According to a lawsuit filed Monday in Los Angeles, two California couples gave birth to each other’s babies following a fertility clinic mix-up and spent months parenting children who weren’t theirs before exchanging the infants.
Because the infant had a darker complexion than they do, Daphna Cardinale and her husband, Alexander, had immediate concerns that the girl she gave birth to in late 2019 wasn’t theirs.
They kept their misgivings to themselves since they were in love with the kid and had faith in the in vitro fertilisation technique and their doctors, according to Daphna. She said she was traumatised after learning months later that she was pregnant with another couple’s kid and that another woman was carrying her child.
“Fear, betrayal, fury, and sadness overpowered me,” Daphna said at a press appearance with her husband to announce the case. “My ability to carry my own child was taken away from me.” I never had the chance to grow and bond with her while she was pregnant, never to feel her kick.”
The Cardinales accuse the California Center for Reproductive Health (CCRH) in Los Angeles and its owner, Dr. Eliran Mor, of medical malpractice, breach of contract, carelessness, and fraud in their lawsuit. It asks for a jury trial and unspecified monetary damages.
On Monday, the center’s office administrator, Yvonne Telles, declined to comment. Mor was unavailable for comment.
According to attorney Adam Wolf, who represents all four parents, the two other parents involved in the alleged mix-up prefer to remain anonymous and plan to file a similar complaint in the coming days.
According to the lawsuit, CCRH implanted the other couple’s embryo into Daphna by mistake and transferred the Cardinales’ embryo into the other woman, which was generated from Daphna’s egg and Alexander’s sperm.
Both girls were born a week apart in September of this year. According to the complaint, both parents reared the wrong child for nearly three months until DNA tests revealed that the embryos had been exchanged.
According to the complaint, “the Cardinales, especially their little daughter, fell in love with this girl and were scared that she would be taken away from them.” “All the while, Alexander and Daphna had no idea where their embryo was, and they were scared that another woman had become pregnant with their kid — and that their child was somewhere out in the world without them.”
In January 2020, the babies were swapped again.
Mistakes like this are extremely rare, but not unheard of. In 2019, a couple from Glendale, California, filed a lawsuit against a different reproductive clinic, alleging that their embryo was placed in the wrong woman in New York, who gave birth to their son and a second kid belonging to another couple.
Wolf, whose business focuses on fertility cases, has advocated for more regulation of IVF clinics.
“This example exemplifies an industry that urgently requires federal oversight,” he said.
Giving their older daughter, now 7, the news that doctors had made a mistake and the new baby wasn’t her sister “was the toughest thing in my life,” Daphna said.
“Perhaps the most, my heart hurts for her,” she remarked.
Both babies have been returned to their biological family since the mix-up was discovered. Daphna noted that all four parents have made an effort to keep in touch and “create a broader family” since then.
“They loved our biological daughter just as much as we did theirs,” Alexander explained.
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