Same Sex Couple Sues Fertility Clinic After Conceiving a Boy, Claims Entire Ordeal 'Just Like Rape'
When a fertility clinic’s testing was flawed, leading to the conception of a baby boy instead of a girl, Heather Wilhelm-Routenberg and Robbie Routenberg-Wilhelm were immediately distraught. And one can understand a certain amount of frustration with the clinic after it had assured the lesbian couple they’d have a girl, but frustration doesn’t begin to describe how Heather and Robbie felt: Heather had just been raped by the clinic.
That’s not my word, that’s straight from Heather, who underwent the in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure after her spouse Robbie miscarried a baby conceived by IVF. The clinic had promised that, due to their testing procedures, they could guarantee a baby girl—which was of paramount importance to Robbie, as she refused to carry a boy due, in part, to being sexually assaulted in the past and also the “constant socialization” boys undergo that “reinforces masculinity” and would remind her of her sexual assaults, too.
Now, this might just be me, but if one would immediately attribute such things to their unborn child, I would say they weren’t mentally fit to have a child, and well, it definitely looks that way in this case.
At their fifteen-week appointment, the couple was taken aback when the blood tests came back showing the child was a boy, and Heather’s brain immediately went from bliss to despair in 2.3 seconds.
Heather told the New York Post, “I looked at Robbie and said, ‘What’s if it’s not yours — who is in my body?!’ That’s when I flipped out, that’s when I felt my body was taken hostage. I assumed it was someone else’s embryo, not the wrong embryo of ours. […] It felt like there was an alien living inside of me. […] ‘This can’t be happening!’ Not only was the baby in my body not ours, but the baby in my body was male and he was put there against my will, just like rape.”
I’ll give her a little bit of credit, the assumption that the lab could have made a mistake by implanting the wrong embryo was entirely rational. But the thought process that brought her all the way to “this is just like rape” was where she lost me, especially because that requires of her to think of her unborn child as a rapist or at least accessory to the rape. At a minimum, he was an accomplice. Regardless, that’s disgusting.
Kudos are due, however, as she was offered to abort the child and refused.
As it turns out, the embryo was theirs, it was their son, but this revelation did nothing to change Heather’s attitude about her baby. “I just wanted the baby out of me.”
It also did nothing to quell the anger the couple was harboring against the clinic. They filed a lawsuit against the clinic alleging several counts including breach of contract, medical malpractice, and battery.
After the boy was born, Heather did what she could not to half skin-to-skin contact, feeling “electric shockwaves” each time he touched her chest.
After a year and a half, Heather has managed to muster a certain amount of love for her child, but as she describes, “[W]hen we’re out in the world, he’s a symbol of something, being socialized as the same people who did bad stuff to me.”
Should someone who would ever think of their child this way have children? I know how I feel about it. I’m just praying that poor kid makes it to adulthood with minimal psychological damage.
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