The New Jersey couple tried and tried to have a baby.
When they were unable to conceive on their own, Kristina Koedderich and Drew Wasilewski opted for artificial insemination through IVF, or in vitro fertilization. In 2013, after spending nearly $500,000, the procedure helped them realize their parenting goals with the arrival of a baby girl.
But when the child was about two years old, the couple, who are white, began noticing changes in her features. She looked Asian. A DNA test later revealed Wasilewski was not her biological parent, according to a filed lawsuit against the clinic.
Court documents say somewhere along the way the Institute for Reproductive Medicine and Science in Livingston, N.J., made a horrific mistake, impregnating Koedderich with the sperm of someone who was not her husband.
"It's been devastating for them," the now-divorced couple's attorney, David Mazie, of Mazie, Slater, Katz & Freeman, told NPR.
"To go through all the shots, all of the treatments, spend all of that money, and be lucky enough to have a child but then find out it's not 100% your child ... it's inexcusable. It should never happen," Mazie said.
The institute did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Koedderich and Wasilewski say the clinic's negligence caused "the breakdown of the marriage." They are suing the clinic for unspecified damages.
"They also want to know,what happened to Drew's sperm? They took it and it was defrosted. If they didn't use it for this procedure they must have used it in some other procedure," Mazie said.
To find out the answer to that question, Superior Court Judge Keith Lynott ordered the clinic to hand over a list of all of the men and women who used the facility around the same time as Wasilewski and Koedderich.
"If he has children, he wants to know. He wants to meet them," Mazie said.
The attorney added that his clients also want to know the identity of their child's biological father to learn more about her genetic history. According to the filing, the girl, who is now six, inherited a genetic blood disorder associated with Southeast Asian heritage.
When she is older, the girl may also want to develop a relationship with her biological parent "and she has a right to that," Mazie added.