Shocking IVF mix-up with embryos leaves couple devastated

Posted in IVF.

A major mix up in Los Angeles fertility centre has meant that a couple desperate for children has given birth to someone else’s babies.

After many years of trying to conceive and give birth, a New York couple decided to approach to the CHA Fertility Center in Los Angeles. After months of treatment, tests and procedures, the husband and wife finally succeeded in giving birth to twin boys – only to discover that they were someone else’s babies, the New York Post reports. 

According to the New York Post, the Asian couple journeyed to LA in January 2018 to begin treatment, spending what would add up to a total of $100,000 at the facility, specialist and doctors’ fees, medication, lab expenses and travel costs. In July 2018, the first attempt to implant an embryo apparently failed but the couple was not going to give up.

Seemingly successful

When the husband and wife were ready to give it another go, CHA thawed two of the couple’s female embryos. By September they were thrilled to learn the attempt had been successful and they were pregnant with twins.

However, problems arose when ultrasounds continually showed the babies to be boys and not girls. The worried couple tuned to CHA, who assured them they were definitely having girls and that there was nothing to worry about.

Not our babies

Finally, on March 30, 2019, the wife gave birth to the two babies via a caesarean section. Not only were both babies in fact boys, but also neither shared the couple’s ethnicity. Dr Hong and members from CHA came to New York to carry out testing, only to learn that the boys were not genetically related to either parent nor were they even genetically related to each other.

The New York Post reported that the couple was then forced to give custody of each child to their respective biological parents.

Absolutely devastated by their loss, the couple is now seeking damages. As well as the embarrassment and shock of giving birth to someone else’s children, they also don’t know what has happened to the embryos that should have been implanted.

Inexcusable mistake

According to Dr Amber Samuel, a specialist with the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, this case represents a shocking breakdown in protocol. “There are all sorts of checks and balances for this not happening, so there’s a real breakdown there,” she commented to the New York Post. “Someone was super asleep at the wheel.”

While accidents do happen, and this is certainly not the first fertility centre bungle, nothing can change the fact that a couple, longing for children, had to endure a horrific nightmare that they’re not likely to ever recover from, nor ever forget.


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