Two couples accidentally IVF mishap: they each had to have their babies.

Suppose you are part of the 12% of people who can’t get or stay pregnant naturally. Imagine going through many invasive IVF treatments, becoming pregnant, bonding and carrying your baby to term. Next, look down at the child you just gave birth. Likely, it’s a moment of gratitude, joy, nervousness, and excitement. However, it’s possible to not recognize yourself when you first see your newborn. None at all 

That’s what happened to new parents, Daphna and Alexander Cardinale in 2019. Alexander was particularly worried about the new baby’s appearance. Alexander was worried that the baby would look different to his wife Daphna and their older daughter Olivia. As Cardinale told People, “It was sort of a primal reaction.”  

The baby’s appearance differed from their older daughter immensely. According to CNNThe family “expected to see a fair child, much like their older daughter. Instead, their birth daughter came out with much darker skin and jet-black hair.”

The family still bonded and fell for the baby, including Olivia, their big sister. However, they still couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong, plus, the questions didn’t stop. Friends and relatives began to question the baby’s appearance, and eventually the family conducted a DNA test.

Alexander said to People, “If we hadn’t done IVF, I would’ve just chalked [the lack of resemblance] up to genetics,”He says. “She just looks how she looks. No big deal. But because we’d done IVF, my brain started going to the dark place.”

It was heartbreaking news. It was revealed that the baby had not been tested genetically to the family.

Fertility Clinic Mixup

Close up of lab tech running a test.

A family filed a lawsuit against the Los Angeles-based fertility clinic. California Center for Reproductive Health. Their fertility specialist, Dr. Eliran Mor, is also included in the suit. When the DNA test came back with devastating results, the fertility clinic reached out to the family’s lawyer, stating they had contacted the baby’s biological family. This family also had just given birth to their baby girl. This baby had fair skin, blue eyes, and was named Zoë.

“I found out [at] that moment that she existed, what she looked like, and what her name was,” says Alexander. “It’s weird learning the name of your child when you didn’t name her,”Alexander stated, “According to People.

CNN claims that the lawsuit is based on the following: “fertility clinic either recklessly, negligently, and/or knowingly lost or actively decided to give the Cardinales’ embryos to another couple, while implanting the wrong embryo in Daphna.”

The other family involved didn’t want to be identified publicly but were “equally blindsided and devastated.”

Reuniting Families

Both families took DNA tests to confirm that they had given birth to each other’s babies. The process of reuniting the families began. The babies were delivered a week apart in September 2019. But, because the families had already bonded with their babies at birth, the process was slow. It was three months since their babies were born, and it would be another month before they switched permanently.

The families initially switched the babies for brief visits. After the babies spent the night with their biological parents, they decided that constant switching was too difficult and switched the babies permanently in January 2020 at four months.

According to the Associated PressThe families are happy. “made an effort to stay in each other’s lives”And “forge a larger family.”

According to the BBC, “Adam B Wolf, a lawyer representing the Cardinales, said the other family in the mix-up also plans to sue but will remain anonymous.”Alexander declared, “They were just as much in love with our biological daughter as we were with theirs.”

They are sharing their story to help raise awareness about fertility clinic mishaps. Daphna stated that GMA, “I want people to know that it is possible to test after you’re pregnant to make sure that you are the biological parent of the child you’re carrying,”She spoke. “It is possible to have those tests. Just talk to your doctors about it.”

Other IVF Mix-Ups

IVF Mix-Ups aren’t common, but they have happened. One couple from California obtained custody of their 2019 IVF mix-up. Biological babyAfter he was born, he was adopted by a New York couple through an IVF mix-up.

The families sued CHA Fertility Center, California. “CHA robbed me of my ability to carry my own child, my baby boy,” Anni Manukyan, the child’s biological mother stated.

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