A Florida couple has sued a Vermont gynecologist for allegedly impregnating the woman with his own semen four decades ago, WCAX-TV (Burlington) is reporting.
Cheryl and Peter Rousseau, now comfortably in their seventies, are the parents of a 41-year-old daughter, who was born via artificial insemination back in the late 1970s. At the time, the couple had been working with gynecologist Dr. John Boyd Coates, III. Specifically, the couple says they were led to believe that Coates would impregnate the woman with semen from an unidentified medical student who resembled Peter. They even signed a contract indicating that the medical student’s semen would be used.
There were signs that something was amiss – signs that the couple failed to notice at the time. For example, while most gynecologists in the artificial-insemination industry would generally not make it a point to be present at the baby’s birth, Coates wanted to make sure he was there when Cheryl gave birth, says the couple’s lawyer, Jerry O’Neill.
“He made sure that he did the delivery of the child himself as opposed to someone else in his practice. He made certain he was there.”
Four decades later, Coates’ alleged scheme was revealed when the couple’s daughter, now an adult woman, decided to use a commercial DNA testing kit, such as those provided by Ancestry.com or 23andMe.
It’s unclear how the couple was able to reach that conclusion, but O’Neill says the results pointed to Coates, not the unnamed medical student, being the woman’s father.
“It was completely news to them. They had no expectation that this would turn up when their daughter did the research with respect to it. This could not have been done accidentally.”
O’Neill says that this is as clear a case of fraud as he’s ever seen. He also suspects that there would be no reason for Dr. Coates to use his own semen, rather than that of another donor, other than narcissism.
It remains unclear, as of this writing, what damages the couple is seeking. Dr. Coates, for his part, has not responded to requests for comment from the media.
O’Neill suspects that the doctor is not the only gynecologist to have impregnated a woman with his own semen.
“Around the country if you look at it there have been physicians who have found to put their own sperm in and created children. It’s been done in a serial way. There are multiple children for whom this has been done.”