A New York couple have filed a lawsuit alleging that an IVF mix-up led the mom to give birth to someone else's babies, the New York Post first reported over the weekend. As a result, the couple claims that rather then bring the children they'd been desperate to have home, they were allegedly forced to give the newborns to their biological parents.
According to the New York Post, a married couple from Queens sought the assistance of CHA Fertility Center in Los Angeles after multiple attempts to become pregnant through both natural and artificial insemination failed. After months of medicines, supplements, procedures, and test — not to mention the $100,000 the couple claims to have spent in total on their in vitro fertilization (IVF) — they had eight viable embryos, the lawsuit alleged. Romper's request for comment from CHA Fertility Center on the lawsuit was not immediately returned.
While the first attempt to implant an embryo was not successful, the lawsuit claims the second attempt, which involved two female embryos, was, according to a report from USA Today. The lawsuit noted the couple "were ecstatic to learn that after years of trying to conceive, they had success and were pregnant with twins," USA Today reported.
Yet almost right away something seemed off. According to The Daily Beast, the couple alleged in their suit that ultrasound technicians told them at both the three and five month checkups that both fetuses were male, which "confused" them, as CNN reported. When the couple reportedly brought their concerns to CHA Fertility Center, they allege in their suit they were told the ultrasounds had been wrong and the embryos used were female.
But the babies' birth in March proved that the embryos implanted had indeed been male, according to CNN. The lawsuit also alleged that neither of the babies appeared to share the couple's Asian-American heritage, according to NBC News.
According to the New York Post, genetic testing reportedly done by CHA Fertility Center confirmed that neither of the two newborns were genetically related to the couple, nor were they even related to each other. Rather, the publication reported, the lawsuit alleged CHA Fertility Center determined that the babies' biological parents were two other couples that had sought IVF services from the clinic.
The couple claim they were ultimately forced to give the babies to their respective biological parents and "could not find the courage and the way to tell others about their devastating loss," the New York Post reported. Their lawsuit accuses the clinic of medical malpractice and of intentionally inflicting emotional distress, according to NBC News.
While the couple's story is both shocking and heartbreaking, it's reportedly not the first time an IVF mix-up has led someone to give birth to someone else's baby. According to CBS News, Carolyn and Sean Savage underwent a similar situation in 2009 when they were informed that the child they'd conceived through IVF was not biologically theirs. Like the couple behind the lawsuit, the Savages also had to give the child Carolyn carried to its biological parents. "I cannot express how utterly unacceptable this situation is," CBS News reported Carolyn said after hearing of the latest alleged mix-up. "It is preventable, protocols need to be followed, and they need to be taken seriously."
On its website, CHA Fertility Center claims to have "fulfilled the dreams of tens of thousands of aspiring parents from Southern California and beyond" since 2001.