California couple claims clinic implanted their embryo in wrong woman

Anni and Ashot Manukyan             
    CBS News

Anni and Ashot Manukyan CBS News

The "heartbreaking" mix-up originally occurred in August previous year when the embryos of three separate couples, who were all being treated at the Los Angeles CHA Fertility Center on the same day, were implanted into the wrong women.

"CHA robbed me of my ability to carry my own child, my baby boy", Anni Manukyan told a press conference.

A California couple who says their embryo was implanted into a NY woman in an allegedly botched in vitro fertilization procedure sued their Los Angeles-based fertility clinic on Wednesday, the second lawsuit in the case.

Anni Manukyan said she felt "violated" after she learned she had also been implanted with another couple's embryo that did not result in pregnancy.

The New York couple, who chose to remain anonymous to limit the "embarrassment and humiliation", are also suing the clinic for medical malpractice, negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, misconduct, breach of contract and other issues.

Identified in court papers only as Y.Z. and A.P., the couple said they were shocked in March 2019 when they gave birth and realized that the children weren't of Asian descent, as they are.

Their complaint filed in a California superior court says they later learned the clinic had used in vitro fertilization to inject a sperm and egg of strangers into Mrs.

The Manukyans then filed a lawsuit to recover their genetic child from the NY woman, in a legal process that took several months, the couple's lawyers said. Anni Manukyan said. "It was just heartbreaking".

Anni and Ashot Manukyan had to go to court to get their child, in what is widely regarded as the first case of its kind.

"They never saw their baby's entrance into the world or cuddled him in his first seconds of life-moments that other parents treasure for the rest of their lives".

"They messed up three different families' lives", Anni told NBC News, "and it's not okay".

A couple in NY recently filed a federal lawsuit against CHA, claiming they'd given birth to twins that were not biologically theirs.

Months later, the knife was twisted: they were asked to come into the center for cheek swabs on April 11, which were passed off as a routine annual procedure.

CHA Fertility has not responded to repeated CNN inquiries for comment.

Doctors at the clinic "assured them they were girls and that there was nothing wrong", according to the court complaint.

The Manukyans said that following a protracted legal battle they finally gained custody of their son in May, when he was six weeks old. They were not allowed to know anything about their son, or the couple raising him, and the anxiety drove Anni to be hospitalized with a stress-related illness.

In August 2018, two embryos were implanted into Manukyan. "Nobody should meet their baby in the lobby of a hotel".

"CHA put my family through living hell".

The fertility center's website said that "Los Angeles (CFC LA) has fulfilled the dreams of tens of thousands of aspiring parents from Southern California and beyond in over 22 countries".

Today, about 1.7% of all babies born in the USA each year are conceived using ART, the CDC says.

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