Huge IVF mix-up goes big time legal

Australian Medical Association/AusMed

A lawsuit filed in the Eastern District of New York has accused a California fertility clinic of giving the wrong children to a couple who tried to conceive through IVF.

According to US media reports, the lawsuit states that the couple, who are Asian ethnicity, was shocked to give birth to two boys who were not of Asian descent.

The couple are now suing CHA Fertility and two men who are named as the clinic’s co-owners and directors, for medical malpractice and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The lawsuit says DNA tests confirmed the children were not related to the couple and that they have relinquished custody.

It notes that after giving birth on March 30, the couple “was shocked to see that the babies they were told were formed using both of their genetic material did not appear to be”.

The event has made headlines around the world. The BBC reports there were earlier signs things were not going to plan when a scan revealed the couple was expecting boys, despite doctors having told them they did not use male embryos during the treatment. The doctors reportedly told the couple that the scan was inaccurate.

Compounding the situation, the newborns are not only unrelated to the couple, they are not even related to each other.

Lawyers for the couple told the BBC their clients suffered from “the grossly negligent and reckless conduct of CHA fertility” and that “our goal in filing this lawsuit is to obtain compensation for our clients’ losses, as well as to ensure that this tragedy never happens again”.

The couple say they had tried for years to conceive before spending more than US$100,000 on the IVF process.

The fertility clinic has reportedly so far not commented.

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