Imprinted genes are expressed differently depending on whether they are carried by a chromosome of maternal or paternal origin. Correct imprinting is established by germline-specific modifications; failure of this process underlies several inherited human syndromes. All these imprinting control defects are cis-acting, disrupting establishment or maintenance of allele-specific epigenetic modifications across one contiguous segment of the genome. In contrast, we report here an inherited global imprinting defect. This recessive maternal-effect mutation disrupts the specification of imprints at multiple, non-contiguous loci, with the result that genes normally carrying a maternal methylation imprint assume a paternal epigenetic pattern on the maternal allele. The resulting conception is phenotypically indistinguishable from an androgenetic complete hydatidiform mole, in which abnormal extra-embryonic tissue proliferates while development of the embryo is absent or nearly so. This disorder offers a genetic route to the identification of trans-acting oocyte factors that mediate maternal imprint establishment.