Published: Fri, July 12, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Couple in IVF mix-up speak about clinic's 'heartbreaking' blunder

Couple in IVF mix-up speak about clinic's 'heartbreaking' blunder

The Manukyans told reporters yesterday that they were unaware they had a son until the clinic, located in the Los Angeles area, contacted them out of the blue to obtain their DNA so that it could determine whether the child born to the NY couple was theirs.

Anni and Ashot Manukyan of Glendale claim that they were one of three couples to have their embryos allegedly swapped at CHA Fertility Center, according to their lawyer Adam Wolf.

In addition, Anni Manukyan was mistakenly implanted with at least one embryo of a stranger, when she thought the embryo resulted from her and her husband's genetic material, according to the lawsuit.

A bungled IVF treatment - which led to a NY woman unknowingly giving birth to the babies of two couples who were complete strangers - has been branded the "worst embryo-related tragedies in history". They were then forced to give the babies up to their biological parents.

When the Manukyans went to the clinic to undergo in vitro fertilization in August, they believed CHA was transferring their embryos into Mrs. Manukyan's uterus.

Mr Wolf said his clients still have no idea whose embryos CHA inserted into Ms Manukyans's uterus.

CHA officials did not respond to emails seeking comment.

"They knew the day the babies were born because they had apparently called CHA and told them, okay we're Asian and these children are white, they're Caucasian".

Identified in court papers only as Y.Z. and A.P., the couple said they were shocked in March 2019 when they gave birth and realized that the children weren't of Asian descent, as they are.

"CHA [Fertility Clinic] put three families through a living hell, and our lives will never be the same". Plus, most couples who pursue the treatment do end up with a child, it just typically takes more than one round.

An attorney for the couple, Adam Wolf, said Wednesday the three-family mixup was one of the worst fertility centre tragedies in United States history. "While I have handled hundreds of cases of fertility-center misconduct, this tragedy at CHA is among the most egregious I have seen. I hope nobody suffers through what my family has been through", she said. A day later, the clinic confirmed that they had a newborn son.

The mother said the clinic never explained what happened the couple's other embryos, "leaving the possibility that another child is out somewhere and we don't know about". "These children are definitely not ours", Anni said. "Weeks later, Anni and Ashot learned that they had a son, but CHA refused to provide any further information regarding the identity of the NY couple or the whereabouts of their son".

But it took a month-long legal battle to get through the red tape and take custody of their son.

That mix-up led to a woman carrying and giving birth to babies that weren't her own.

"IVF in the a huge success story", Dr. Eric Widra, chief medical officer of fertility clinic Shady Grove Fertility, told INSIDER.

The fertility center's website said that "Los Angeles (CFC LA) has fulfilled the dreams of tens of thousands of aspiring parents from Southern California and beyond in over 22 countries".

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