IVF couple sues California clinic, alleges babies weren't DNA match | News Coverage from USA

IVF couple sues California clinic, alleges babies weren’t DNA match

The first sign something was wrong at the California in vitro fertilization clinic was that the couple had thawed and implanted two female embryos only to learn they were carrying boys.

How could that be?

A doctor at CHA Fertility Center in Los Angeles told the couple that sometimes sonograms get it wrong. He assured the couple “they were having girls and that nothing was wrong,” according to a federal lawsuit filed by the couple and obtained by USA TODAY.

Something was very wrong, according to the couple’s legal claim.

The mom delivered two boys. DNA testing showed the boys were not a genetic match to the couple, who were Asian — neither of the boys were. Further, the lawsuit alleged that “the two male babies were not genetically related to each other.”

The couple, known only by their initials as A.P. and Y.Z., filed a federal suit last week in the Eastern District of New York accusing the clinic, the co-owners and directors of medical malpractice, negligence, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress. 

“Frier Levitt is representing a couple who sustained traumatic emotional injuries and financial losses as a result of an incomprehensible series of events that left them pregnant with someone else’s babies, neither of whom were related,” said the couple’s attorney, Michelle Greenberg from New Jersey firm Frier Levitt, in a statement emailed to USA TODAY. “Our goal in filing this lawsuit is to obtain compensation for our clients’ losses, as well as to ensure that this tragedy never happens again.” 

‘Raise children of their own’

The mother gave birth to the boys on March 30, according to the suit. But after genetic testing revealed the boys weren’t theirs, the couple relinquished custody.

CHA Fertility Center did not return a request for comment Monday. 

The couple, who are from Queens, New York, married in 2012, and according to the lawsuit, from that year on wanted “to conceive, deliver and raise children of their own.”

“Natural measures” proved unsuccessful, as did artificial insemination, which they tried. They found CHA Fertility’s website in 2017. The lawsuit says CHA’s website described the clinic as a “mecca of reproductive medicine” and one of the “premier fertility treatment networks in the world.”

It was this promotional information that led to the couple to travel to the clinic in 2018 to undergo IVF there, the lawsuit stated.

From ‘ecstatic’ to lawsuit

Y.Z., the husband, gave his sperm, while A.P., the wife, underwent the regimen to grow her eggs.  

The New York couple spent $100,000 on the IVF procedures, travel expenses and other costs. By February 2018, five embryos were frozen for preservation, the lawsuit stated. 

One IVF attempt in July 2018 was unsuccessful.

After a discussion between clinic medical staff and the couple, another attempt at transferring two more female embryos was made in August 2018. In September 2018, the couple learned they were pregnant with twins, the lawsuit said.

The couple “were ecstatic to learn that after years of trying to conceive, they had success and were pregnant with twins” the legal claim stated.

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