IVF mix-up gives women the wrong baby

The Today Show

An IVF mix-up resulted in two California couples giving birth to and going home with each other’s babies, a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles alleges

One couple said they had immediate suspicions that the girl she gave birth to in late 2019 was not theirs, due to the child’s darker complexion.

However, they fell in love with the baby and trusted the in vitro fertilisation process and their doctors – only to find they has another couple’s baby. The other mother gave birth to her child – also a daughter and she and her husband took her home.

“I was overwhelmed by feelings of fear, betrayal, anger and heartbreak,” said one of the mothers.

“I was robbed of the ability to carry my own child. I never had the opportunity to grow and bond with her during pregnancy, to feel her kick.”

She and her husband, who have filed the lawsuit, are accusing the California Center for Reproductive Health (CCRH) and its owner, Dr Eliran Mor, of medical malpractice, breach of contract, negligence and fraud. It demands a jury trial and seeks unspecified damages.

The two other parents involved in the alleged mix-up plan a similar lawsuit in the coming days, according to the attorney representing all four parents.

The girls were born a week apart in September 2019. Both couples unwittingly raised the wrong child for nearly three months before DNA tests confirmed that the embryos were swapped, according to the filing.

They were swapped back in January 2020.

The couples’ lawyer, whose firm specialises in fertility cases, is calling for greater oversight for IVF clinics. “This case highlights an industry in desperate need of federal regulation,” he says.

Breaking the news to their older daughter, now seven, that doctors made a mistake and that the baby was not actually her sister “was the hardest thing in my life,” one of the affected parents says.

“My heart breaks for her, perhaps the most.”

Since the mix-up came to light and the babies returned to their biological families, all four parents have made an effort to stay in each others’ lives and “forge a larger family,”.


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