Devastated couple sue IVF clinic for implanting their embryo in wrong woman who ended up giving birth to their son
Anni and Ashot Manukyan, an Armenian-American couple, are suing the CHA Fertility Center in Los Angeles for "unspecified compensatory and punitive damages."
A Southern California couple is suing a fertility clinic after they found that their embryo was mistakenly transplanted in a New York woman who ended up giving birth to their son as well as a second boy belonging to another couple.
Anni and Ashot Manukyan, an Armenian-American couple who live in Glendale, Los Angeles, have filed a lawsuit against the CHA Fertility Center in Los Angeles and described an in-vitro fertilization mix-up that involved three different couples, according to the Associated Press.
The couple was distraught when they found when the two embryos they had implanted at the clinic did not result in a pregnancy.
A few months later, they were called back for what they thought was a routine annual procedure but found out to their horror that there had been an unthinkable mishap.
A doctor and a psychologist informed them that the procedure was, in fact, a DNA test that had confirmed they were the biological parents of a boy delivered by a Korean-American couple from New York were also patients at CHA, the Daily Mail reported.
The New York couple had delivered two boys. One belonged to them, and the second one belonged to yet another couple who had their embryos on ice at CHA.
The scandal came to light after that couple, who identified themselves as YZ and AP in a lawsuit filed against CHA, had delivered two non-Asian boys despite having used two female embryos.
There were some signs that everything was not okay as well.
After the couple had become pregnant with twins in September 2018, sonograms showed that, despite the female embryos they had used, there were twin boys in the womb.
They were reassured by doctors at the clinic that sonograms were "not a definitive test" to determine the sex of a baby, but their worst fear was confirmed after the birth.
They had spent a $130,000 on CHA and claimed they had suffered "permanent emotional injuries from which they will not recover."
They also alleged that they will "never know what happened to their embryos, as well as whether the currently cryopreserved embryos are genetically matched to them" and are seeking unspecified damages.
Anni and Ashot had to go through their own emotional trauma as well.
They had to undertake an expensive and lengthy legal battle to bring their son—who they named Alec and who was six-weeks-old before they even found out about his existence—home.
When they found out about Alec, they were not allowed to know anything about their son or the couple raising him.
Eventually, they had to fly to New York and spend two weeks in family court before they were finally granted custody of him on May 31.
They, like YZ and AP, also have to live with the prospect that another one of their children may have been born to someone else and are seeking "unspecified compensatory and punitive damages."
"CHA put three families through a living hell, and our lives will never be the same. We fought to get our boy back, and now we will fight to make sure this never happens again," Ashot said.
Anni similarly said she will "will never be the same person again" and that she now has trust issues and has put up "barriers everywhere."