Two women gave birth to the wrong child after a shocking mix-up was made during the in-vitro process.
Two years ago, Daphna Cardinale gave birth to a baby girl through IVF at the California Center for Reproductive Health.
But when he saw the child, her husband Alexander couldn’t help but think to himself that something wasn’t quite right. A few months later, a DNA test revealed that the baby was neither the father’s nor the mother’s
It was found that the medics at the facility had swapped babies, with the couple’s biological child having been born to another woman.
After Alexander first saw the child, footage shared by his attorney, Alex Wolf, detailed that he felt like the “room shrank” and “everything went numb,” as per Today.
And by the time the child turned 2-months-old, the mother decided to do a DNA test after Alexander couldn’t help himself but make comments on the child’s appearance because it was much darker than their first child.
Neither of them expected that the baby wasn’t theirs at all.
The lawyer said:
“The fertility clinic transferred to Daphna an embryo that belonged to […] strangers. [She] was, in other words, sort of an unwilling and unknowing surrogate for another couple’s baby.”
Wolf went on to explain that another couple had actually carried Alexander and Daphna’s baby to term.
Daphna Cardinale said she and her husband, Alexander, had immediate suspicions that the girl she gave birth to in late 2019 wasn't theirs because the child had a darker complexion than they do.https://t.co/yOpQ1abrqN
— News 4 San Antonio (@News4SA) November 9, 2021
Exchanging photos with the family, they noticed that the other baby had light skin and blond hair.
“I looked at her, and I was so aware that I just don’t know her, I didn’t know her at all. So I remember thinking I was like, ‘I don’t know you,’ which is a heartbreaking thing to think of your own daughter.”
Imagine carrying a baby for nine months and raising it for two, only to realize it isn't yours.
That’s what Daphna and Alexander Cardinale say happened to them. https://t.co/MFkz6Zkx4r
— Emily Shugerman (@eshugerman) November 8, 2021
The two couples met every day to see their biological child, and it was eventually ruled that the babies should be with their biological families, according to Wolf.
Daphna talked about how she and Alexander “missed everything” in the four months her biological daughter had been growing.
“The whole new-born phase we missed with her. We missed the whole pregnancy,” she said.
And while the parents’ reunification with their child has brought them over the moon with excitement, Daphna described the pain of “losing a baby at the same time that [she] was getting a baby” and the sadness she felt for the other family too.
“It’s truly an impossible nightmare,’” she said.
An IVF mix-up meant two US couples gave birth to each others' children.
Now, Daphna and Alexander Cardinale are suing a Los Angeles fertility clinic after raising the wrong child for nearly three months, before DNA tests confirmed the embryos' swap.@DaniTVNews | #5News pic.twitter.com/F5yrT574vS
— Channel 5 News (@5_News) November 9, 2021
What truly shattered Daphna was having to explain what had happened to her first child, Olivia, who was five when the babies were brought into the world.
Having had bonded with the first baby, Alexander said telling her the truth was “tough” and “the biggest trauma” for him.
The families are now reportedly paying each other visits two times a month, in what has been described as “complicated family dynamics.”
Consequently, a lawsuit was filed against the clinic by the Cardinales, suing it as well as the doctor responsible for a number of offences including breach of contract, medical malpractice and negligence.
The Cardinales are hopeful that the process will “shine a spotlight on the issue” and give an “understanding that we need to get regulation or regulations to govern fertility clinics.”
“We want to make sure that this doesn’t happen again.”
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