A New York couple gave birth to someone else’s babies after an IVF clinic implanted the wrong embryos in the woman’s womb—they were expecting twin girls and instead gave birth to twin boys that didn’t match their ethnicity.
The Asian couple from Queens approached CHA Fertility Clinic for IVF after their many attempts to have babies naturally and through artificial insemination failed, reported the New York Post.
Identified in the court papers at Y.Z. and A.P., the couple went to the Los Angeles fertility clinic in January 2018 and underwent months of treatments that resulted in eight embryos.
After a failed attempt in July 2018, the couple successfully conceived in September—but something went wrong.
The court papers say the couple “were ecstatic to learn that after years of trying to conceive, they had success and were pregnant with twins.”
— CBS News (@CBSNews) July 8, 2019
A new lawsuit claims that the clinic knew about the mix-up but concealed it from the parents who were devastated upon giving birth to someone else’s babies in March.
According to CBS News, genetic testing confirmed that the two babies belonged to two different couples, and the Asian American parents were forced to give them to their biological parents. The parents don’t know what happened to their two female embryos that were to be implanted.
The lawsuit says it is an “unimaginable mishap” and holds the owners of the clinic, Dr. Joshua Berger and Simon Hong, responsible for the couple’s ordeal.
What Happened in the Clinic?
After conceiving the couple suspected something was wrong when sonograms showed that they were carrying twin boys and not twin girls as they were initially told, according to the New York Post.
The suit says the owners of the clinic, Berger and Hong, kept telling them that the sonograms were “not a definitive test.”
They “assured [A.P. and Y.Z.] that they were having girls and that nothing was wrong,” according to the New York Post.
— My Surrogacy Options (@mysurrogacyopts) July 8, 2019
CBS News reported that the couple spent over $100,000 on the treatment, travel, and other living expenses related to the process.
The babies were born on March 30, 2019, and neither one shared their parents’ ethnicity. Clinic staff, including Hong, traveled to New York to conduct genetic tests that confirmed the babies had different biological parents.
“The testing also confirmed that the two male babies were not genetically related to each other,” the couple said in the lawsuit, according to the New York Post.
The court papers said the couple is heartbroken, embarrassed, and “could not find the courage and the way to tell others about their devastating loss.”
There are so far no details about the biological parents of the babies or how the babies are doing.
“Most likely, the babies are going to be fine. The good thing about it is that she was a mom who super-wanted children,” Dr. Amber Samuel, a specialist with the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, told the New York Post.
Samuel said that the mishap happened because somewhere the necessary protocols were not followed.
“There are all sorts of checks and balances for this not happening, so there’s a real breakdown there,” she said. “Someone was super-asleep at the wheel.”
Jake Anderson, an IVF expert, told CBS News that human error is not uncommon in IVF clinics.
“It’s this agonizing process to grow embryos. And it involves almost over 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.
More than a million babies have been born in the United States through IVF and other related technologies, according to CBS.
“Have we become reckless and too careless with people’s most important genetic material and their future happiness?” Anderson told CBS News.