Couple sues IVF clinic over implanting "stranger's baby" in US
"A truly impossible nightmare."
A couple in the US are suing an IVF clinic after they implanted a stranger's baby, lawyers say.
Daphna and Alexander Cardinale, who conceived their daughter through IVF, were immediately puzzled by her appearance after giving birth.
The baby girl had black hair, a much darker complexion than her parents, and didn't resemble anyone in their family.
A DNA test later revealed that the baby was not related to either of them - they had been raising another person's child.
Los Angeles lawyers revealed that two laboratories mixed up the embryos of two separate couples and implanted them in the wrong women.
Both couples then met and worked through the courts to gained custody of their genetic children.
"The moment our... daughter was born should have been among the happiest of my life," Alexander Cardinale said.
"But I immediately felt shaken and confused as to why I didn't recognise her. When the truth came to light, it made exchanging the children all the more heartbreaking.
"Losing the birth child you know, for the genetic child that you don't know yet... a truly impossible nightmare."
"I was overwhelmed by feelings of fear, anger, betrayal, and heartbreak," Daphna said during a news conference call with her husband.
"I was robbed of the ability to carry my own child. I never had the opportunity to grow and bond with her during pregnancy, to feel her kick."
The lawsuit accuses the LA fertility clinic of medical malpractice, breach of contract, negligence, and fraud. Lawyers say the couple are seeking emotional damages, compensatory and property damages and a wide a range of other costs.
The other couple involved will be filing a similar lawsuit in due course but wish to remain anonymous, according to an attorney representing all four parents.
Both babies were born one week apart in September 2019. They were swapped back in January 2020, four months later. According to Daphna, the couples plan to stay in each others lives and "forge a larger family".
"They were just as much in love with out biological daughter as we were with theirs," said Alexander.