US couple sue after IVF mix-up meant woman gave birth to ‘twins’ unrelated to them or each other

An American couple has taken legal action after an IVF mix-up resulted in a couple giving birth to two boys unrelated to them or each other. 

The couple, identified only as AP and YZ to minimise the "embarrassment", is suing a California  fertility clinic over the error.

In a lawsuit filed in New York, the couple, who are Asian, described their shock at giving birth to two babies who were not of Asian descent.

DNA tests confirmed the children were not related to the couple, but to two other couples and they "were required to relinquish custody" of both babies to their respective biological parents, "thus suffering the loss of two children,” the lawsuit states.

The couple said they tried to conceive for years before spending more than $100,000 (£80,000) in medical and travel costs on an IVF procedure with CHA Fertility in 2018.

Doctors said a scan showing male embryos, when the couple had only created female ones, was a mistakeCredit:
Science Photo Library

The lawsuit accuses CHA Fertility in Los Angeles, California and the two co-owners who provided the service of 16 offences, including medical malpractice and negligent infliction of emotional distress. 

It details how a pre-natal scan revealed the couple were expecting boys, despite the fact that the doctors had told them only female embryos were used during the treatment.

The suit states that the clinic assured the couple that the scan was inaccurate and the would-be parents were "shocked" to give birth to two baby boys who did not appear to be biologically related to them. 

Staff from the clinic travelled to the hospital to meet with the couple and requested they take a DNA test, which confirmed they were not related to the two babies. It also confirmed the two boys were not genetically related to each other.

The couple said they reviewed the clinic’s "website and promotional advertisements" before opting to use its services. 

According to the lawsuit, CHA Fertility described itself as one of the "premier fertility treatment networks in the world" and the "mecca of reproductive medicine".

The couple state in the lawsuit they have suffered significant and permanent "emotional distress" from the mix-up, and the clinic has "not advised them" on what happened to their own two embryos.

The clinic has not yet commented on the allegations.

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