California couple whose son was born to wrong parents in IVF mix-up sue clinic
Published by Fox News
Jul 10, 2019
A second lawsuit involving one of the three couples whose in vitro fertilization process resulted in embryos implanted in the wrong woman is suing the California fertility clinic after they discovered their biological son was born to another set of parents who live in New York.
Anni and Ashot Manukyan, who claim they found out about their biological son after experiencing the heartbreak of their own failed IVF attempt that unknowingly involved two embryos from a stranger, spoke out for the first time Wednesday to say CHA Fertility Center has put them “through a living hell.”
Back in March, the New York couple gave birth to a set of twin boys from two different embryos, neither of which were theirs — one of them was from the Manukyans.
“CHA [Fertility Clinic] put three families through a living hell, and our lives will never be the same. We fought to get our boy back, and now we will fight to make sure this never happens again,” said Ashot Manukyan, who along with his wife Anni, filed the lawsuit with the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Los Angeles.
They further claimed that the clinic brought them back in for a cheek swab which they had said was a routine check, but was a veiled attempt at obtaining DNA information in order to establish whether the boy in New York was indeed their son.
The Manukyans, of Glendale, said that even after they learned of their biological son’s birth, the clinic wouldn’t tell them where he was located citing HIPAA violations.
Anni Manukyan claims she was hospitalized for two days due to stress-related illness after learning that another woman had unknowingly given birth to her biological son across the country.
According to the couple’s lawyers, they filed a habeas corpus petition in family court in an attempt to obtain custody of their son, which they eventually did.
Yumi Lee, the center’s COO, did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
“This incredible series of events demonstrates CHA [Fertility Clinic]’s shocking incompetence,” Adam Wolf, the couple’s attorney, of Peiffer Wolff Carr and Kane, said. “While I have handled hundreds of cases of fertility-center misconduct, this tragedy at CHA is among the most egregious I have seen. Anni and Ashot put all their faith and trust in CHA. In return, CHA gave Anni and Ashot lies, excuses and heartbreak. We will not rest until this multinational corporation is held accountable.”
The couple’s lawsuit names the center, CHA Health Systems, Lee and owner and medical director Joshua Berger as well as laboratory director Simon Hong. It follows one filed by the New York couple involved in the mix-up, who said they first raised the alarm after an ultrasound tech told the couple they were expecting twin boys, despite them choosing to unfreeze two female embryos.
The couple, identified only as A.P. and Y.Z. in their lawsuit, said they were repeatedly assured throughout the pregnancy that they were expecting girls, and had even been told by Berger that his own wife’s sonogram reading had been wrong about the gender of his child. But when the woman gave birth in March via caesarian section, it was to two boys, neither of whom shared their parents’ Asian ethnicity. Further testing revealed the boys weren’t even genetically related to each other.
That couple said they have suffered “permanent emotional injuries from which they will not recover.”
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