Couple Sues Fertility Clinic After Giving Birth to Boy Despite Asking for a Girl

A Buffalo couple is suing a fertility clinic that had allegedly promised to determine the sex of the embryo before it was implanted into the client’s womb, only to deliver the wrong sex.

Heather and Robin Wilhelm-Routenberg had decided to only have a baby if they could guarantee it was a girl, because of emotional trauma Heather had experienced earlier in her life. To that end, the two women approached the CNY fertility clinic in Latham, New York, which, they claim, guaranteed them that it could determine the sex of an embryo created using an egg from Robbie and donor sperm. However, 15 weeks into Heather’s pregnancy, the couple was shocked to learn that they were having a boy, despite specifically asking for a girl. The two women are now suing the clinic for malpractice and breach of contract, among other things.

Photo: Aditya Romansa/Unsplash

Heather Wilhelm-Routenberg recently sat down with the New York Post and spoke about the shock of finding out the sex of the baby in her womb and the trauma that followed it. She was apparently convinced that she was having a girl, as promised by CNY Clinic, only to be told by her OB-GYN that, according to the result of the QNatal test, they were expecting a boy.

“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,” Heather said. “It scared the s–t out of me. I don’t know how to explain this — it felt like there was an alien living inside of me.”

Heather recalled that when she first heard the news, she thought she was carrying someone else’s baby, that the clinic had mistakenly planted another embryo in her body. Not only that, but this other baby was a boy, something she had dreaded from the start.


But the fact that this was someone else’s baby was also somewhat of a consolation, as Heather started telling herself that they could just trade babies with whomever the boy belonged to, and then they’d get the baby girl the CNY had promised they’d get. But that dream was shattered when the fertility clinic confirmed that the embryo was actually theirs, only instead of the female one they had asked for, it was male.

“Seven weeks later we got an email that this was our embryo. It was indeed male and it was indeed related to Robbie. No one else had our baby: There was no female baby coming,” Heather recalled.

Even though abortion was mentioned as an option at one point, the fact that they had already lost one pregnancy before made it almost impossible to accept. Then there were all the friends and family who were so happy for them, even though Heather herself didn’t feel any emotional connection to the baby growing inside her.


Things got even worse when the baby was born, in December of 2020. Heather had dreamed about holding her child to her chest, but here she was unable to let it touch her. She would wear things just so he wouldn’t touch her chest. Then she started experiencing emotional anxiety, and at one point she thought she was going insane.

The child is a year and a half now, and things have gotten much better. Robin and Heather have managed to connect to their baby and when they are together, it’s magic, but it’s been a much tougher process than it should have been. Because the fertility clinic messed up, the two parents feel that their child was deprived of some of his formative years, and that’s why they feel that their legal action against CNY is justified.

“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,” Heather said.

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