A couple having difficulty conceiving seeks the help of a fertility clinic to realize their dream of having a child. Eventually the treatments take, and the woman becomes pregnant after an in vitro fertilization procedure. The couple, who are both Caucasian, believe that the sperm and egg used in the procedure came from each of them and that the child being born would not only be theirs, but would be theirs genetically as well.
When the woman gave birth, the couple had no reason to believe that anything was amiss. Two years later, however, the child started developing Asian features. The hospital, when confronted over the situation, has stated that no mix-up occurred and suggests that “an extramarital affair led to the minor Plaintiff’s birth.”
In another case, a couple had two female embryos implanted so the mother could carry them to full term. When a sonogram indicated that the fetuses were actually male, the doctor tried to calm their fears by saying that sonograms weren’t 100% accurate. According to a lawsuit filed in federal court, the doctor told them they’d be “having girls and that nothing was wrong.”
The woman later gave birth to two boys who were not a genetic match to her. And if that wasn’t a bad enough situation for the unknowing couple, DNA testing would also reveal that “the two male babies were not genetically related to each other.” The couple is now suing the clinic, as well as its owners and leadership, for malpractice, negligence, battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Mix-ups like these can be devasting for those involved and lawsuits are far from the only ramifications from such disastrous medical errors. The couple in the second example relinquished custody of the children to the state after the pain of multiple failed IVF attempts and the knowledge that their successful attempt was for children that were in no way theirs became too much to bear.