It’s every parent's worst nightmare, isn’t it? Going through the emotional rollercoaster of IVF treatments, carrying a child for 9 months, experiencing the pain and trauma of childbirth… Only to find out that your new baby isn’t biologically yours.
Well, this horrifying scenario has become a reality for one unfortunate New York couple, despite the chances of an embryo mix-up being incredibly slim. And it happened with twins, just to make things even worse.
The married couple, who have chosen to remain anonymous for obvious reasons, were receiving treatment from an LA-based fertility clinic when, after years of trying for a baby, and much to their delight, they successfully fell pregnant with twins.
However, upon giving birth to the babies, the couple found out that they weren’t related to the children at all... And the “twins” weren’t even related to each other. I know what you’re thinking, how does this even happen? Continue reading to hear the full extent of this story, and why the couple are now, and quite understandably, suing the fertility clinic for their grave error.
The use of fertility clinics is on the rise.
via: ShutterstockIt’s been 4 decades since the birth of Louise Brown, the world’s first “test-tube baby" and ever since, the use of in vitro fertilization (IVF) as a method of conceiving has been steadily growing across the United States.
More and more Americans are resorting to IVF in order to start a family.
via: ShutterstockAccording to a Pew Research Center survey, last year, thirty-three percent of Americans reported that they, or someone they knew, used some kind of fertility treatment in order to try to have a baby. Whether you suffer from fertility issues, or you’re just a single mom wanting to give it a go solo, there’s some form of fertility treatment for everyone.
And it’s now easier than ever to get fertility treatment.
via: ShutterstockDecades ago, it would have been next to impossible to seek any form of fertility treatment if you and your partner were struggling to conceive. But times have changed, and it is now incredibly easy to inquire about fertility assistance, no matter what state you live in.
All you need is plenty of money.Yep, that’s the catch. Though there are numerous fertility clinics dotted all over the country, their treatments come with hefty price tags. The average cost for one round of IVF is around $12,000 and most couples tend to pay for a few cycles before they see any results. And this cost doesn’t even include the cost of other medications.
So, with those prices, couples expect results.
via: ShutterstockAnd rightly so. Though the chances of IVF actually working heavily depends on the age and health of the woman carrying the embryo, most women typically see success rates of around twenty to thirty-five percent, per cycle. So investing in IVF is always going to be a big risk.
But the chances of an embryo mix-up are incredibly slim.
via: ShutterstockThe main worry of any expectant parents undergoing IVF is whether they will actually fall pregnant, not whether they will accidentally carry someone else's child. Because the chance of such a medical blunder is astonishingly unlikely… Right?
Seemingly not, in one LA-based fertility clinic.Yes, the worst possible scenario has apparently happened. It made headlines this week when one anonymous couple from Flushing, New York, alleged that a fertility clinic, based in Los Angeles and described as one of the "premier fertility treatment networks in the world," left them pregnant with 2 babies from 2 other couples.
The couple have filed a lawsuit against the fertility clinic.According to the lawsuit, the unnamed couple sought the services of CHA Fertility in Los Angeles last year after years of trying to conceive without success. In total, the couple have spent over $100,000 on IVF treatments throughout the years - an eye-watering figure to carry other people's babies, to say the least.
The couple were initially ecstatic to find out that they were expecting twins.
via: ShutterstockAs any budding parents struggling to conceive would be. The lawsuit claims that suspicions began to arise, however, after the couple were told in both the 3 month and 5 month scans that they were carrying 2 baby boys, despite the fact that they had been implanted with female embryos.
But they were told not to worry.
via: ShutterstockAfter raising their concerns to the medical staff, the couple were told that sonograms aren’t always accurate when it comes to determining the sex, and were reassured that they were in fact carrying the female babies.
The mother gave birth via Cesarean section on March 31st this year.
via: ShutterstockAnd she was subsequently greeted with 2 baby boys.
The parents knew straight away that the babies weren’t biologically theirs...
via: ShutterstockBecause neither child was of Asian descent, like their “parents." This will have been an understandably heart-wrenching moment for the couple, especially for the mother, who had just carried the babies for 9 months, and had just undergone the agonizing c-section.
Genetic testing began immediately.
via: ShutterstockAccording to the lawsuit, the clinic's Dr. Simon Hong flew out to New York with other staff members to meet with the parents at the hospital, where the couple promptly underwent genetic testing.
And the tests determined that the couple were not related to the babies.
via: ShutterstockHeartbreakingly, the couple’s suspicions were confirmed. And, just when the situation seemingly couldn’t get any worse, it was confirmed that the baby boys weren’t even related to each other - they had come from 2 separate couples who had also used to the clinic for fertility treatment.
This poor woman had unknowingly carried and birthed 2 separate couples’ babies.
via: ShutterstockIt isn’t worth thinking about, is it? The lawsuit read: “Subsequently, the testing revealed that Baby A was genetically matched to Couple A and Baby B was genetically matched to Couple B."
The couple were then forced to give up the babies.
via: ShutterstockThe lawsuit continued: “As a result, Plaintiffs were required to relinquish custody of Baby A and Baby B, thus suffering the loss of two children." The couple say that they have "suffered significant and permanent emotional injuries for which they will never recover" as a result of the mix-up.
And they still don’t know what happened to their own embryos.
via: ShutterstockThe couple have yet to hear any word on what the fate of their own embryos were, though they have stated in their lawsuit that they believe that either they were never actually thawed, or they were either lost or destroyed by the clinic.
The lawsuit is holding a number of accusations against the clinic.
via: ShutterstockSixteen, to be precise. CHA Fertility is being held responsible for an array of damaging factors, such as medical malpractice, negligence, reckless and wanton misconduct, and deceit and fraudulent concealment.
The couple have been left both emotionally and physically scarred from the experience.
via: ShutterstockThe lawsuit states: “Plaintiffs have suffered significant and permanent emotional injuries for which they will not recover…In addition, Plaintiff AP [the mother] underwent physical and emotional injuries for which she is still under the treatment of medical providers and will continue to be in the future."
CHA Fertility is yet to respond.
via: New York PostCHA Fertility, which claims to have fulfilled the dreams of tens of thousands of aspiring parents from all over the world, hasn’t addressed any questions regarding the lawsuit. We wish all the best to all of the couples affected in this horrific case.