IVF Clinic Mix Up:Two Women Deliver The Each Other's Baby, Lawsuit Filed

Chrissie Marie

IVF mix-up puts a California fertility clinic in the hot seatDrKontogianniIVF/Pixabay

A California fertility clinic is in a legal battle because they implanted two embryos in the wrong women in an in vitro fertilization procedure, resulting in the mothers giving birth to babies that were not theirs. The families raised them for several months before discovering the mix-up, CNN reported.

In 2019, Daphna and Alexander Cardinale looked to California Center for Reproductive Health in Los Angeles to help them make their dreams of having a baby a reality. Dr. Eliran Mor believed he could assist their quest to become parents.

The couple tried to conceive a baby unsuccessfully until they realized they needed a medical intervention to have a child. In 2018, they tried a round of IVF, but it was unsuccessful. According to the lawsuit filed on Monday, November 8, the couple stated they trusted the doctor and put their family goals in his hands.

The Baby Didn't Look Like Her Parents

Daphna felt elated when she had a healthy baby girl, but she and her husband felt shocked and confused by the infant's appearance. Their daughter appeared to be a different race, and she looked nothing like anyone in the family.

According to the lawsuit, "The couple expected to see a fair child, much like their older daughter. Instead, their birth daughter came out with much darker skin and jet-black hair. She looked to be of a different race, which made no sense considering Daphna and Alexander's respective backgrounds."

Eight weeks later, a DNA test revealed the child Daphna delivered was not biologically their child. It was then the Cardinales discovered they transferred their embryo into another woman, who delivered a healthy girl.

Daphna said she felt robbed after learning about the IVF mix up. She didn't get to experience her child growing inside her or bond with her before her birth.

"I never had the opportunity to grow and bond with her during pregnancy, to feel her kick, or to watch her in ultrasounds."

Daphna Wants To Prevent This From Happening Again

The couple's attorney said they learned the fertility clinic outsourced the care of the embryos to a company, In VitroTech Labs, which served as a third party lab. The lawsuit alleges both the lab company and the clinic were owned by Dr. Mor. At this time, it isn't clear what happened and how the mistake happened. Even so, the attorney said the clinic "recklessly, negligently, and knowingly lost or actively given Daphna and Alexander's embryo to another couple and implanted the wrong embryo in her. "

"Daphna and Alexander did not even know of their biological daughter's existence until she was three months old. Another month passed before they would finally bring her home for good. Meanwhile, they had to give up forever the daughter whom Daphna carried to term and to whom their whole family had irrevocably bonded," the lawsuit states.

The families met each other on December 31, 2019. After a few weeks, the infants had their first overnight visit with their biological parents. Both couples decided to keep their biological children, as shuffling them back and forth was emotionally draining.

The Trauma Over The Mix Up Is Still So Fresh

The effects of the experience have taken a toll on both families. Daphna struggles with the idea she bonded, breastfed, and loved a child that she had to give away over a mistake the clinic made.

Alexander said he would stare at his daughter (before they learned the truth) and wonder if she was his child. He struggled to see any resemblance to him or his wife. Daphna recalled a similar experience, which caused her to feel dissociated from the child.

According to Washington Post, Daphna became frustrated with her husband's remarks about the baby's appearance and questioning if the child was his. She ordered a DNA test to prove the child was his daughter. The DNA testing lab contacted Daphna with the "confusing" results-- the little girl was not her or Alexander's biological child.

It wasn't long after the DNA results came in, the couple learned the clinic implanted their embryo into another woman, who delivered a healthy girl one week after her delivery. They did not identify the other couple in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit calls for a jury trial and is seeking unspecified damages. Do you think the clinic is liable for the mistake? Tell me what you think in the comments section below. Don't forget to follow me for more true crime news.

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Chrissie is a true crime addict. With over 15 years of experience writing and editing online, she is ready to bring her readers crime news in real time.

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