Couples sue over devastating IVF accidents; ‘It Was Truly My Hell’ – CBS Chicago

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – A couple in Los Angeles are suing the California Center for Reproductive Health for in vitro fertilization after finding out that the baby they had given birth to and raised was not theirs.

“Instead of breastfeeding my own baby, I breastfed and attached myself to a baby that I was later forced to give away,” Daphna Cardinale said. “I have so many mixed feelings about carrying my birth daughter inside my body. Every time I felt a kick or talked to her, it was someone else’s baby.”

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The Cardinal and her husband, Alexander, were one of the two couples who did IVF through the Encino-based, California Center for Reproductive Health. Each mother was bottomed out and raised what they presumed to be their genetically related babies for four months until they found out they were in fact the wrong infants. The couple filed a lawsuit against their fertility doctor Eliran Mor, his clinic, laboratory and the surgical center where the IVF procedure took place in 2019.

“Falling in love with our new baby while constantly battling nagging questions and dark doubts,” Alexander said. “It really was my hell.”

According to the press release, Cardinales noticed that the little girl they raised was of a different race and looked drastically different from the couple and their older daughter. DNA tests performed three months old later confirmed their suspicions. “Our memories of birth will always be tainted by the sick reality that our biological child was given to someone else, and the baby I struggled to bring to this world was not mine to keep,” Daphna said.

The couple’s lawyer said the multi-billion dollar fertility industry needs more regulation, arguing that salons are subject to more regulation than clinics. However, fertility expert Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg that the industry already has robust regulatory systems.

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“We get inspected every two years by the College of American Pathologists,” said Steinberg, who has been in the IVF industry for 35 years. “These are advanced inspections. They look at every detail of every procedure that goes on.”

With a shortage of embryologists, Steinberg believes it was probably human error that caused the failure. He said every dish in his lab is laser-etched with his parents’ names.

“Identification, identification, identification,” he said. “We have a quadruple security system.”

Whether it was human error or general negligence, Cardinales is still getting used to raising a new child. “The daughter we raised and attached to was gone after months of love and affection,” Daphna said. “There’s no way to describe the pain we’ve been through.”

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The other couple is also expected to sue. Mother could not be reached for comment.

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