Coupe to sue IVF clinic after giving birth to someone else's baby 6 months ago

Coupe to sue IVF clinic after giving birth to someone else's baby

They say they were given the wrong embryo by the clinic

A couple in California are suing an IVF clinic after giving birth to another couple's child.

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Daphna and Alexander Cardinale say they were given the wrong embryo by the California Center for Reproductive Health (CCRH), giving birth to a child in September 2019 that looked nothing like them.

Meanwhile their actual daughter was being carried for by another couple, who they eventually tracked down and were able to swap babies with.

In vitro fertilisation (IVF) is a procedure during which a woman's eggs are fertilised by man's sperm in a laboratory before being implanted into a woman's uterus.

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However the Cardinales say they were given the wrong embryo, so ended up giving birth to another couple's daughter.

They are suing the Los Angeles-based fertility centre CCRH, as well as In VitroTech Labs, an embryology laboratory.

The lawsuit alleges medical malpractice, negligence and fraudulent concealment.

It says that the couple sought the help of the clinic in the summer of 2018, with Mrs Cardinale giving birth the next year to a child they thought was theirs.

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However the couple were surprised when the child "came out with much darker skin" than they were expecting, having thought they would give birth to a "fair child" like their firstborn.

The lawsuit reads: "It was so jarring that Alexander actually took several steps away from the birthing table, backing up against the wall."

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Two months later they decided to take at-home DNA tests, which confirmed they were not biologically related to the baby.

The Cardinales have both sought mental health treatment for "symptoms of anxiety, depression and PTSD" as a result of the ordeal, according to the legal action.

The CCRH then helped the couple find the other couple who had carried the Cardinales' biological daughter. She was around four months old when they first met and after several meetings the two couples agreed to go through the legal process of exchanging babies.

This was completed in January 2020.

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Speaking at a press conferences on Monday, Mrs Cardinale said her family's "heartbreak and confusion can't be understated".

"Our memories of childbirth will always be tainted by the sick reality that our biological child was given to someone else, and the baby that I fought to bring into this world was not mine to keep."

She added that she had been "robbed of the ability to carry my own child" and had "breastfed and bonded with a child I was later forced to give away."

The lawyer for the Cardinales said that the other family in the mix-up also plan to sue but that they will remain anonymous.

Mrs Cardinale, a licensed therapist, and her husband, a singer-songwriter, said that the experience had been particularly difficult for their seven-year-old daughter, who has struggled to understand what has happened.