Two Californian Couples Give Birth to Each Other’s Babies After Confusion at Fertility Clinic | World news
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Two California couples gave birth to each other’s babies and spent months raising children who weren’t theirs after a confusion at the fertility clinic, according to a lawsuit filed Monday.
Daphna Cardinale said she and her husband, Alexander, were immediately suspicious after the girl she gave birth to in late 2019 had a darker complexion than them.
However, the couple said they removed their doubts because they fell in love with the baby and trusted the IVF process and its doctors.
Months later, they learned that Daphna was pregnant with another couple’s baby and that the other woman had carried – and given birth – her biological daughter.
“I was overcome with feelings of fear, betrayal, anger and grief,” Daphna said at a press conference with her husband announcing the lawsuit against the fertility clinic.
“I was deprived of the ability to carry my own child. I never had the opportunity to grow up and bond with her during pregnancy, to feel her kick.”
The Cardinals’ lawsuit charges the California Center for Reproductive Health (CCRH) in Los Angeles and its owner, Dr. Eliran Mor, with medical malpractice, breach of contract, negligence and fraud. He demands a jury trial and seeks unspecified damages.
The other two parents involved plan to file a similar complaint in the coming days but wish to remain anonymous, according to the lawyer representing the four parents.
Attorney Adam Wolf – whose firm specializes in fertility cases – said: “This case highlights an industry in desperate need of federal regulation.”
The babies, both girls, were born one week apart in September 2019.
Parents unknowingly raised the wrong child for almost three months until DNA tests confirmed the mistake. The babies were traded in January 2020.
“The Cardinals, including their young daughter, fell in love with this child and feared that they would be taken away from them,” the complaint said.
“All this time Alexander and Daphna did not know the whereabouts of their own embryo and were therefore terrified that another woman would be pregnant with their child – and that their child would be somewhere in the world without them. “
Breaking the news to their eldest daughter, now seven, that the doctors made a mistake and that the new baby was not actually her sister “was the hardest thing in my life,” Daphna said.
“My heart breaks for her, maybe the most,” she said.
Both babies were returned to their biological families, but all four parents made an effort to stay in each other’s lives and “forge a bigger family,” Daphna said.
“They were just as in love with our biological daughter as we were with theirs,” Alexander said.
Although rare, confusions like this are not without precedent. In 2019, a couple from Glendale, Calif., Sued another fertility clinic, claiming their embryo was mistakenly implanted in a New York woman, who gave birth to their son as well as a second boy belonging to another couple.
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