NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A new lawsuit claims a New York woman gave birth to other people’s children, after a fertility clinic impregnated her with the wrong embryo.
The couple claims the fertility clinic knew about the mix-up and tried to conceal it, CBS2’s Meg Oliver reported Monday.
After spending more than $100,000 on in vitro fertilization (IVF) services to become pregnant, the unidentified couple said they finally succeeded. However, when they gave birth in March, the Asian-American parents claim they were shocked to find neither baby was of Asian descent.
The lawsuit claims genetic testing confirmed the babies belonged to two other couples, forcing them to give the babies up to their biological parents. They still don’t know what happened to their two embryos that should have been implanted.
The lawsuit names co-owners of CHA Fertility Center, Dr. Joshua Berger and Simon Hong, as responsible for the “unimaginable mishap.”
Human error is not uncommon at IVF facilities, according to IVF expert Jake Anderson.
“It’s this agonizing process to grow embryos, and it involves almost 200 different steps and when you assume this happens to thousands of patients every year within that laboratory, all of a sudden you’ve got a lot of moving parts,” Anderson said.
In 2009, Carolyn and Sean Savage experienced similar loss, upon learning the baby they had just conceived through IVF was not theirs.
“You’re so excited, and you feel like, ‘finally,’ and then to have the rug pulled out from under you in this kind of manner is … it’s so painful,” Carolyn Savage said.
The Savages carried the baby to term, before giving him to his biological parents. They said hearing the news of another IVF mix-up was heartbreaking.
“I cannot express how utterly unacceptable this situation is,” Carolyn Savage said. “It is preventable. Protocols need to be followed, and they need to be taken seriously.”
The couple in this latest lawsuit is accusing the fertility clinic of medical malpractice, negligence, and 14 other counts. A lawyer for CHA Fertility Center declined to comment.