Couple who specifically stated they wanted a girl sues clinic over baby boy

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By Carina Murphy

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A couple who say they were promised they would have a baby girl by a fertility clinic is suing them after their baby turned out to be a boy.

Heather Wilhelm-Routenberg only agreed to have children with her wife Robin (Robbie) Routenberg-Wilhelm on the condition that they had girls because of sexual assault trauma.

The CNY fertility clinic in Latham, New York, assured them that they could accurately determine the sex of an embryo before transferring it into Heather's womb, the pair say. So the Buffalo couple were shocked when - at 15 weeks pregnant - they discovered they were having a boy.

In a first-person piece for the New York Post, Heather opened up about the trauma surrounding her pregnancy and detailed their legal case against CNY, who they are suing on 11 counts including breach of contract, medical malpractice, and battery.

Heather begins by explaining how the clinic took an egg from Robbie and donor sperm to create the embryo, which was then transferred to her womb.

"We selected CNY because they agreed we would be able to select female embryos," she recalled, before explaining that: "We didn’t want to have a boy because of the assaults and because of the socialization of boys — there’s constant socialization of what it means to be a 'real man.' People say, 'Oh, he’s a boy, let him hit you,' and all the camouflage and guns don’t help. It reinforces masculinity, and that’s a reminder of the assaults every time."

Robbie added that, while she didn't have Heather's trauma to contend with, she was also against having a boy because of enforced masculinity, saying: "We did not sign up for that."

When they discovered that Heather was in fact pregnant with a baby boy, the couple was convinced that they had been given the wrong embryo. "That’s when I flipped out," Heather described, adding: "That’s when I felt my body was taken hostage."

"It scared the s*** out of me. I don’t know how to explain this — it felt like there was an alien living inside of me," she continued.

It took seven weeks to determine that Heather was in fact carrying the correct embryo, during which time she describes having no connection with the baby growing inside her. When their son was born in December 2020, both mothers struggled to bond with their son and Heather became suicidal.

Since then, they have managed to bond with their son and now love him as well as any parent could. However, they still feel that the fertility clinic robbed them of that initial connection.

"He’s an innocent being, he didn’t deserve any of this. The clinic messed with something so integral: our baby’s first formative years. That’s the reason I am doing this — because I love my kid so much. We think our son deserved that bond from the start," said Heather.

Featured image credit: Albert Shakirov / Alamy

Couple who specifically stated they wanted a girl sues clinic over baby boy

vt-author-image

By Carina Murphy

Article saved!Article saved!

A couple who say they were promised they would have a baby girl by a fertility clinic is suing them after their baby turned out to be a boy.

Heather Wilhelm-Routenberg only agreed to have children with her wife Robin (Robbie) Routenberg-Wilhelm on the condition that they had girls because of sexual assault trauma.

The CNY fertility clinic in Latham, New York, assured them that they could accurately determine the sex of an embryo before transferring it into Heather's womb, the pair say. So the Buffalo couple were shocked when - at 15 weeks pregnant - they discovered they were having a boy.

In a first-person piece for the New York Post, Heather opened up about the trauma surrounding her pregnancy and detailed their legal case against CNY, who they are suing on 11 counts including breach of contract, medical malpractice, and battery.

Heather begins by explaining how the clinic took an egg from Robbie and donor sperm to create the embryo, which was then transferred to her womb.

"We selected CNY because they agreed we would be able to select female embryos," she recalled, before explaining that: "We didn’t want to have a boy because of the assaults and because of the socialization of boys — there’s constant socialization of what it means to be a 'real man.' People say, 'Oh, he’s a boy, let him hit you,' and all the camouflage and guns don’t help. It reinforces masculinity, and that’s a reminder of the assaults every time."

Robbie added that, while she didn't have Heather's trauma to contend with, she was also against having a boy because of enforced masculinity, saying: "We did not sign up for that."

When they discovered that Heather was in fact pregnant with a baby boy, the couple was convinced that they had been given the wrong embryo. "That’s when I flipped out," Heather described, adding: "That’s when I felt my body was taken hostage."

"It scared the s*** out of me. I don’t know how to explain this — it felt like there was an alien living inside of me," she continued.

It took seven weeks to determine that Heather was in fact carrying the correct embryo, during which time she describes having no connection with the baby growing inside her. When their son was born in December 2020, both mothers struggled to bond with their son and Heather became suicidal.

Since then, they have managed to bond with their son and now love him as well as any parent could. However, they still feel that the fertility clinic robbed them of that initial connection.

"He’s an innocent being, he didn’t deserve any of this. The clinic messed with something so integral: our baby’s first formative years. That’s the reason I am doing this — because I love my kid so much. We think our son deserved that bond from the start," said Heather.

Featured image credit: Albert Shakirov / Alamy