reported.
The couple, who married in 1974, each had children from previous marriages but wanted a child of their own. Peter had a vasectomy which was not reversible at the time, so the couple opted for insemination, according to the suit.
In 1977, Coates signed a contract agreeing to use the sperm of an unidentified medical student who resembled Peter to inseminate Cheryl, the suit claims.
The Rousseau’s didn’t suspect Coates was the father of their child until their daughter, Barbara Mary Frances Rousseau, now 41, used websites like Ancestry.com and 23andMe to learn more about her background and medical history, according to the suit.
“Defendant Dr. Coates knew that the child born as Barbara Mary Frances Rousseau was his biological daughter but chose to never disclose this fact to Plaintiffs nor to Barbara Mary Frances,” the suit claims.
The suit adds the insemination was “harmful, offensive and constituted a battery upon Plaintiff Cheryl Rousseau.”
Coates denied that he is the father, according to the Orlando Sentinel. His lawyer, Peter Joslin was not available for comment.
The Rousseau’s’ lawyer, Jerome O’Neill, said he wasn’t sure if more of Coates’ patients were inseminated with his sperm. He cited narcissism as a possible motive for inseminating his patient, WCAX reported.
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